It’s mid July, and again we find ourselves in the dog days of summer, this year made even more oppressive by the persistence and uncertainty of the COVID virus. Numbers in Florida have been on the rise again, and no definitive end is in sight. This is not a time for the faint of heart.
As a longtime runner, I have always been encouraged by this verse from Hebrews 12: “Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us,
and let us run with patience the race that is set before us.
Know this: your Boys & Girls Club organization has chosen to not to be discouraged, to take a long view, and to run with patience the race that is set before us.
We’ve shared with you extensively in this space the modifications we’ve made to our programming to keep our Club members and staff safe. We have suffered temporary setbacks along the way—at times others might have opted to close the Clubs entirely to remove all possible risk. Yet we persist because we know that our children need us, and face even greater risks without the lifeline that our Clubs provide.
Here’s what we’re also doing: focusing on the future. As interminable as this pandemic seems, it will end, and the needs of our community’s children will be even more pronounced on the other side of it. So while others are retrenching, we push forward in faith, knowing that we have a unique responsibility as the largest provider of after-school and summer programming to children from low-income families in our region.
Our faith in the future is manifested in the continuing construction of our Jacqueline Bradley and Clarence Otis Family Branch, which I believe will be the most beautiful Club in the United States (promise I’m not biased). Designed pro-bono by SchenkelShultz
, the Club will have a special focus on enriching children’s lives through the arts. We expect to open in February 2021 to serve the children of West Lakes.