After Boys & Girls Clubs became critical community hubs during the pandemic, Office Depot supported 16 Clubs with facility updates, murals, furniture, games and more to enhance the spaces that serve as a home-away-from-home for local youth.
Over the past two years, Boys & Girls Clubs around the country have done whatever it takes to support kids, families and communities – whether it was extending hours, doubling as Covid vaccination sites or expanding meals programs. Schools opening and closing due to shifting public health policies and rises in cases only heightened the importance of safe, dependable places for young people to go.
To celebrate the dedication of Clubs during this time and give their locations a much needed refresh to be able to serve youth even better, Office Depot provided a $250,000 donation to Boys & Girls Clubs of America during the company’s spring associate volunteer initiative, Depot Day of Service.
This spring, hundreds of Office Depot associates volunteered at more than 15 Clubs – enhancing indoor and outdoor spaces with new technology, fresh paint, hand-painted murals; updating educational equipment, furniture and game rooms; packing and distributing supply kits for members; and helping to freshen up the overall functions of the Clubs.
Boys & Girls Clubs of Palm Beach County serves over 10,000 youth annually across the county with 17 Clubs located in key communities around South Florida. On Saturday, April 30, more than 60 Office Depot volunteers gave their time and energy into refreshing the Club space.
“Our Club ramped up services to be the pandemic recovery leader in the community,” said Eric Roby, Vice President of Corporate Partnerships & Marketing, Boys & Girls Clubs of Palm Beach County. “As such, our Boca Raton Club started to show significant wear and tear from all the past several years. This significant refresh along with much needed new furniture allows the Club to be more conducive for homework, tutoring and all other Club activities. The donation also makes the Club feel more comfortable and underscores that members and staff deserve a safe and enjoyable space outside of school hours.”
Boys & Girls Club of Broward County was another recipient of the Office Depot grant and installed a new mural; replaced games in the game room including pop-a-shot; painted walls and rooms throughout the Club; installed a stand-up desk; renovated their outdoor picnic area, replacing an old garden with new picnic tables and umbrellas, landscaping, mulching and pressure washing.
“The key to any Club is a sense of a belonging. To make a child feel a greater sense of belonging is the best way to recruit and retain the people in the Club. How do you make a Club staff feel fulfilled? You give them the tools they feel they need, to create a greater sense of belonging,” said Karriem Edwards, the Club’s Vice President of Development. “So, these items weren’t installed in a vacuum. They were installed because the Club staff made a list of items the Club needed. On one level, the mural created a sense of belonging for the kids in the Club, but that mural was the result of caring, loving staff who know what their kids need to have that sense of belonging.”
For the second year in a row, Gerry Smith, CEO of Office Depot and The ODP Corporation, didn’t just attend the Saturday morning event but stayed for the duration helping on a variety of projects. He plans to be back next year.
Roby explained how the company’s Depot Day of Service initiative is a win-win situation for everyone involved. “Office Depot is one of the best and most caring community partners, consistently showing their strong support for our Club. Volunteer events like Depot Day of Service prove year after year that Office Depot associates truly desire to make their community a better place for all. We thank Office Depot for their continued support, which allows our Clubs to better assist 10,000 of the most deserving children in our community annually.”
Office Depot associates lent their time and talents to efforts to complete tailored volunteer projects designed to support Clubs associated with the following organizations:
Boys & Clubs provide safe places, caring mentors and life-enhancing programs that build youth confidence and contribute to an overall healthy physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. Sign up for our newsletter to receive the latest resources and stories from Boys & Girls Clubs of America.