We are all dealing with an enormous crisis.
While most us will manage, many of those less fortunate will fall.
Those who currently live below the poverty line will face critical challenges.
We need to remember them, wherever they live, and help as best we can.
Last month in Puerto Rico, at the Beet.TV executive retreat, we spoke about endemic child poverty on the island and what can be done.
We presented a fireside chat with Olga Ramos, the president of the 52-year old Boys and Girls Clubs of Puerto Rico.
She was interviewed by Jose Cancella, President and General Manager of Telemundo Puerto Rico.
Below is Olga's update today on the Boys & Girls Clubs during the pandemic.
If you can make a contribution, please do.
There are so many in need.
Dear Friends of Boys & Girls Clubs of Puerto Rico, As you know, Boys & Girls Clubs of Puerto Rico (BGCPR) has served communities in PR for 52 years.
Today, we have an impact on over 15,000 youth and their families through our direct services.
Nearly 90% of our participants live under poverty with 59% living with incomes of $5,000 or less.
We are grateful you are part of our history and the passion you bring to positively impact our communities.
We are reaching out to you to let you know that, in response to the current health crisis, the Governor of Puerto Rico has placed all businesses, schools, and common gathering spaces on lock down until March 31st.
As such, the 11 Clubs will be closed to the public.
However, Club staff and the central office team have moved to remote work to ensure that we are ready to receive more than 1,400 children we serve per day as soon as we can open our doors again.
As we have done during other emergencies that Puerto Rico has endured in the past two years, BGCPR is fully committed to work to reduce the education gap caused by the school closings that our children and youth are experiencing.
Education: Our education director has prepared a set of resources for parents, including access to online platforms, for the kids to work on while on isolation.
These resources will be available on our website.
We have communicated to parents and will continue to virtually support our families during this time.
Recreation and Social Program Leaders are providing resources as well, focusing on preventing diseases, stress management and financial management for families during an emergency.
Food & Wellbeing: BGCPR’s priority is and has always been the health and wellbeing of the children, youth, families served and our staff.
We will always strive to be the safe place that our children and youth deserve.
With the restrictions currently in place by the government, we are currently evaluating options to provide food to our participants and their families.
We are working daily on possible alternatives to progressively provide this essential service to our communities.
In addition, a deep cleaning and sanitizing process will take place at every Club and central office.
Financial: The BGCPR board, our leadership and our funding team (both private and public) are working around the clock to drive financial support to ensure we have the resources needed to serve our youth.
As you can see, BGCPR keeps going, always looking for different and creative ways to better serve those who need us the most.
We are hoping our partners, donors and contributors continue supporting our organization in order for us to provide support and resources to Puerto Rican children during this crisis and to be ready to serve our community in the future.
To support our services, please go to https://donar.bgcpr.org/en/, click on "Donate Now" button below or make your contribution through ATHmóvil using the pATH/BoysAndGirlsClubsDePR.
For updates and more information, please stay connected through http://bgcpr.org/en/about-us/ or our page in Facebook.
Education resources are available to download at http://bgcpr.org/educateencasa/.
For more information you can email us [email protected]
Thanks for putting your heart in our mission and being an active participant in the eradication of poverty in Puerto Rico.
Sincerely, Olga Ramos Carrasquillo President Boys & Girls Clubs of Puerto Rico