Donations help kids’ future

We can think of no better organization to which folks can donate than the Boys & Girls Club of Souhegan Valley, and now, thanks to an anonymous donor, people in the region have a chance to match a $100,000 gift.

The club is trying to raise $3 million to expand its Milford facility so it can help more kids. So far, it has raised more than $2.3 million, according to Executive Di­rector Susan Taylor, and this $100,000 matching fund will certainly help.

That, of course, is where we all come in. If everyone whose children use the club donates even just a few dollars (more, ob­viously, if they can, but not everyone can), that will go a long way toward matching the $100,000.

But equally important are donations from people who don’t have children who use the club, and here’s why: Orga­nizations such as the Boys & Girls Club of Souhegan Valley are a valuable asset to our communities because they give kids a place to go, a place to learn, and a place to feel and be safe. That is so important now, especially in an era when there are so many single-parent families or fami­lies in which both parents work.

In other words, we all benefit from the work the club does.

The proposed expansion will include a new gym for more sports and recreation activities, and a teen center with a sepa­rate entrance. We love the gym idea be­cause, as we all know too well, kids really don’t get enough exercise. When’s the last time you thought you saw a pickup base­ball game or kids shooting hoops at an outdoor basketball court? It’s been a long time, hasn’t it? Oh, they get a lot of thumb workouts on their phones and comput­ers (the other eight digits get some work there, too), but that doesn’t do much for their physical fitness.

More than 50 years ago, President John F. Kennedy recognized that physical fit­ness was an issue for many Americans and launched a program to improve our physical health, leading the way with games of touch football. It was encourag­ing, but obviously, it hasn’t lasted, and as much as President Barack Obama loves basketball, he isn’t out there leading the charge.

Kennedy was quoted thusly: "Physical fitness is not only one of the most impor­tant keys to a healthy body, it is the ba­sis of dynamic and creative intellectual activity. … Our growing softness, our in­creasing lack of physical fitness, is a men­ace to our security."

That is as true now, perhaps more so, than it was in 1962.

The Boys & Girls Club gym will help there, we believe.

Some of the funding will go toward im­proving access to academic programs – specifically, science, technology, engi­neering and math – and this country is desperately in need of that. We are fall­ing behind the rest of the world in these areas, and that doesn’t bode well for the future of our nation.

This club is an asset to our region, and given that membership, according to Tay­lor, increased by more than 200 percent in the last 10 years, growth is important. Right now, an average of 177 kids go to the club every day. That’s spectacular.

So, do what you can. You can find out more at future.