The Neil S. Hirsch Family Boys & Girls Club opened its doors to the public on Thursday, Sept. 14 and Friday, Sept. 15 to help the entire community in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma.
“With many parents, who are going through a lot of things with the hurricane, it gives them a chance to take care of what they need to take care of, while we are able to provide their kids with food, games and a place of safety,” Program Coordinator Anthony Talton said.
Normally, the Wellington facility is only open to club members, but with schools closed and many parents back at work, the Boys & Girls Club took action to help the entire community recover from the storm.
Food was provided for children ages 6 to 18 both days. Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza and the Jacobs Family Foundation of Wellington donated food to the club, which served more than 100 children during lunchtime both days.
Talton credited club staff for ensuring that the club was safe and ready for its members and nonmembers alike to share the space last Thursday and Friday.
“I was glad that our staff was able to come out,” Talton said. “I appreciate that some of the staff members were still affected by the hurricane. Some who came out Wednesday still didn’t have lights.”
He thanked staff members for sacrificing to come out and clean up to make sure that the building was presentable on Thursday and Friday.
Talton was proud that the club was open to both members and nonmembers as a community service after the storm.
“That was a big deal for me, because that showed that we really wanted to help our community, and we waived the fees,” he said.
This was a countywide effort implemented by Boys & Girls Clubs of Palm Beach County.
“We want to make sure that parents and caregivers can return to work after Hurricane Irma with the peace of mind that their children have a safe place to go with adult supervision and electricity,” said Jaene Miranda, president and CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of Palm Beach County.
All clubs resumed their regular schedules for members only on Monday, Sept. 18 when schools opened. For more information, visit www.bgcpbc.org or call (561) 683-3287.