Durham, N.C. (Aug. 2, 2023) – Goodwill Industries of Eastern North Carolina (GIENC®), a leading provider of innovative employment, educational, and life-enrichment opportunities throughout eastern North Carolina, has partnered with Boys & Girls Clubs of North Central North Carolina to help fund its 2023 Summer Meals Program.
GIENC provides much-needed programming and financial support to community-based tax-exempt organizations tackling a myriad of issues within its 51-county service area. A primary area of focus is combating food insecurity.
“Our goal is to provide opportunities that transform lives throughout the local and regional communities we serve,” said GIENC President & CEO Christopher Hash. “Regular access to enough high-quality food continues to be a fundamental problem within our territory and represents a barrier to normal growth and development. In other words, it’s difficult to focus on opportunities when you’re hungry.”
Boys & Girls Clubs of North Central North Carolina provides experiences and opportunities that support young people in reaching their full potential. Programming runs year-round, from after-school care to the Summer Enrichment Program. Part of the 9-week Summer Enrichment Program includes breakfast and lunch for children during the week. Usually, these meals are supplied by local school districts, including the Granville County and Vance County Summer Feeding Programs.
While these local school systems continue to offer support for the Summer Meals Program, Boys & Girls Clubs leadership was notified that increased challenges to staffing and funding had reduced the breakfast and lunch program to only Monday through Thursday for five weeks. Without assistance, 200 children would be left without regular meals for 19 days of the Summer Enrichment Program.
Boys & Girls Clubs team members began looking for a solution which included contacting GIENC.
“We explained our situation and before the call ended, Goodwill® offered to cover the remaining cost of the program,” said Boys & Girls Clubs of North Central North Carolina CEO Donyell “DJ” Jones. “We’re just so grateful for Goodwill’s generous support. We’re thankful the children are getting two meals a day five days a week.”
In addition to access to the Goodwill Feeds program, GIENC has provided more than $150,000 in grants to Boys & Girls Clubs of North Central North Carolina as part of its Agency Empowerment Program. Grants have been used for STEAM resources such as virtual reality (VR) headsets and 3D printers, facility renovations, safety upgrades, furniture, and a new 15-passenger travel van.
“Meaningful community engagement is the basis of our approach to serving others,” said Hash. “When Boys & Girls Clubs approached us with a need to feed local children, there was no hesitation. We knew we weren’t partnering with just any organization. We were helping family.”
“Facing the unknown, we turned to our community for help,” said Jones. “The willingness of our partners, like Goodwill, shows how service can inspire people to get involved.”
With headquarters in Oxford, Boys & Girls Clubs of North Central North Carolina is a nonprofit youth development organization serving kids and teens in grades one through 12. Its five-county operation is home to 11 Club locations. Guided by its mission, “to enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, and responsible citizens,” the organization works as a community partner to positively impact the lives of youth in its communities and prepares them for future success.
Goodwill Industries of Eastern North Carolina, Inc. (GIENC®) is a Durham-based tax-exempt organization, focusing on employment, education, and life-enrichment opportunities in 51 counties within the Triangle, Sandhills, and greater Eastern North Carolina. GIENC is affiliated with Goodwill Industries International, Inc. (GII), a network of 155 community-based Goodwills throughout the United States and Canada. To donate or learn more information about GIENC, visit www.gienc.org.