Boys & Girls Club receives $200,000 in state tax credits to help at-risk youths

May 16—The Boys & Girls Club of Southwest Missouri will receive $200,000 in tax credits through the state's Youth Opportunities Program.

The credits will be used to provide at-risk youths with after-school and summer youth enrichment programs in Jasper and Newton counties, according to a statement from the Missouri Department of Economic Development.

"It's a great way for us to give back to our donors and increase what donors are able to give, which helps our programs," said Rhonda Gorham, CEO of the Boys & Girls Club of Southwest Missouri, based in Joplin.

"A $1,000 donation might only cost them $500. It depends on their tax bracket," she said. "It allows a donor to double their donations."

According to the state, the program allows nonprofit organizations to leverage private sector funds by providing partial state tax credits to businesses and individuals making contributions to approved youth development or crime prevention projects.

The program funds a variety of projects, including degree completion, internships, apprenticeships, mentoring, substance abuse prevention, violence prevention and counseling.

In all, 34 organizations statewide were awarded $5.8 million in tax credits. The Boys & Girls Club was the only organization in Southwest Missouri to receive the tax credits.

Organizations were eligible for up to $200,000 in tax credits. Eligible applicants include nonprofit organizations, education institutions, faith-based organizations, local governments and businesses that meet program requirements. The Youth Opportunities Program is administered by the Division of Business and Community Solutions.

"Strong communities are vital to creating opportunities for Missourians, including children," Maggie Kost, acting director of the Department of Economic Development, said in a statement. "As the future of our state, Missouri's youth deserve safe places to live, grow and become tomorrow's leaders. The Youth Opportunities Program allows us to partner with organizations making a difference for kids and families."

The Boys & Girls Club of Southwest Missouri is at 317 Comingo Ave.