Thomasville Boys & Girls Club receives donation

Mar. 19—THOMASVILLE — The Marguerite Neel Williams Boys and Girls Clubs of Southwest Georgia was one of several organizations that received a recent gift from MacKenzie Scott. Support of the local organization is part of a larger collective gift of $281 million to 62 various local Boys and Girls Clubs organizations and Boys and Girls Clubs of America.

As one of the nation's largest youth-serving organizations, Boys & Girls Clubs play a significant role in the lives of more than 4 million young people each year. More than 4,700 locations anchored in communities across the country create life-enhancing opportunities for kids and teens to thrive — providing safe places, caring mentors and essential skill-building after school and during the summer.

The Marguerite Neel Williams Boys & Girls Club organization positively impacted the lives of nearly 750 students in 2021 and is projected to serve approximately 1,100 youths in 2022, assuming that the local COVID numbers continue to decrease. With three club sites, serving students ages 6-18 throughout the Thomasville/Thomas County and Cairo/Grady County communities, the organization promotes the health, social, educational, vocational and character development of boys and girls in the region.

The club strives to give children the opportunity to successfully navigate the obstacles of their childhood through programs and activities that are conducted weekdays after school, and during the summer months and provide a safe and structured place during the times that children are most likely at risk of harm and getting into trouble. The organization's mission is to enable all young people, especially those most in need, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens.

Boys & Girls Clubs are built with a foundation of inclusion and a sense of belonging, offering ways for students to achieve their full potential in a safe environment while having fun. Clubs offer homework help, STEM learning, sports and recreation, the arts, life-enhancing leadership opportunities and more.

"It is truly a blessing and a prayer answered to receive this totally unexpected gift from MacKenzie Scott," Lee Wagner, CEO of the MNW Boys & Girls Club organization, said. "There are more than 4,700 Clubs nationwide; to be one of only 62 local organizations selected to receive funding from Mrs. Scott is an honor and a reflection of the great work that we do locally to positively impact the lives of the youth and families that we serve.

"This gift will allow us to do so many wonderful things, such as, bring our Capital Campaign to a successful close, provide timely mental health services for our youth, families and staff, enhance our staff as well as club operations, programs and services, as well as serve a greater number of youths. The Jackie Robinson Boys & Girls Club in Cairo will receive a portion of these funds to assist with the great work that they do in addressing the needs of youths in that community.

"Gifts like this are rare and have incredible impact. As a result of the lingering pandemic, our youth and families need us now, more than ever."

To learn more about the MNW Boys & Girls Clubs organization and to support kids and teens in the local community, call (229) 228-5155, extension 101, or visit our website at www.mnw-bgc.org.