When Dina and I sat down in early 2012 to talk about opening a business together we both knew that we wanted to be able to give back to our local community and help make a difference. It was important to both of us to be able to help out the smaller, local non-profit organizations so we wrote it into our business plan and proceeded forward with FitnessSocial. Since opening our studio we have held true to our commitment of giving back to our community over the years and we want to thank all our generous clients who have helped make this possible.
Last year FitnessSocial partnered with Sweat Angels by Causely. Sweat Angels is an organization that partners with national non-profit organizations that provide services to those in need all over the world. When our clients check-in on Facebook they are actually helping out the designated non-profit for the month.
In July, Sweat Angels partnered with H20 Open Doors that provides both safe water and clean bottled drinking water around the world. Through our local Facebook check-ins at FitnessSocial, we provided 16,000 gallons of clean, safe water, which helped contribute to the over 36 million gallons of safe water provided by all the global Facebook check-ins.
Locally, FitnessSocial partnered with the Pinedale Boys and Girls Club of Fresno County and asked our clients to bring in bottled water for the month of July. One of the great benefits of the FitnessSocial Family is being able to give back to our local community, witnessing the generosity of our amazing clients and seeing the true appreciation and gratefulness of the intended recipients.
On Monday, August 7th, I loaded my car with the donated water and drove to the Pinedale Boys and Girls Club. As I pulled up there were 3 teenage boys hanging outside the building. I have driven by the Boys and Girls Club several times over the years but I never knew much about the club or the services it provides to our local youth. As I started to unload the car and walk towards the building, one of the teenage boys opened the door for me and asked if he could help. I was obviously taken aback by this kind gesture since so many teens these days have seemed to grow up without being taught the proper manners and etiquette that was once a standard in every household. The other teenagers also jumped in and helped unload the rest of the car. I met Laqusha Locke, the Unit Director for the Boys and Girls Club of Pinedale. I mentioned how impressed I was with the politeness and manners of the kids I met and we spoke briefly about some of the services the club offers to the local youths. As I drove away from the club, thinking about how positive and kind those kids were, I felt compelled to share their services and what the club offers to our local youth.
The club offers services to local youths from the ages of 6 to 18 years old, Monday through Friday. There are 5 Core program areas that align with the developmental needs of all young people to ensure that they have a positive and impactful experience that ultimately achieves the outcomes that a lead them to great futures:
- Character and Leadership Development
- Education and Career Development
- Health and Life Skills
- The Arts
- Sports, Fitness and Recreation
Their mission is to enable all young people, especially those that need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring and responsible citizens. I can tell you from my brief interaction with the teenagers that day, this was truly apparent!
In 2016, the Boys and Girls Clubs of Fresno County helped over 6500 members receive the mentoring and educational support that is vital to their future success. The clubs help enhance the development of boys and girls by instilling a sense of competence, usefulness, belonging and influence. Young people need to know that someone cares about them and that they have a safe and positive place.
Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s research shows that young people who attend a Club regularly tend to do better than their peers nationally. According to the Boys & Girls Club of America website:
- 68% of Club 12th graders volunteer at least once per month, compared with 39% of 12th graders nationally
- 90% of Club ninth graders report abstaining from drinking alcohol in the past 30 days, compared with 77% of ninth graders nationally
- 31% of Club girls ages 12 to 15 are physically active every day, compared with 23% of girls in the same age range nationally
Locally, the Club is open to all youths in Fresno County and membership is only $5 a year. They will be hosting a Day for Kids on Saturday, September 16th from 1pm to 3pm at the Pinedale location, 343 W. Minaretes Ave. For more information, please contact Laqusha at 559.439.6053 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Some of the items on their current wish list include:
- Math books 1st grade – 6th grade
- Paint for walls
- Bean bags
- Paint brushes
- USB cords
If you have any items that you would like to donate, please feel free to bring by the studio. I plan on taking my kids over to the Club on September 16th to participate in their Day for Kids and meet more of these great youths we have here locally! I hope to see some of you there!
As a country, we look at today’s children and see tomorrow’s leaders. We must all support their development and be positive role models. The investment and intervention we make now will make a lifetime of difference for all of us.
“Children are our most valuable resource.” ~Herbert Hoover