UNION– Boys & Girls Clubs of Union County were the first in New Jersey to secure a partnership with Youth Outreach, an organization that supports military youth, ages 6 to 18, who are coping with a deployed parent or parents. Through this partnership, children of National Guard, Reserve and Active Duty parents, who do not live near or have access to a military Youth Center, can now receive free membership at Boys & Girls Clubs of Union County with locations in Union, Elizabeth and Plainfield.
This membership will allow them to participate for free in the after-school program, which focuses on educational enrichment, leadership development, workplace readiness, juvenile delinquency prevention, and substance abuse deterrence. In addition to the ongoing support, the children will have access to a mentoring program that will provide them with dedicated staff to teach, help, and guide them through this difficult time in their lives.
Times of national crisis can dramatically disrupt a military family’s life. Military children face unique challenges, including frequent moves, separation from a parent, and other deployment-related stressors. Last year, the White House reported there were 1.7 million American children and youth under 18-years-old with a parent serving in the military and approximately 900,000 children and youth with one or both parents deployed multiple times. The Boys & Girls Clubs can now offer for free the support these children need through their highly effective programs. Enrollment is open now.
“The Boys and Girls Clubs of Union County is proud to be able to serve our military’s youth through this new partnership,” said CEO Russell Triolo. “Their parents make the ultimate sacrifice and we are happy to be able to give back by supporting their families.”
To be eligible as a military dependent, a child must be between 6 and 18, with a parent on active duty (Army, Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps or Coast Guard), deployed National Guard and Reserve, Reservist on active duty or during inactive duty personnel training, part of an active duty family assigned to newly established joint bases, or a child of a relocated spouse of deployed active duty personnel.
The Boys & Girls Clubs of Union County, which operates facilities in Union, Roselle, Plainfield, Elizabeth and Hillside, serves over 7,500 children. They seek to inspire and enable young people, who need them most, to realize their full potential and have provided opportunity for youth since 1955. They are part of a national network of some 4,000 neighborhood-based facilities, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, which serves more than 4.6 million young people annually, in all 50 states and on U.S. military bases worldwide. To find out more, visit www.bgcuc.org.
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