Our mission is to inspire and enable young people, especially those that need us the most, to realize their full potential to become a caring, productive and responsible citizen.
In December, 2000 a group of concerned citizens ventured forth to discuss the formation of a Boys and Girls Club. A steering committee of seven men and women was formed and within a year’s time, a Board of Directors had been established, public relations efforts had succeeded and fundraising efforts started. In addition, the Eufaula City School system partnering with Eufaula’s Parks and Recreation Department graciously provided Sanford Gymnasium as our new home. This spacious facility has a gymnasium, offices, and several rooms to serve our youth.
The Club opened its doors to serving the youth of Eufaula and Barbour County on July 9th, 2002. Community fundraising including generous donations from businesses and churches gave us the necessary means to open our doors for the first time.
During the 2007-2008 school year, total membership was 280. This showed an increase of more than 200% since we opened the club. To date, average daily attendance is 90 children with a summer program averaging about 110.
While at the club each afternoon, children rotate through several designated areas. There is a computer lab, built with a grant from Alabama Power Company in 2006. Another grant from Microsoft provided 10 new computers. Children not only gain valuable computer experience, but complete homework assignments and use computer learning tools.
In addition to the computer lab, an afterschool tutorial program is provided as well. Partnering with the Eufaula City Schools, a 21st Century grant was obtained which pays for a teacher and materials. This program is fantastic and we have really seen an increase in grades.
The games room is also available and a very popular place. Three pool tables are available after completion of homework. Kids are taught patience in waiting for their turn and loud or unruly behavior forfeits their rights to continue play. Children share a cue stick. Games in the gymnasium are available too.
Every week, the children are given a “word of the week”. This week the word might be “respect”, next week it might be “honesty”. This innovative concept has enabled the children to be hands on with the word and its meaning. For example, one day a child was having trouble waiting his turn to play pool. When his turn came, he tried to snatch the pool stick from another boy. One of the staff quickly reacted and talked to him about the word of the week (which was respect) and how he was not showing respect to the other boy. Real life experiences build character and that is what this club focuses on.
We are frequently given free tickets to football and basketball games at Troy University. Children with the best grades/improvements are rewarded with these trips. We have also taken special camping trips and participated in professional fishing tournaments. Of course, all of this is used as incentives for good behavior, good grades and good attitudes.
The summer program is funded in part by the Eufaula Housing Authority. Using the club and two housing community centers, children have opportunities to play games, take part in educational activities and role play. The older children have participated in activities from the County Extension Service/4-H such as money management/budgeting and parenting. They role play and see just how difficult it is to make ends meet when given a certain amount of money. They quickly realize they can’t have the things they want without having more money. They also learn they can’t have more money without having a better education. This is a very effective program.
The Eufaula Boys and Girls Club has quickly impacted the entire community of Eufaula. It is well supported by the Barbour County United Way, the City of Eufaula and regularly has articles published in the Eufaula Tribune. Support from our local community is great and our Annual Steak and Burger Fundraiser regularly generates 20% of our income.
We are proud of where we have come in recent years and extremely thankful to all of the generosity shown within the Eufaula community. We look forward to many years to come as we provide Eufaula youth with a Positive Place to call home.
Proud recipient of Barbour County United Way