A grandmother’s concern was the seed that grew into The Cindy Platt Boys & Girls Club of Transylvania County. In 1999, an involved grandmother wanted her grandson and other children in the community to have a safe option for after-school care. She wanted a place where the kids could learn and thrive, a place that welcomed them after school and in the summer so they didn’t have to go to empty homes and stay unsupervised while parents worked. Community Member Cindy Platt heard the concern and took action, and from that the Boy & Girls Club of Transylvania County was launched.
Today’s Transylvania Boys & Girls Club is a hub of activity with kids coming from nine area schools. The Club serves kids from kindergarten through 12th grade. They offer a host of activities to engage the kids and to promote life-long learning, from academic success programs and character development to nutrition classes and physical activity. The Club has a gym, outdoor space, a greenhouse and a quarter acre garden that the kids maintain in the summer.
The Club has partnered with Dogwood for three grants. One helped with general operating expenses to cover staff salaries and implement needed programs. Another helped with a safety project retrofitting their physical space to ensure that certain areas of the building are locked and that only those with approved access are allowed in. It also allowed for the creation of four private meeting spaces which create a safe space for important conversations.
The third grant was for COVID-19-related use, and the Club used it to support their after-school program. “With COVID-19, we’ve expanded our hours. Because schools are using a hybrid model of in-person education and e-learning, we open at 7:30 am and remain open until 6:30 pm. We help kids with their schoolwork and provide a safe place for them to come,” says Sarah St. Marie, Executive Director. “We provide kids with stability and a sense of normalcy through all this and offer peace of mind to parents.”
In 2020, The Boys & Girls Club, along with most other nonprofit organizations, was not able to hold fundraising events, making partnerships like Dogwood’s even more important. “To have Dogwood step up and provide COVID-19 relief was huge to us. It has been very encouraging to see Dogwood and others see that the work we are doing is important, offering to help close the funding gap for us,” says St. Marie.
“To have Dogwood step up and provide COVID relief was huge to us.”
Area Served: Transylvania County
Dogwood Partner in: Education
Grant Funding: $49,000