LOUISVILLE, Ky.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Anthem Foundation announced today that it is directing $110,000 to support Kentucky Boys & Girls Clubs in Louisville, Paducah and Harlan in their efforts to offer virtual youth programming for 6-9 year-olds and provide meals for 6-18 year-olds during the COVID-19 health crisis. Boys & Girls Clubs across the state have been forced to quickly transition their vital services to Kentucky’s youth, but their goal remains the same: providing the Bluegrass State’s youth with a safe haven in which their minds and bodies can flourish.
“COVID-19 pandemic is cause for all of us to do everything possible to ensure healthier lives and communities,” said Leon Lamoreaux, Medicaid president for Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Kentucky. “Boys and Girls Club programming and services are critical during this time and the creativity and dedication their staffs are showing is inspiring. We’re proud to support their work.”
Clubs receiving funding from the Anthem Foundation include:
- Louisville, Ky.: Boys & Girls Clubs of Kentuckiana’s Parkland, Newburg and Shawnee clubs
- Harlan, Ky.: Cawood Ledford Boys & Girls Club
- Paducah, Ky.: Oscar Cross Boys & Girls Club
“We are doing whatever it takes to help our kids, families and communities get through this crisis,” said Boys & Girls Clubs of Kentuckiana President and CEO Jennifer Helgeson. “But we can’t do this alone. We are grateful for Anthem and all our supporter’s response to help us service those who are most impacted.”
Boys & Girls Clubs of Kentuckiana is providing virtual programming from 8 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Kids can drop in on sessions throughout the day including Wake Up & Energize, Positive Action, Active Hour and more. The virtual programming also includes Learning & Instruction time focused on art, reading, STEM, self-help and more. Boys & Girls Clubs of Kentuckiana are engaging nearly 900 youth every day with their Facebook, Instagram and YouTube outlets.
The club is also distributing over 800 daily meals to youth 18 and under in its Newberg, Parkland and Shawnee locations. Anthem Foundation’s support allows the clubs to provide critical healthy meals not just to kids, but also to other family members in need. The funding has provided snack packs, hygiene kits and more. With COVID-19, Boys & Girls Clubs are needed more than ever.
Oscar Cross Boys & Girls Club is using Anthem Foundation funding to support its Middle Schoolers Academic Pathways to Success Program, providing tablet computers to kids so that they may participate in the club’s virtual programming and allowing them to gain access to their school work while they are home during the pandemic. The program addresses barriers that contribute to poor academic performance and supports children’s academic and career goals by building skills young people need to succeed in high school.
The Cawood Ledford Boys & Girls Club provides an array of virtual programming to Harlan County youth through ‘V-BGC: Clubbin’ at Home,’ a program launched shortly after the club closed its doors due to COVID-19. Programming is offered every day from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and includes morning and evening homework help, fitness and nutrition, SMART Moves drug prevention, Positive Action, teen chat sessions, phone mentoring, movie watch parties, and nightly story time.
One program that Cawood Ledford Boys & Girls Club CEO Kateena Haynes is especially proud of is the club’s daily Adulting 101 teen program, a series of videos in which different community leaders demonstrate an essential skill, such as writing a check or changing a car tire. The club has also greatly expanded its meal program, now making and delivering 250 balanced and nutritious meals to children throughout Harlan County every day, a 400 percent increase over its pre-COVID-19 meal program.
About Boys & Girls Clubs of Kentuckiana
Boys & Girls Clubs of Kentuckiana (BGCK) is an out-of-school time provider, offering a safe haven for youth who need us. We open our doors and our arms to kids ages 6-18, in a safe, positive environment. In our community, poverty and homicide rates are at an all-time high. In the state of KY nearly 127,000 youth leave school with nowhere to go. To disrupt this vicious cycle, it is critical to provide our youth opportunities for a different path, that is what Boys & Girls Clubs do every day.
About Cawood Ledford Boys & Girls Club
What began in 2001 as a youth recreational sports league has developed into a thriving Boys & Girls Club that serves over 2,500 youth in Southeastern Kentucky each year. The Club works to influence the future of the area by giving children the hope and opportunity they need to realize their full potential as productive, responsible, and caring citizens.
About Oscar Cross Boys & Girls Club
The Oscar Cross Boys and Girls Club has a proud tradition of developing boys and girls into well-rounded adults and productive, responsible citizens. Over the years we have adapted to meet the changing needs of youth in a changing and increasingly hazardous society. The Oscar Cross Boys & Girls Club has developed solutions and alternatives to many of the pressures and problems today’s kids and teens face. We intervene with positive life-shaping programs, producing the direction so many need. We provide a positive alternative to neighborhood gangs and destructive personal behavior.
About Anthem Foundation
The Anthem Foundation is the philanthropic arm of Anthem, Inc. and through charitable contributions and programs, the Foundation promotes the inherent commitment of Anthem, Inc. to enhance the health and well-being of individuals and families in communities that Anthem, Inc. and its affiliated health plans serve. The Foundation focuses its funding on strategic initiatives that make up its Healthy Generations Program, a multi-generational initiative that targets: maternal health, diabetes prevention, cancer prevention, heart health and healthy, active lifestyles, behavioral health efforts and programs that benefit people with disabilities. The Foundation also coordinates the company’s year-round Dollars for Dollars program which provides a 100 percent match of associates’ donations, as well as its Volunteer Time Off and Dollars for Doers community service programs. To learn more about the Anthem Foundation, please visit http://www.anthem.foundation and its blog at https://medium.com/anthemfoundation.