All across America tens of thousands of volunteers teamed up for Make A Difference Day.
In San Antonio, a team from KENS 5 showed up bright and early at the Calderon Branch of the Boys and Girls Club in west San Antonio. Volunteers worked on projects to freshen up both the indoor and outdoor facilities that serve hundreds of children with after-school and summer programs.
The leader of the organization, Angie Mock, said that efforts like this are critical to the success of the club and the community at-large.
“It’s not all just swim and gym. We are very very specific about what we are trying to accomplish. We teach kids to live a healthy life style,” Mock said. “This is a rich neighborhood with wonderful traditions and culture and we're so proud to be a part of this amazing neighborhood but there are a lot of needs, especially for kids.
“Almost 65 percent of our youth in the Boys &Girls Club live in single-parent households. So there's a great need to be in a safe place when school's out and that's what we do.”
The local club provides programming year-round.
“When school bell rings, we're here for after school and in the summer. We burst at the seams every day from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.,” Mock noted.
And when it comes to volunteer service, Mock explained that there are many ways to make a difference every day.
“We have a robust STEM program for girls, so we're always looking for role models to come in that work in science, technology, engineering to come in and talk to the girls about the kinds of career opportunities they might have in the STEM field, but we also need volunteers to come in our ‘Power Hour,’ which is a solid hour of homework assistance every single day,” Mock said.
Mock added that the large group of KENS 5 volunteers is a big boost.
“We are so grateful for our volunteers. You can give money, but when you give an hour or two or a day, it's special. It's magical. We couldn't be more grateful to KENS 5,” Mock said.
The KENS 5 team worked to restore the baseball field by cutting overgrown grass, painting over vandalism, and repairing the concession stand.
Inside, volunteers refurbished the general store, which the club uses as a member incentive. Children earn points for achievements like good grades and exemplary attendance. They spend those points on books, toys and games.
In addition to restocking the prize shelves, volunteers replaced worn flooring and added new shelving.
To learn more about volunteering, here is a link to their official website: http://www.begreatsa.org/