‘I Found A Safe Place to Play and Learn’

2013-10-30T00:00:00Z ‘I Found A Safe Place to Play and Learn’Special to The Times nwitimes.com
October 30, 2013 12:00 am  • 

PORTER COUNTY | Last year when Garrett came to live with his great aunt Audry Bobo, he was a timid first grader and she was an out-of-practice mother. “I raised three kids, but my youngest is 33,” laughed Bobo. “One of my biggest challenges was making Garrett feel safe and comfortable around other people,” she related. The two turned to the Boys and Girls Clubs of Porter County.

Garrett began spending time at the Duneland Boys & Girls Club a couple of times each week. “He was very quiet at first. He’d just sit back and watch. He was especially afraid of men and very cautious around Joe, the director. We were thrilled the day Garrett approached Joe to tell him he had eaten all of his lunch. Not only was he eating, but he was interacting,” said Bobo.

Since the first Porter County Boys & Girls Club opened in 1971, the clubs have grown from 300 members in a single location to nearly 5,000 members in four locations -- Valparaiso, Duneland (in Chesterton), Dusty Rhodes (in Portage) and South Haven. The clubs offer sports and recreational activities as well as character and leadership development, education and career development, health and life skills, and arts opportunities.

“I highly recommend the Boys & Girls Club for a safe and fun place for the kids to play and learn,” said Bobo. “The afterschool program is great!  I’m grateful that they’ll help him do his homework before he plays after school!” she said.

Garrett represents many Porter County kids who benefit from the services of local nonprofit organizations. To help support the organizations that are helping local youth, the Porter County Community Foundation is sponsoring Porter County GIVE Day, in partnership with The Times Media Company.

Porter County GIVE Day is a one-day giving holiday that benefits 25 nonprofit organizations that make life better for Porter County youth. Your gift on Nov. 7 will receive matching funds from a pool of more than $70,000.

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