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Boys & Girls Club of Southwest Missouri sees recent growth and l - KOAM TV 7

Boys & Girls Club of Southwest Missouri sees recent growth and lengthy waiting list

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United Way of SW Missouri & SE Kansas is currently raising funds for 38 agencies in the Four States as part of their annual campaign.

One of those agencies is the Boys & Girls Club of Southwest Missouri, which has grown a lot in recent months, gaining a lengthy waiting list.

The Boys & Girls Club of Southwest Missouri serves an average of 200 kids a day at its Joplin location, and an additional 100 at the Webb City location.

"We have a 90 person waiting list, and we're going to be starting a waiting list in Webb City soon," said Rhonda Gorham, executive director of Boys & Girls Club of Southwest Missouri. "It's growing, growing, growing."

So much so, they now estimate serving 600 kids a year.

"It takes a lot of staff and a lot of supplies to run a good program," Gorham said.

Gorham says their $1 million annual budget relies heavily on donations.

"The United Way is a huge donor to the Boys & Girls Club," she said.

The Boys & Girls Club of Southwest Missouri is just one of the 38 agencies across the Four States that will benefit from this year's United Way fundraising campaign.

 "Of our 38 member agencies, while it's not a guarantee of funding, they all do such great work that we will fund their agency at some level," said Duane Dreiling, executive director of United Way of SW Missouri & SE Kansas.

Over a million dollars has been raised so far, which just falls short of the $1.3 million dollar goal, which is why they're continuing fundraising efforts through the end of the month.

"There is still an opportunity to give to the campaign, so that we can take those funds and reinvest them in our community agencies to have the greatest impact," Dreiling said.

Volunteers are currently assessing needs at each of the member agencies to determine how funds will be divided.

Boys & Girls Club staff members say any amount they receive will help greatly.

"We're really pushing for people to get out there and give their dollars," Gorham said.

Officials with United Way of SW Missouri & SE Kansas say they are in need of volunteers through the second week of March to assist with visiting all 38 agencies to assess needs.

If you are interested in making a donation to the fundraising campaign, visit http://www.unitedwaymokan.org/.
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