This month, we hear from Janet Wilson. Janet is the director of resource development for the Boys and Girls Club of North Louisiana. Janet works in Ruston, bringing a positive, collaborative spirit to our community.
Read along as Janet shares her passions and the mission guiding their work.
What brought you to this work?
Janet: I joined the Boys and Girls Club movement in 2009 because I wanted to serve children in our community who need us most. My background is elementary teaching, but after teaching a few years, I had a successful business and found my gift of “sales.”
Director of Resource Development was a perfect fit for me as it combined my great love of children with my love of sales. It has been so wonderful and fun to “sell” BGC. I believe that people really want to help children who are in need. When someone tells me NO, I believe it is because they do not KNOW enough about the needs at the Boys and Girls Club.
Who do you serve?
Janet: The Boys and Girls Clubs of North Louisiana serves children ages 6-18 in after school and summer camp programs. We have 7 units located from Monroe to Arcadia which serves around 400 children.
In Ruston, we have 2 units and serve around 200 children.
What is your hope?
Janet: My greatest hope is that we can serve MORE children, MORE often in a MORE meaningful way. This will only happen when more people get involved and support the Boys and Girls Club. At the Ruston unit on Memorial Drive, we turn away 4 children for every one that we take. It’s heartbreaking to see parents come to the club and BEG to enroll their children, and we literally do not have the space to enroll them.
My greatest hope is that one day very soon, we will build a new Boys and Girls Club in Ruston in an area where kids can walk to the club from their neighborhood, and I would love for us to never turn kids away.
What is the one thing you want the public to know about your work?
Janet: The Boys and Girls Club not only changes lives, it saves lives. Children are our future and if we do not care for them and lead them down the right path, they very easily will go down eh wrong path. I am so blown away by the parent that send their children to the Boys and Girls Club. They love their children and most of them make great sacrifices to provide for them. So many of our children come from one parent homes and they need other people to invest in their children. Louisiana Tech and Grambling University provide us such a wealth of young college students who want to work with children. Our children thrive in school and teachers all over the parish tell us that they love to teach our Boys and Girls Club kids. The Boys and Girls Club provides a positive place for kids where we strive to help these children become productive members of society. Please consider giving your time, talent, and resources to help our children become the best the can be.