Located in the Willamette Valley in Oregon, Boys & Girls Club of Corvallis has been serving the Benton County community since 1971. To say this year has been tough for the county seat and its surrounding cities is an understatement. While the pandemic is still prevalent, the area is also having to deal with the surrounding wildfires that are slowly heading toward the city and filling the air with smoke so dense that a face mask is not only necessary to battle COVID-19 but to contend with the poor air quality as well.
Reacting to the Pandemic
Since March of 2020, Boys & Girls Club of Corvallis has been working around the clock to provide the parents in their community proper help should they need to work outside of the home. The organization had to shift to emergency childcare and is currently the only provider in the area that has year-round care for children. They also went from providing dinner daily to three meals a day through collaboration with the school district. The Boys & Girls Club of Corvallis was able to offer childcare for free the first two months of the pandemic through donations and savings, but now charges only $20 a day since the funding was depleted—the organization works with families on a sliding scale based on income.
With proper safety protocols in place (being implemented just two weeks after quarantine began), they have not had any cases of COVID-19. Now that children have gone back to school virtually, Boys & Girls Club has been able to provide 3 to 4 hours a day of structured academic time. However, the number of children who attend the program has decreased significantly due to the strict criteria that the organization must adhere to in order to provide a safe environment.
After going from serving 1,000 kids a day to just 100, CEO Helen Higgins continues to ask herself, “Where are these 900 other kids that aren’t here?”
Higgins and her staff are working diligently to reach out to families without the ability to pay for childcare to ensure the community is being supported through outreach such as emails and phone calls.
How ACTIVENet Helps
It is with ACTIVENet that Higgins and her staff are able to keep track of registrations, as well as the personal information of families in order to reach out to see how Boys & Girls Club of Corvallis can help them in their time of need.
“ACTIVENet is the heart of our management tool,” Higgins says. “It helps us manage our business because it is so unique.”
Boys & Girls Club of Corvallis has been utilizing ACTIVENet for a decade and loves how the software is able to help support the organization’s cause and mission as it “helps with specific family issues.”
“It is the only kid management tool that also allows us to do payment plans, as many families are unable to pay for everything up front,” Higgin’s says.
As childcare resources continue to decline due to lack of funding and distance learning is likely to remain prevalent, for the rest of the 2020-2021 school year Boys & Girls Club of Corvallis will continue to adapt and support their community in any way they can. The organization’s primary goal is to ensure the health of the kids in the community, as well as provide a safe space where children can learn and grow. However, it is greatly affecting organizations like Boys & Girls Club of Corvallis. Communities from farther outside the city are coming to the organization as they have been only one of two places (the other being Boys & Girls Club Lebanon and Sweet Home, OR) that have been open since April 1st for childcare for families in need.
“We are taking care of the kids of the community members that are taking care of us,” Higgins says.