Boys & Girls Club annual report released

Published: Sep. 20, 2021 at 8:27 PM EDT
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ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - Boys and Girls Club of Albany said during the pandemic, they saw about a 20% decline in face-to-face membership.

They were able to keep member numbers somewhat steady by switching to a virtual platform. The organization released its 2020 annual report data on Monday.

Members couldn’t be in the buildings during the pandemic. However, CEO Marvin Laster said they were still able to get kids involved and focused on their future.

Virtual career and college fairs were some of the ways kids got to explore new opportunities during a pandemic.

Marvin Laster is the CEO of the Boys & Girls Club of Albany.
Marvin Laster is the CEO of the Boys & Girls Club of Albany.(WALB)

Laster said giving kids the opportunity to talk with successful business owners and college students shows them what they are capable of.

Some of the colleges in the virtual fair were Albany State, Albany Tech, University of Georgia, Alabama and Yale.

“It gave them the opportunity to see that many have come and walked the same path they’re currently traveling and it’s not about your background or current situation. It’s about putting forth the effort to ensure your great future is within reach,” said Laster.

During 2020, they gave 30,000 families food baskets and more than 50 tablets with data plans to students to help them in school.

This was possible because of federal and state funds, as well as private donations.

Laster said one of the biggest challenges they faced in 2020 will be one they are facing for years to come. That is the learning loss from the pandemic.

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