A Safe Haven

I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Boys & Girls Clubs of America. I received a promotional item as a thank you for participating.

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Before we know it, our little ones will be headed off to school.  Whether it is for the first time or for the tenth time, there is sure to be a lot of emotion associated with the big day.  New teachers, new routines, new friends – and for the older kids, new experiences with homework and extracurricular activities.  So much to talk about when they get home that first day over a big glass of milk and some freshly baked cookies.  (Note to self:  Try to find time to bake cookies for boys on first day of school.)  

As a parent of two-year-olds, I’m already thinking about ways to keep them excited about school and homework, and I’m looking ahead for ways to keep them involved.  Involved in soccer, in swimming, in marching band, in chess club, in drama, in fencing, in church, and in anything that makes their eyes light up and keeps them busy.

We have a family friend who, when asked about his children, always replies, “They’re great.  We’re keeping them busy enough to stay out of trouble.”  And while he always says it with a laugh, I can’t help but think there is real wisdom behind his words.

They’re keeping busy enough to stay out of trouble.

I live outside of Chicago.  And I have a hard time watching the news.  The streets of Chicago are riddled with violence.  Drugs, gangs, and bullets are a real danger to our children, and far too often the lure of the streets is ultimately a death sentence.

If only there were a safe haven for all our kids, a place to go instead of the streets, something to keep them busy enough to stay out of troublean open door to a better future, and a tall glass of milk waiting on the table.

Well, take a look.  Because there is…

(Can’t you see the light in their eyes?)

The Boys & Girls Clubs of America has been just that safe haven for kids for over 150 years.  Serving as an alternative to the streets, the nearly 4,000 clubs offer kids a place to laugh and learn and an opportunity for a greater future.


And for the rest of this month, JCPenney is supporting the work of the Boys & Girls Clubs of America through their JCP Cares program.


Since my own two are about to head off to preschool for the first time, we thought we’d drum up some excitement and go out in search of the perfect pair of playground kicks.


…and I think we just might have found them.


So, if you, too, are doing a little back-to-school shopping this weekend, will you join us in rounding up your bill to support the awesome mission of the Boys & Girls Clubs of America?  Sure, a few pennies may not seem like a lot, but at last check, the campaign is approaching $1 million dollars raised.


Because, “Your change makes real change.”


This back to school season, let’s consider how we might open some new doors for all our children.


Stay tuned for more Back-to-School ideas and also for more ways you can help another child put their best foot forward with Boys & Girls Clubs of America.



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