The Boys and Girls Club of East Mississippi had a community get together event to give the community an insight on everything the organization does for area youth.
“I think it’s extremely important that people get a chance to see who we are and what we do especially with the money that they give us, and so we had a pretty good turnout. I was pleased with the turnout it took place this year during dinner and so those people that are out there that normally support us at that time year, we still need that financial support.”
Hood adds how grant money received won’t cover several necessities and it is up to the community to chip in and help.
“It’s just a day to day operations, when you’re seeing as many children as we’re seeing at this main center we see 350 kids a day, so that’s a lot of children where you’re talking about transporting children every day, you’re talking about providing school supplies, providing supervision. It becomes a pretty big operation.”
Hood adds how Boys and Girls club planned field trips impact the youth.
“We want to expose our kids to all of the things that are around them because most of our kids get their first trip to the Gulf Coast or to the beach with the Boys and Girls Club; their first high school game to the Boys and Girls Club or their first college football game with the Boys and Girls Club.”
Hood says he fears after retiring that three decades of hard work will go to waste if continued support from the community fails.
“ I’m starting to transition out and I would hate to have put this many years into the program and the support dies because as at some point of time I have to go to the house, so what we’re doing now is we’re trying to build sustainability model to where we can transition for the future for our children, this program is about our children not about me or the staff.”
Hood also says he never regrets coming to the Boys and Girls club since day one.
“The Boys and Girls Club picked me honestly because God had given me a gift to play basketball and once I started the Boys and Girls Club I found my love and it was the club, I still love it as much as today as I loved it over 30 years ago.”