The Boys & Girls Club of Burbank and Greater East Valley started out with a few dozen kids at one Burbank site. Today, BGC serves over 1,500 young people (six to 18) from two clubhouses and 15 satellite locations throughout Burbank, Glendale, North Hollywood, Sun Valley, La Crescenta, Sunland, La Canada, and Tujunga.
Like many of the children it helps, BGC is having growing pains and is going through its own version of “the awkward age.” The staff is having a hard time with coordination: No server networks the many branch facilities, and the phone system is too small and out-of-date. BGC needs a nervous system that’s equal to its strecthing muscles.
And the kids need an up-to-date Tech Lab. Many of them come from struggling, single-parent families. Other than in school, that lab is the only opportunity they have to gain computer literacy.
Trouble is, the BGC doesn’t have enough funds for system upgrades. Most all their money goes to helping the kids directly.
Several local Rotary clubs—Burbank Noon, Burbank Sunrise and Glendale—are stepping in to fill the funding gap. They are pooling their individual contributions with additional funds from the local Rotary District, creating a single grant to fund the initial purchase of equipment and software. Once the upgraded systems are in place, BGC will be able to manage the ongoing maintenance and future upgrades, thanks to the help coming from additional angels:
- Charter Communication will provide the Internet access for BGC at a greatly reduced rate.
- Burbank Unified School District, Los Angeles County and others will coordinate Internet access at the BGC sites on their properties.
- Community Foundation of the Verdugos will help with the start up funding and will also provide funds to sustain the program.
- Microsoft will provide the most current software as a donation or at a deeply discounted rate.
- Burbank-based TVG Consulting will donate the labor for installing the system and doing the long-term maintenance.
Any funds not needed for start up will be put aside to help cover future costs of sustaining the technology.
Burbank Noon Rotarian Garet Chipman is taking the lead in the overall design and implementation of the new system. He had secured the long-term commitments from vendors to make donations or provide discounts. Once the grant funding is secure, Rotarian Chipman will develop a project schedule that coordinates the efforts of Rotary volunteers.