Lilly Endowment Inc. recently awarded Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Northwest Indiana a grant of $349,000 through its Youth Program Resilience Fund.
Calling the award a “game changer,” Boys & Girls Clubs President and CEO Ryan Smiley said the grant will support the organization as it continues to serve youth during an unprecedented school year. Smiley said the COVID-19 pandemic forced Boys & Girls Clubs to re-evaluate both its programming and business models.
“It has been a tumultuous year, and like organizations everywhere, we’ve had to figure out how to weather the storm in ways that stay true to our mission,” Smiley said. “This grant helps ensure that we have some flexibility to determine the most effective ways we can continue serving youth going forward.”
After closing each of its Clubs on March 13, the organization re-opened this summer with a number of safety precautions in place. Boys & Girls Clubs is currently offering In-Club Virtual Learning Assistance during the school day, and Smiley said the organization is working closely with the schools to be responsive to the needs of its Club members.
The grant to Boys & Girls Clubs is one of 297 that Lilly Endowment awarded through the Youth Program Resilience Fund to help youth-serving organizations across Indiana adapt their work to challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Grants from this fund are part of more than $170 million in grants Lilly Endowment has awarded to help organizations serve individuals and communities amid the pandemic.
“It’s hard to really express how grateful we are to Lilly Endowment for their support,” Smiley said. “Most importantly for us, this grant supports our continued efforts of offering critical services to the Northwest Indiana kids who need us the most.”