Monday, November 22, 2010

GRLZ 4 Change Help Hawaii's Homeless Keiki

The girls worked hard all day Friday raising money for homeless keiki! To check out more photos from the GRLZ 4 Change program, click here!

Aliamanu Program Assistants Bri and Dani have been working hard to help young girls at the BGCH to feel empowered and like they can make a difference in their community. The first major service project for our GRLZ 4 Change program was in conjunction with Project Hawaii, Inc. Project Hawaii works to provide homeless keiki on the Waianae Coast with food and other supplies. Our girls focused on asking for donations of hygiene products around the community. Club members and Aliamanu Middle School students helped donate through the week, but the girls knew that we could raise more by reaching out to others outside the club. The girls stationed themselves near Longs in the Salt Lake Shopping Center, explaining their mission to passing customers and asking for donations.

Courtney N. wrote about her experience at Longs: "Today we had an awesome time at GRLZ 4 Change. We are doing a hygiene drive and we went down by Longs and tried to raise money and hygiene products. We are raising this stuff for the homeless keiki along the Waianae Coast. I was happy I was helping the cause. I am also doing it tomorrow and I hope more people decide to donate. A lot of people donated, BUT, there were some people that just laughed and walked away. I can't wait till they do it again and we get to help."

The girls collected lots of supplies and raised $27 outside of Longs and used that money to buy more products from Longs to donate. In the end of it all, they had over 160 bottles of shampoo, bars of soap, and all sorts of other hygiene products to donate to Project Hawaii!

So, on Friday, the girls headed out to the Kapolei Shopping Center. There they presented Project Hawaii with the goods they had gathered, and then they helped to raise more money for the cause! A few of the girls that participated in the field trip wrote about their time in Kapolei:

"The purpose for the field trip was for people to donate to the homeless people. So what we did was wear the posters that said 'Donate to the homeless!' And we had a net for the people in the car to put the money in. We raised a lot of money so the homeless can EAT!" ~Sharlene T.

"Last Friday some Boys & Girls Club members and I went to Kapolei to collect money donations for the homeless keiki. A funny thing that happened was when some guy wanted to donate money to me but I couldn't grab it from his hand because it was a green light and he had to go, plus he was moving and so when the other girls tried getting it he threw it out of his car before he was about to turn left. Anyways, I had a lot of fun and it was a time I wouldn't want to miss." ~Carla T.

"On the field trip we collected money for charity. It was fun just watching everyone yell 'Donate!' Haha! I also liked the snacks they provided. Also, collecting all that money helped 1,000 kids. :) It was the bestest field trip I had this month--it was fun, funny and cool!" ~Esther S.

"The field trip was really fun. I loved the whole thing because I love yelling and I did a lot of that there to get the people in the cars attention. And I love the fact that I helped kids who really needed it. :) Plus, the kids must be really happy that we are doing this for them. And that's why I did it." ~Maria M.

Overall, I'm really excited about all of the hard work that Bri & Dani have put into this program, and I'm even more impressed with how much effort our awesome girls put into helping other youth in need on the island! Just think of how much each one of these young ladies can accomplish in just a few years when they are adults--the possibilities are inspiring!

~Natalie, Program Director

Monday, November 15, 2010

Babies are Expensive!

As part of the SMART Moves curriculum, Rob & Natalie took the LITs to Target (one of our favorite places to visit!) to send them on a quest to price out baby supplies. Our goal was to help the youth understand just how expensive it is to care for a baby--and hopefully this knowledge will help them in remaining abstinent until they are ready to support a family. First, youth priced out items such as diapers, clothing, strollers, car seats and more. Of course we didn't just send the youth out to look for supplies and wait for them...instead, we spied on them to see who of the pairs was really working and who wasn't taking the task as seriously. Then, the youth who didn't put as much effort into the first exercise received an emergency list: "Your Baby is Sick!" They had to go back to through the store with a 10 minute time limit to find other random items that a sick baby might need, pronto!

Read on to enjoy their comments about shopping for babies:

"This trip to Target was fun because we got to go walk around Target learning about how much you spend on babies. During our walk we had a list of things and we had to find out how much they cost. With all the items added up, the price was a total of $980--and that wasn't even everything! So we learned that babies cost a lot to have and to take care of." ~Shantae D.

"I've learned that when your baby is born your wife will tell you to buy all these certain things for the babies but sometimes it's so expensive! But it's gonna take a lot of work and it's gonna be very hard to take care of a baby." ~Justice M.

"What I learned is that you have to buy a lot of items for your baby and you also need a lot of money in order to pay for that. I also learned that some people might not want to help you if you have a baby as a teenager." ~Huni P.

"I learned that people use a lot of money for babies even though the price tags don't seem to be that much. I also learned that some stuff isn't in the same place. You will be busy when you have a baby!" ~Alvin M.

"It's hard to search for medicine and other things. Also this teaches me that babies require a lot of money and attention. Also, this will effect my life with my friends and girlfriend." ~Kevin C.

"Something that surprised me was how tiring the task was with the time limit. It was hard going back and forth through the store." ~Bradley S.

"I've learned that getting all the things you need for a baby is expensive and you need to have it all the time. It was a lot of work!" ~Gabby C.

Friday, November 5, 2010

BE GREAT is Makin' Waves at Aliamanu

I must admit, I'm in love with the Boys & Girls Club of America's new BE GREAT campaign! I think it's such a great way for youth to think about and articulate their unique personality characteristics and strengths. I've been trying to find ways to incorporate the new BE GREAT campaign into our clubhouse, but it's a little tough when we can't do much to decorate or change the atmosphere because we use space within the middle school. Realistically though, all that really means is that we have to be inspired to think a little bit outside of the box and come up with some creative ways to help our youth make the club feel like their own.

So for the last few years I've had a junky surfboard that barely floats sitting around in my house. I've contemplated just leaving it up on the North Shore for someone to use for part of a fence or to try to fix it up, but never got around to doing it. Thank goodness I didn't! Our clubhouse turned it into an awesome art project that encouraged many of our youth to be engaged and contribute to its design.

So I started it off by creating a blank canvas with two words written across it: BE GREAT. We gave youth a few different paint colors and just asked them to think of other things that they wanted to be! It was really interesting to see how creative the youth really can be with such little guidance--within a few hours they were swirling colors, using the back end of the paint brushes to write with thinner letters and coming up with some really unique phrases. Each child's phrase really spoke to who they were as a person and I think it really helped them value the unique aspects of themselves. I'm so excited to display the surfboard and it's messages for years to come!

~Natalie, Program Director