The coronavirus crisis has affected our lives in many ways, especially the ability to interact with others through social events. With schools closed, social media and technology have provided creative ways to allow kids to remain socially engaged. Thursday night, the Boys and Girls Club of Southeastern Michigan stepped up by hosting a virtual takeover party with some of Detroit’s brightest stars including Hill Harper, Jerome Bettis, Big Sean, Lieutenant Governor Garlin Gilchrist and players from Detroit’s professional sports teams.
The virtual party which featured Family Feud, Shazam, and a hot 16-bar rap competition served as a fundraiser. Like many other organizations, COVID-19 has financially impacted the Boys and Girls Club which is facing a $2 million deficit. The online event brought in more than $300,000 in donations. The Zoom party even garnered love from celebrities outside of Detroit including rapper Ludacris who joined in at the party. “Detroit of all the places I’ve been not just in the United States of America but I’m talking about worldwide is one of the most resilient places I have ever been to.”
The Boys and Girls Club of Southeastern Michigan has hosted online parties for Detroit youth since the school year was suspended. For graduating senior and club member Myles Parks, quarantine has been tough to accept, but he has enjoyed the virtual fun.
“As a high school senior, I am going to miss prom, graduation, and most importantly senior skip day…but the virtual club has meant so much to me. It has allowed me to see my club friends daily.”
Board chair, Hiram Jackson, believes securing funding for the Boys and Girls Club is essential and has had a relationship with the organization for years.
“I grew up in the Boys and Girls Club in Highland Park. It was a place for me to get away from chaos. It shaped me and everything I am and everything I hope to be is due to the Boys and Girls Club.”
Jackson continued, “This is God’s work…It’s life-changing work and you can’t see it today but in 10 years and 20 years from now when these people are our community leaders, you will see it.”
If you would like to support the Boys and Girls Club of Southeastern Michigan visit https://www.bgcsm.org/donate