Younger boys and girls were used in the factories and many led lives of poverty in out big cities and roamed in gangs for food and money. Over the years, the movement won ever-growing support as a positive and major force for the youth within hundreds of cities and towns. It eventually evolved into a club where young people (girls were included in the 1950's) found positive influences, developed skills and learned good decision making abilities. In 1956,
Boys & Girls Club of America was granted a U.S. Congressional charter, the only youth guidance organizations so recognized in more than 40 years. Today there are over 4,000 Boys and Girls Clubs with membership of more than 4,000,000 boys and girls. These clubs have buildings and other assets valued at over 200 million dollars. Each Boys and Girls Club Corporation is an autonomous organization. It is managed by a local board of public spirited citizens and is supported by United Way or contributions made directly to the
Boys and Girls Club.
Lubbock Boys & Girls Club History
Originally conceived in 1937, the present
Boys & Girls Club began in 1940. World War ll disrupted the community and caused a temporary halt to youth recreational efforts. Twice the organization foundered, hampered by lack of funds. However, the foresight and dogged determination of a few Lubbock businessmen ensured that boys would have a place to spend their leisure time in a wholesome and enjoyable manner. The
United Way of Lubbock
is the primary source of ongoing program operations support for the Boys Club. In addition, strong leadership and support from many civic clubs has been essential to the growth and success of the Club. These groups include the
American Business Club,
Optimist Club and the
Rotary Club. These civic groups nurtured and kept the Boys Club alive with hard work, unflagging determination and enthusiasm. The Downtown American Business Club's annual rodeo, the South Plains Lions Christmas tree sales and the Optimist Club fair booth literally built the Boys Club. Because of the generosity of these clubs and other individuals, the
Lubbock Boys Club capital needs were always met. From a rented basement in the old Elmwood Building, the Club has grown to encompass three buildings (soon to be four) in various parts of Lubbock and a part-time Club within a school. The Optimist Club is located at 3301 Cornell street, the Theodore Phea Club at 1801 E. 24th, the John Wilson Club at 3221 59th and the Shallowater Club. Plans are underway to build a new Club at 26th and Kewanee in Duran Park. Over the years, Club Alumni have provided inspiration and motivation to young members with their many success stories. Some outstanding boxers have come from the Club Boxing program, boys who have grown into men that the whole community can admire. Several young members have gone on to win national recognition for their efforts in athletics, notably, boxing stars, Orlin and Terry Norris and Mack McLin.
The Lubbock Boys Club officially became the
Lubbock Boys & Girls Club in 1993. Even as they expanded its services and locations, the mission has remained constant-- to meet the needs of Lubbock youth by providing a safe, positive place for recreation and learning. From a tentative beginning membership of 65 members in one rented basement, the Club has grown in membership and touched the lives of countless local youth--over 4,000--through its four service locations.
The original vision of providing a place for boys to spend leisure time in a wholesome manner has expanded to include boys and girls who need a positive influence and environment. The Lubbock Boys & Girls Club is helping Lubbock's youth build a better tomorrow for themselves and their families.