Community Partner Spotlight: Boys & Girls Clubs of MetroWest

Agency: Boys & Girls Clubs of MetroWest (BGCMW)
Name: Chris Duane
Location: Marlborough, Hudson, Framingham 
What is your role in your agency? President & CEO
Tell us about your agency. What programs do you offer to help people in our community and why is this important?
BGCMW serves the communities surrounding Marlborough, Framingham, and Hudson. We provide youth development, education, prevention, social, athletic, and recreation programs to over 3,200 at-risk youth in MetroWest.  The intent of BGCMW’s mission is to enhance the development of youth and to prepare them to be responsible and productive members of their community. Our philosophy is that every child, no matter where they come from, no matter what their background, no matter what their circumstances, every child deserves an opportunity to succeed.  That is the importance of Boys & Girls Clubs.  We remove the financial barrier and provide an equal playing field for ALL youth to succeed.
How long have you been partnering with the United Way? 
We have partnered with United Way for over 25 years.  Not only has United Way financially supported BGCMW, but they have been a partner and consultant to the Clubs.  United Way facilitated the initial merger between Girls Inc and Marlborough Boys & Girls Club back in 1996.  This was a two-year process that required outside consult to achieve success.  United Way was that outside consult.  United Way facilitated the merger and consolidation of Hudson Youth Center, Hudson Boys & Girls Club, and Marlborough Boys & Girls Club in 2000.  Again, a long process that was facilitated through United Way.  United Way also played a key role in our opening a program in Framingham and has continuously advocated for the need for Boys & Girls Club services in Framingham.
What are the advantages of partnering with the United Way?
The most important advantage is the alignment of philosophies between United Way and Boys & Girls Club.  Both organizations are focused on ensuring those families that need us the most are given the tools, the “things”, and the opportunities to make it through and succeed. Secondly, as previously mentioned, we have utilized UW’s expertise and consultation when we have gone through mergers, opened new programs, closed programs, and simply needed non-biased opinions.
Do you have any other comments you would like to add?
United Way has always been a strong advocate for Boys & Girls Clubs programs and mission and vice versa.  When two organizations believe in each other’s mission so strongly, it makes it easy to partner on projects, events, or simply ideas.