Teens from Boys & Girls Clubs of Elkhart County spending spring break helping hurricane struck areas

Members of Goshen Boys & Girls Club spending spring break helping hurricane struck areas

By: Lauren Zuegner, Associate Editor

www.the-papers.com — the PAPER — Tuesday, March 26, 2019



Ten members of the Goshen Boys and Girls Club are heading to Florida for spring break, but they won’t be spending all their time on the beach. They will be going on a service trip to assist hurricane struck communities and connect with other club members.

Club members, six high school students and four middle school students, and staff chaperones will be leaving March 28 and returning April 6.


Natalie Yoder, Education Director, Bouys & Girls Clubs of Elkhart County - Goshen Clubhouse

Natalie Yoder, director of education at the club, explained club members were selected because they were active Keystone members, a teen service and leadership club. “Our Keystone members are pretty active,” Yoder said. Others were selected because they were active junior staff and had completed 100 hours of volunteer work at the club. Others were selected so they could have the experience of being outside of Goshen, possibly for the first time.Last year, club members went to Boston for a historical trip and college visit. “This year we really wanted to push that service aspect,” Yoder said.

The group will help in Mexico Beach, Fla., on a community project. After the hurricane last year only 300 homes out of 3,000 remained habitable. Club members will leave Thursday, March 28, spend the night in Nashville, Tenn., and arrive Friday afternoon. They will spend the day helping in Mexico Beach Saturday, have a beach or fun day Sunday, then spend Monday and Tuesday helping at the Bay County Boys & Girls Club where two out of three Boys & Girls Clubs were destroyed in the storm.


Mexico Beach, FL still in shambles, 3 months after Hurricane Michael. (Photo credit WSFA 12 News)

Wednesday, April 3, club members will visit the Naval Support Activity, a naval base for a tour of the base and the dive school. Yoder explained all divers, regardless of branch of military, train at this dive school. This is the first time a Boys & Girls spring break trip

has visited a military base.

There is a Boys & Girls Club on the naval base and Goshen club kids will meet with teen members there. Thursday will be a fun day with options to go fishing or visiting shell island. Friday, the group will start for home, stopping in Birmingham, Ala., to visit the Civil Rights Institute. The group will arrive home Saturday.

The Boys & Girls Club of Elkhart County Resource Development Department hosts

monthly marketplace events where a donor or group of donors do peer to peer fundraising for

activities at the club. Matt Fischer, Chief Advancement Officer for the Boys & Girls Club, explained marketplace allows donors to plan and develop something they are passionate about.The marketplace website always features three different activities taking place in the clubs.

Funds raised through marketplace will be used to fund the trip to Florida. Yoder said those

going will only need spending money for souvenirs. In addition to helping, club members will also be taking donations of basketballs and other things the clubs in Mexico Beach and Bay County requested such as cleaning supplies.


“With each of these experiences, we try to incorporate certain pillars: fun, education, career- transferable skills, and service,” Yoder explained.

To assist in funding the trip or another club activity, visit bgcmarketplace.com or

to make a restricted donation just for the trip, call Fischer at (574) 533-5933.


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