Boys & Girls Club Blog

A Club Story: Tara

Dear Friends of Boys & Girls Club of Oshkosh,

Occasionally I write to you, our friends of the Club, to share stories of Club members who have overcome challenges and are headed toward a great future.

We hope you share these stories with your circle of friends. It’s a great way to help us spread positive news of our mission.

In the spirit of Christmas and sharing peace and love, here’s one for the season…

Tara recently sat in one of the armchairs in my office, a freshman at one of our high schools.

“I started coming to the Club before I was old enough because my mom needed to work and she needed a safe place for me she could afford.”

She continued, “My dad wasn’t around very much and eventually he went away to jail for doing some bad things. He’s out now, I see him once a year. We have had to move around a lot. I always have to leave most of my things behind in a hurry. I’ve been to seven different schools growing up.”

“I’ve done everything a kid could do at the Club… volleyball, Keystone Teen Leadership Club, art, summer camp, field trips, computer lab. I worked at EAA during the air show, I even went to Washington D.C. and my Boys & Girls Club helped me to get a job.”

She went on to share that, “I love the staff here. I can talk with any of them, especially Liz in the teen center. Everything feels safe here. The Club found a mentor for me. I get help with my homework and can eat dinner here, so when my brother and I go home, my mom doesn’t have to worry about us, since she’s so tired after work.”

Tara helps look after her younger brother who is also a Club member. They both come to the Boys & Girls Club every day. Tara also maintains a part time job which allows her to buy her own clothing and hygiene products and also allows her to help her mom out when needed. At school, Tara is achieving all A’s & B’s. She dreams of being in the medical field someday.

Because of your support, we are able to give this young lady and her brother even more help this season. Some of our board members dropped off a complete Thanksgiving dinner at her home the day before Thanksgiving. Tara’s family is also a part of our Adopt a Family program this Christmas. We will also be making sure she and her brother both get the hygiene items they need and one of our staff will take Tara clothes shopping so she has what she needs for school and winter. Tara will also have an opportunity to go to our national Keystone Teen Leadership Conference next summer.

As our conversation wound down, I pointed to some picture frames of Club kids behind my desk, former Youths of the Year, who won scholarships from our Charles F. Hyde Youth of the Year program and who received assistance through the Keller Education assistance fund. I told her that in a few years I would like to see her picture up there with the others. She told me she would like that as well. Tara’s a great kid and I hope that her desires and more become a reality for her one day.

A lot of kids walk through the Club’s doors from all kinds of backgrounds. If they can’t afford the $25 annual membership, we’ll cover it. They just know they can come in, that it’s clean, warm, safe and fun. It’s where they find hope, opportunity and get their needs met, so they can have that chance to succeed.

Simply, we couldn’t do it without all of you, our community. This Christmas season, however you celebrate in your own manner, remember kids like Tara are on the path to great futures… because of you.

Thank you for the many ways you share your blessings with youth and families at the Boys & Girls Club of Oshkosh.

May God bless you and those you love,

Marc Dosogne


Boys & Girls Club of Oshkosh