SGA teams up with Boys & Girls Club

Chelsea Barlow, Staff Writer

At their weekly committee meeting held on Thursday, Sept. 15, the Student Government Association (SGA) and the Boys and Girls Club discussed ways that Francis Marion University students could become more involved with volunteer work.

The Boys and Girls Club is an organization designed to offer children a safe environment filled with activities that promote education and character development. In order for this to work, volunteers play a vital role.

After working in the Pee Dee area for 10 years, Executive Director Neal Zimmerman Jr. said that he has seen the effect volunteers can have on the children who they work with over a long period of time.

“Club staff is the foundation, but volunteers are able to relay the same message in a new way which eventually sticks with the child,” Zimmerman said.

FMU faculty has already been involved in volunteer work dealing with the Boys and Girls Club, but SGA President W.R. “Cody” Simpson III said that it would be a good way to get other students involved and volunteering as well.

“We need to help others due to the effect it has on the children,” Simpson said. “It’s a good thing.”

Many other students who were present at the meeting were quick to side with Simpson.

Logan Trively, a senior  mass communication major, said that he liked the ideas presented.

“I believe it’ll be a great opportunity for students to get involved,” Trively said. “It’ll be a good way to get our name out there.”

There are two ways that FMU students can become involved with the Boys and Girls Club:  volunteering at events and mentoring.

The main event this year will be held on Nov. 5, and the club is still looking for volunteers.

The mentor program is one that lasts an entire semester.  The student mentor signs up and spends time with one child for a few hours a week.

The mentor program appealed to some SGA members at the meeting, including senior Kinsey Byrd, who is majoring in elementary education.

“I feel that this would be a great idea to get FMU involved with,” Byrd said. “I am also very passionate about working with children, and I would love to be a volunteer and help in any way possible.”

Anyone who is interested in volunteering with the Boys and Girls Club for either a mentor program or a one-day event can contact Zimmerman at (843) 662-1142 for more information.