At Boys & Girls Clubs of King County, our mission transcends the four walls of our facilities. We look for ways to support every young person with any barriers standing in their way from reaching their full potential. That commitment includes delving into the dynamic mental health needs of Club youth and staff in the aftermath of the pandemic. To shape sustainable structure across all 30 of our sites, our Mental Wellness Committee, a distinguished and diverse assembly of local experts from the community, consult and provide a reservoir of profound expertise. With the help of our community partners, we created an inclusive framework catering to all youth, from teens to the littlest members. This innovative initiative, grounded in evidence-based interventions, empowers Club youth development professionals to support kiddos in the Club, aligning with our unwavering belief: everyone deserves a healthy mental wellbeing.
Reflecting on our recent Great Futures Auction & Gala held on September 23, it’s evident that our focus on mental wellness resonated deeply. Not only was it a night of purposeful fundraising, but also it showed collective passion and commitment. Our post-auction Mental Wellness Committee meeting bubbled with thoughts and reactions that encapsulated the essence of the night.
Caroline Renkin aptly voiced, “I track social validity measures in my work. The auction and video did such a great job in showing those measures.” There was genuine excitement about how raw and heartfelt the youth discussions on mental wellness were, echoing sentiments that many adults could resonate with.
Marti Liddell couldn’t hide her enthusiasm, sharing, “I was really proud to tell my guests that I’m on the Mental Wellness Committee,” while Julie Prentice added, “Everyone loved the opportunity to connect!”
Stacy Hoover, who got the Mental Wellness Program started when she was an employee at the Club highlighted the singular focus of the evening: “It’s the first time that everything raised at this event went to one cause. That really showcases the Club’s commitment to mental wellbeing.”
The vibrant atmosphere was palpable. As Brooks Einstein noted, this was “the auction with the best energy of any one that I’ve been to.” It wasn’t just about raising funds, but fostering connections, understanding, and motivation to uplift our community further.
At the heart of it all, the evening was a testament to the strength of our collective community spirit, a celebration of shared goals, and a beacon of hope for brighter futures.