Nonprofit Spotlight: the Boys and Girls Club of Long Beach

share this:

Don Rodriguez, Executive Director of Boys & Girls Clubs of Long Beach and Mickey Mouse. recently spoke with Don Rodriguez, Executive Director of Boys & Girls Clubs of Long Beach, via email. They talked about the inspirations and challenges of running a nonprofit organization in Long Beach.

How long has Boys & Girls Clubs of Long Beach been around? Did it start in Long Beach?

Boys & Girls Clubs of Long Beach is beginning it’s 71st year of service to the community.  It was started as the Boys Club in 1939 by Carlton Wallace, Judge Fred Smith, and Maurice Bugbee on Carlton Wallace’s home in the Bixby Knolls area.

Tell us a little about your nonprofit, your mission, the people you serve or your goals.

Our mission is to provide a safe and nurturing environment where youth from ages 6 to 18 are encouraged to become responsible adults.  We serve 5,800 youth with after school programs in disadvantaged areas of Long Beach.  Eleven Clubs provide programs in Education and Career Preparation, Arts and Culture, Health and Life Skills, Character and Leadership, and Athletics, Fitness, and Social Recreation.

How is Boys & Girls Clubs of Long Beach different from similar nonprofits?

We are the most experienced in working with at-risk youth, our programs are developed in partnership with the national Boys & Girls Clubs of America, and vetted by educators.  Programs are based on community needs and are delivered by trained program leaders in partnership with local universities.

How is Boys & Girls Clubs of Long Beach involved with the community?

Club members are actively involved in community-wide events such as neighborhood cleanups, the Long Beach Marathon, Martin Luther King Day, National Day for Kids – hosting a celebration, food drives, our drum corp has participated in many community events, and we are an active presence at community fairs and events.

What are some of the biggest successes Boys & Girls Clubs of Long Beach has had?

Boys & Girls Clubs of Long Beach hosts a successful annual gala in May and periodically presents a corporate luncheon with prominent national figures as featured speakers.  Condolezza Rice came to a Club last fall and Bill Clinton came two years ago.  Our Youth of the Year last year, Linda Moy, made it to the Regional Finals and was presented to the State Legislature.  She is know a successful student at San Diego State University.  The executive director, Don Rodriguez, is a former Club kid.

What is the most rewarding part of running Boys & Girls Clubs of Long Beach?

Watching young people grow through the program and become successful adults.

What are the challenges you face — as a nonprofit, as an advocacy group, or in your industry?

Financial issues are challenging know with the economy less than stable.  So many organizations have entered the after school field and they may not have the support to manage a quality program.  This also puts pressure on organizations to find qualified staff and volunteers.

What are the future plans for Boys & Girls Clubs of Long Beach?

To deliver the best programming for the widest group of youth at the most efficient cost.

Do you have any special events or fundraisers you\’d like to tell us about?

Our Board of Directors are hosting a golf tournament at the Virginia Country Club on February 8.  To register, contact Joy Lodevico at 562-595-5945.

We have a group of students visiting from China at our Eastman Club (700 East Del Amo Blvd.), who will participate in Club programs next Tuesday from 2:00 – 4:00 p.m.

How can people get involved with Boys & Girls Clubs of Long Beach? What do you need — volunteers, donations, etc?

We are always looking for volunteers to serve as tutors, mentors, and program aides.  Hours available are from 2:00 – 5:30 p.m.

Donations are always appreciated of new or gently used books, sports equipment, art or craft supplies or educational games.  Cash or gift card donations are always welcome also.

What is the most inspiring advice that you received and who did it come from?

Allan Young, retiring executive director at the Santa Monica Boys & Girls Club.  He said to treat your staff well and they will deliver.

Boys & Girls Clubs of Long Beach Details:

Address:  3635 Long Beach Blvd.
Phone Number:  562-595-5945


One Response to “Nonprofit Spotlight: the Boys and Girls Club of Long Beach”
  1. Jeff Harmon/ Bugbee says:

    Maurice Bugbee is my grandfather, do you have any interesting facts about his involvement in the Boys and Girls club.