All of us at Authentic––particularly our New York-based staff––feel a strong connection to the Madison Square Boys & Girls Club. We've been supporting Madison, and the Navy Yard Clubhouse (a 15 minute walk from Authentic's Brooklyn office), over the past couple of years and we have been blown away by the the work the club does.
Madison has been supporting young people in New York City’s most under-resourced communities for over 135 years. They've been doing an extraordinary job throughout the current crisis, working with kids online and, since July 6th, their in-person summer programs have been open across their clubhouses.
Due to the current health crisis, food insecurity – affecting one out of every four New Yorkers – is the #1 challenge low-income families in the City are facing. Children 12 and under, in particular, are experiencing food insecurity to an extent unprecedented in modern times.
We at Authentic are committed to ensuring Madison’s young members have food on the table, continue to learn and grow, and stay connected to mentors during this challenging time. Madison’s role in the lives of its members – as a source of community, a resource for guidance and security, and a vehicle for connecting with opportunity – has never been more critical.
The staff shared this with us, which we think really points to the importance of supporting the Clubs right now:
James, age 10, and his older sister, age 14, have been attending the Thomas S. Murphy Clubhouse for the last two years. Like many in the Flatbush community, their family has been hit hard by the pandemic. As a single parent of two, James’ mother found herself unemployed, fearful for her health and the health of her family, and struggling to make ends meet. Their neighborhood in Flatbush remains one of the top 3 areas in NYC considered a food desert, characterized by a severe lack of access to healthy produce stores. With two active and athletic kids – who both enjoy the Murphy Clubhouse gym – it’s critical that James and his sister have access to healthy, nutritious meals throughout the week. Fortunately, James’ mother has found solace in Madison's food pantry program. They attend every Thursday evening at the Clubhouse without fail. In this time period of so much uncertainty, James’ mother knows that food is one thing she can remove from her list of worries. The Club has remained a constant source of support and a godsend for the family."
We are raising $5000 to support Madison’s summer needs, including their weekly food pantry program, masks for kids and additional laptops for Clubhouses. If you are in a position to do so, I hope you'll make a gift to our page today to help reach our goal.