After a soft opening this week, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Coachella Valley are set to reopen on Monday. Local clubs include La Quinta, Indio, Coachella and Mecca.
After going through so much in the past few months, Director of Operations Tony Williams said he can tell the kids are happy to be back.
“The way that they’re acting, their enthusiasm says a whole lot. You can tell that they almost, like, got a, ‘get out of jail free card,’” he said.
While the clubs will be opening their doors, things will look a little different due to coronavirus social distancing guidelines. President and CEO Quinton Egson said capacity will be reduced by about 75 percent. Unfortunately, the clubs will not be able to accommodate a number of families. The clubs have been reaching out to families, prioritizing seniority and children of essential workers.
“There’s an adage that says when people do whatever they do, if they could just touch one life then it’s been worth it. For the Boys and Girls Clubs of Coachella Valley, we touch thousands of lives every year, inside of our clubs and outside of our clubs, but to be able to just serve our kids in any capacity that gives them some normalcy again, some caring again, some place that’s not so cooped up and everything so, just, rigid, it speaks volumes,” said Williams.
There are some new safety procedures in place, like temperatures taken at the door and documented each day, with a series of questions. All who enter will also be prompted to wash or sanitize their hands before entering the club, and the facility will be cleaned every 30 minutes.
“I’m just hopeful and optimistic that we maximize the space and have the number of kids that we can max out at, and that they have a great experience even though it is different because ultimately, at the end of the day, we still want the kids to be able to be kids and have fun,” said Williams.
Egson said the clubs have had to make some changes to the usual summer programming. Typically, the Boys & Girls Club sends many kids off to summer camps. This year, that is not possible because of the pandemic.
Because of the pandemic, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Coachella Valley were not able to hold their largest fundraising event of the year. They are in need of support. To donate, visit the organization's website.