Giving Back: Coats for Kids and must! charities

At must! charities we feel it is very important to give back year-round. That said, we know that so many people really think about it more around the holidays. We wanted to take a moment to mention our amazing Youth Board members and their work with Coats for Kids.

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Thank You to JB Dewar for their September Fuel Fundraiser for must! charities

We cannot thank JB Dewar enough. Their September Fuel Fundraiser brought $8,753.73 to must! charities. Please read the whole story at this link.

Kayla & Carmen: A Big Sisters Tale of Trust

Kayla and her sisters were not allowed to tell anyone where they lived. They were in hiding from an abusive relative. They spent time in shelters and in homes of friends before they were finally able to get an apartment of their own. Kayla’s mom was very careful about who they met, where they went, and who knew where they were. She took them to their new school, picked them up, and did all of her shopping and errands close to home. The girls were kept in a small world of home and school and became timid and uncomfortable in public places. As time went on and Kayla’s mom began to feel safer, she reached out to Big Brothers Big Sisters – which was a big leap of faith. She asked that no photos be taken, and she did not share her address for a long time.

The family is still careful about where they go and who they meet, but if you ask Kayla, she will say, “Spending time with Carmen is my most favorite thing to do. She keeps me safe, and we have so much fun.”

This is an example of one life positively affected by Big Brothers Big Sisters.

*Names and identifying details have been changed to protect the identity of both the child and volunteer

Summer Stats – Boys & Girls Club

10563145_10152663996566226_2567481985810347810_nProven, dedicated, and effective.  must! charities was so thrilled with the success of the Boys & Girls Club of North San Luis Obispo County in our inaugural collaboration project, that we decided to partner with them in an expansion project.  A critical resource for families in need which helps children build confidence to succeed in school, at home, and in life, The Boys & Girls Club provides educational support, dropout prevention, and guidance for at-risk youth.

This year’s Boys and Girls Club Summer Camp expanded to include Atascadero, providing affordable and safe care for 175 school-aged kids in the North County.  This is an increase of 100 kids over last year!

Allen Reese, Chief Executive Officer, says “We believe it is essential that North San Luis Obispo County families have an affordable, high quality program that provides a safe space for their kids while they are at work.  Other than Boys & Girls Club there are no affordable full-time summer programs for families in our county.”

Thank YOU to our donors and supporters for supporting the expansion project this summer!

From the Club

2014must-_BGC Kelsey and Ally

By Meghan Harris, Associate Director of Operations and Programs

Ten year old Ally is one of our extraordinary Boys & Girls Club summer camp members attending at this year’s new Atascadero site.  Last summer Ally went to a martial arts camp, where she received her third belt and although she enjoyed that camp, she did not want to spend another summer learning just about martial arts.

Ally looks forward to waking up every morning and seeing her friends at the Boys & Girls Club Summer Camp.  She loves the staff members and in particular she likes that staff play games with the children.  Coming to the club is exciting to Ally and she loves participating in all the different activities and field trips that are offered over the summer.
Ally has made two great new friends over the summer that she would not have had the opportunity to meet under other circumstances.  She met her new best friend, Cevina.  Ally happily reported that they are best friends because, “Cevina is always there for me.”   Ally also met Natalie, another great friend she would not have had the chance to meet if she had not attended the Boys & Girls Club.


Ally’s favorite things to do at the Club are Rainbow Looming and Brain Gain with staff member Kelsey.  During Brain Gain Ally likes that she “can learn during the summer, like what is in the air, things she didn’t know”.   Unlike school, our Club members in Atascadero get to play with all ages ranging from kindergarten through sixth grade.  Ally thinks it is a lot of fun being with people of all ages – she enjoys getting the opportunity to be someone the younger members can look up to.