By J. NOEL ESPINOZA
Special to the NEWS
During a regular city commission meeting Tuesday, representatives and supporters of non-profit organizations in San Benito pleaded for help to fund their activities.
Liz Chavez, Boys’ & Girls’ Club of San Benito Board Chair, said she decided to speak after receiving calls from the community about the city possibly not funding the Boys’ & Girls’ Club under the city’s Community Development Block Grant for the 2019-2020 year.
“We work really hard to establish a cohesive partnership with the city,” Chavez said.
Chavez said she wanted to remind city representatives the things the youth organization does and who they are.
“The Boys’ & Girls’ Club isn’t only a recreational site for youth, contrary to what many of you believe,” she said.
In addition to running leagues, summer programs, and after school programs, Chavez said the club also runs quality programming for children in dire need.
Some of these programs include Smart Moves, a youth prevention and education program that addresses problems such as drug and alcohol use.
“It teaches youth to resist the dangers of substance abuse and make healthy choices,” Chavez said.
In partnership with the family crisis center, she said the youth organization also helps teach girls about human trafficking prevention. With a proximity to the border, she said girls are in danger of such criminal activities.
“The benefit of having a club in your area and the support of the city…is vital to youth,” Chavez said. “This is the only city that doesn’t have consistency in supporting their non-profits.”
Chavez said the organization has grown substantially and is not able to help some kids because of a lack of funds.
Court Appointed Special Advocates, or CASA, is a non-profit that supports and promotes court-appointed advocates for abused or neglected children. Dora Martinez, the executive director of CASA, said the organization recruits community volunteers to help in the best interests of abused children.
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