PRESQUE ISLE – The Aroostook Band of Mic Macs’ Boys and Girls Club received gift cards valued at $25 each, for a total of $125, from Staples as part of this year’s Supplies for School Kids program.
The program is part of a national effort, with Staples’ retail associates and customers working together to support Boys and Girls Clubs’ mission of hope and opportunity. The latest effort raised approximately $330,000 that was distributed to various clubs across the nation.
Myrth Schwartz, unit director for the Presque Isle-based branch of the club, met with Aaron Glidden, assistant manager of Staples, located at the Aroostook Centre Mall, to express thanks on behalf of the youth the gift cards will benefit.
“On average, we have about 50 youth registered in the Presque Isle area. When we’re running full force, we have around 20 more in the Houlton region. Unfortunately, we haven’t had the funds to keep the Houlton division operating,” said Schwartz. “We need more programs like this (Staples’) to help the organization provide programs for the children.”
In an effort to raise much-needed money to continue to offer activities for area youth, Schwartz said the club will be holding various fund-raisers.
“We held a walkathon recently called the Merle Masters Mile Walk. We also planned a silent auction at the administration building and a spaghetti dinner held at the Youth Department,” said Schwartz.
Glidden said the company has been involved in raising funds for the Boys and Girls Clubs for a number of years.
“As a company, Staples has been doing this for about the last 10 years. It wasn’t until recently that we found out there was a branch locally,” said Glidden.
Schwartz said currently the club is tribal in nature but that might change in the future.
“We’d like to expand the program in the future to include all children. Space is part of the issue,” said Schwartz.
Currently, there are approximately five Native American Boys and Girls Clubs under the organization of the Waterville branch.
“There are the Maliseets in Houlton, Penobscots of Waterville, Passamaquoddies have two and the Mic Macs have a club in Presque Isle,” said Schwartz.
One of the programs offered by the Presque Isle club is called Smart Moves and focuses on teaching youth about alcohol, tobacco and drug prevention.
“It’s for youth between the ages of 5 and 17. We’re also doing a career-oriented program and one called Club Tech. And we have a Power Hour where they can come to get help with homework,” said Schwartz.
The gift cards will be used to purchase administrative supplies and items the children will use in the various programs offered.
Schwartz said club hours are 2:30 to 7:30 p.m., Monday through Thursday. For more information, call 769-2114.