#ThankfulBGCMT Spotlight: The Arby’s Foundation

05 Nov

Boys & Girls Clubs of Middle Tennessee (BGCMT) wants to highlight our partner, The Arby’s Foundation (Arby’s). This year, Arby’s has supported the mission of BGCMT through sponsorship and volunteerism that has truly made a difference in the lives of Middle Tennessee youth.

Earlier this year, the staff at the Cleveland Park Club had a vision to change how the Club’s space was utilized to transform the member experience. With an average daily attendance of more than 150 youth, and a growing teen population, Cleveland Park’s layout felt crowded. To address this challenge, Herb Myers, the Club Director, wanted to serve snack in the gym, instead of the Club’s largest multipurpose room. He rationalized that making this change would create more space for tutoring programs and a designated teen space. In order to make this happen, the Club needed cafeteria-style tables that could be folded up and rolled out of the way when the gym needed to be used for healthy lifestyles programming. This is when Arby’s stepped in; not only did they donate the funding needed for the tables, but they went one step further and purchased a commercial-grade refrigerator. The appliance upgrade expanded the space available to store refrigerated items and allowed the snack rotation to include a wider variety of fruits and vegetables.

Their generosity and commitment to youth didn’t stop there. Arby’s then offered to provide funding so Cleveland Park could redesign its Teen Room and give teens a more college-library type atmosphere, with flexible seating and the most up-to-date technology; a place they would be proud to call their own. That space will be welcoming teens in before the end of the year!

Arby’s also recently sponsored another room redesign at the Andrew Jackson Club and sent more than 25 volunteers there to clean buses, rearrange rooms, reorganize and inventory Club storage, and so much more! Alisha Fowler, the Club Director, had this to say about their impact:

“When Arby’s moved our Club Bucks Store to a more visible place, youth have been more eager than ever to earn more Bucks! In addition, the Club just feels brighter and airier; I felt like they cleaned it like it was one of their very own stores.” (Club Bucks are rewarded to youth to reinforce positive choices.)

When asked why Arby’s decided to partner with BGCMT, Melissa Howard, Senior Director of Operations, explained that her brothers were deeply impacted by the time they spent at their Club. She reflected, “It kept them out of trouble, and I have very fond memories of my time spent at the old Thompson Lane location.” They also got involved because they, “wanted to assist with youth development and make a difference in our community.”

Thank you, again, Arby’s for your commitment to youth in Middle Tennessee! We are so appreciative for all you do, and we cannot wait to continue to partner with you!

View more photos here.