History of Boys & Girls Clubs of America

Boys & Girls Clubs of America had its beginnings in 1860 when several women, believing that boys who roamed the streets should have a positive alternative, organized the first Club. A cause was born. The idea spread to other areas of the country and more Clubs were formed. The first Club to use "Boys Club" in its official title was the Boys Club of New York in 1876. At this time, the Clubs served only boys.

In 1906, the existing 50 Clubs joined together to form a national organization known as the Boys Club of America. The Federated Boys Clubs in Boston was formed with 53 member organizations.

In 1956, Boys Clubs of America celebrated its 50th anniversary and President Eisenhower gave the national organization a Congressional Charter - a rare honor bestowed on only a few non-profit organizations in our country's history.

In response to a growing need, the Boys Clubs began to also serve girls. In 1990, the national organization officially changed its name to Boys & Girls Clubs of America, which now serves some 4.8 million boys and girls, with more than 4,000 Club locations in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands - and on domestic and international U.S. military bases. There are similar organizations in Germany, Australia, Canada, and many other countries around the world.

The Boys & Girls Club of Pharr (BGCP) is a nonprofit 501 (c) (3) corporation governed by the Board of Directors, composed of business and community leaders.

Since 1983, Boys & Girls Club of Pharr has been helping youth from Pharr, South Pharr and surrounding communities to stay out of trouble, stay in school and succeed in life.

Gabriel Avendaño was the first Director and Raul Rosales was the first Chairman of the board. Since its inception, Boys & Girls Club of Pharr has grown from a single standing unit to two after school club sites and five in school sites. Programs that are offered at all the sites include: gang-violence prevention programs, art programs, drug prevention programs, homework help programs, recognition programs, athletic programs and other life enrichment programs.

Each year, Boys & Girls Club of Pharr serves more than 4,400 kids, ages 6 to 18 from the city of Pharr and surrounding communities. Most of the kids we serve come to the clubs several times each week and participate in a variety of activities. To many, clubs are truly a "home away from home."