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In many cases, the end of the year gives you time to step back and take stock of the last 12 months. This is when many of us take a hard look at what worked and what did not, complete performance reviews, and formulate plans for the coming year. For me, it is all of those things plus a time when I u...
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Boys & Girls Clubs Of America And Lucille O'neal Urge Parents To Inspire Their Kids To Give Back During Holidays

Give the Gift of a Great Future Campaign to feature interactive online games, tips and
real-world "kids giving back" stories

ATLANTA, Nov. 27, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- 'Tis the season for giving and giving back. As millions of parents are searching for the perfect gifts to make the season bright, many are also looking for ways to emphasize the true meaning of the holidays through charity and service. In this spirit, Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) is teaming with superstar mom and Club alumna Lucille O'Neal to help more parents celebrate and instill the value of giving back this holiday season.

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20050921/CLW030LOGO)

As part of its 2nd Annual Give the Gift of a Great Future holiday campaign, BGCA will debut a website – www.GreatFutures.org/Give – where parents can review practical tips for inspiring their kids to give back and read stories about how Club youth have made a difference in their communities. The site also features The Giving Game – a free, interactive game visitors can play to win prizes for Boys & Girls Club youth – and partner promotions that will generate funds to help more youth have great futures.

Celebrated author and mother of basketball great and Club alum Shaquille O'Neal, Lucille O'Neal is joining the effort by contributing insights from her own experience raising four notably charitable children.

"Most parents want to give their children everything, especially during the holidays. I've found that the holiday season is also the perfect time to create strong family bonds through traditions and conversations that involve giving back," said O'Neal. "I was proud that all my children openly embraced serving, which they learned at home and at their local Boys & Girls Club. But, we didn't just send them out to serve; we made it a family affair!"

"Research shows time and time again that giving and volunteering help develop good character in children. We are excited about dedicating our holiday season to celebrating the many ways Boys & Girls Club youth have given back throughout the year, and to empowering more parents to champion the value of giving back in their own families," said Jim Clark, president and CEO, Boys & Girls Clubs of America.

A national leader in youth development, BGCA has inspired youth in some 4,000 Boys & Girls Clubs all over the world to invest more than 1.2 million community service hours in 2012. These young people, many of whom have great needs themselves, have generated more than $14 million in economic impact through service to local communities.

Holidays: A Time to Give the Gift of Giving
BGCA's Give the Gift of a Great Future website features a Top 10 list of ways parents can instill the value of giving back, including such tips as:

  1. Talk about giving. Tell your kids which causes you're supporting this year and why. Better yet, make the choice together. Or give each child a portion of what you plan to donate this year and allow him or her to choose the charity.
  2. Volunteer together. Whether serving a meal at a soup kitchen or lending a hand at an animal shelter, volunteering helps kids learn compassion – and it's a great way for families to spend time together.
  3. Do something fun, like cooking or an art project. Even very young children can make cards for senior center residents or help you bake a tasty treat for a neighbor. These are perfect ways to have fun while thinking about others.
  4. Tell family stories about philanthropy. Talk about times when your family has helped someone in need, or times when your family has received help.
  5. Be enthusiastic! Boys & Girls Club kids who are active in community service say they're inspired by the adults in their lives who give back, too.

During the holidays, the public will have opportunities to support BGCA through online and in-store promotions. BGCA would like to thank Lexus, UGG Australia, Sony Electronics, Acorn, Cox Communications, Dove, SurveyMonkey and Bing for supporting the Give the Gift of a Great Future campaign.

Visit www.GreatFutures.org/give to learn more, obtain tips and participate in these games and promotions.

About Boys & Girls Clubs of America
For more than 100 years, Boys & Girls Clubs of America (GreatFutures.org) has enabled young people most in need to achieve great futures as productive, caring, responsible citizens. Today, nearly 4,000 Clubs serve some 4 million young people through Club membership and community outreach. Clubs are located in cities, towns, public housing and on Native American lands throughout the country, and serve military families in BGCA-affiliated Youth Centers on U.S. military installations worldwide. They provide a safe place, caring adult mentors, fun and friendship, and high-impact youth development programs on a daily basis during critical non-school hours. Club programs promote academic success, good character and citizenship, and healthy lifestyles. In a Harris Survey of alumni, 57 percent said the Club saved their lives. National headquarters are located in Atlanta. Learn more at http://bgca.org/facebook and http://bgca.org/twitter.

SOURCE Boys & Girls Clubs of America

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