Surrounded by new office furniture that had recently been delivered, Shanna Warren, the chief executive officer of the Boys and Girls Club of Burbank and Greater East Valley, recently sat in the room that will become her new office.
Since she began working at the club in 2001, Warren, her fellow employees and club members have made do with the converted firehouse on North Buena Vista Street that has served as their home since the club’s formation in 1995.
While always grateful to the city of Burbank for making the building available, both staff and club members had to power through the challenges – including a lack of space and bathrooms – in a facility where storage spaces and closets were literally transformed into offices. Continue reading “Boys and Girls Club Settles Into New Home”
I don’t believe it’s a journalistic guideline, policy or rule, but, I think, if you write a column that appears in a Dec. 26 publication you are pretty much obligated to start it with the line “ ’Tis the day after Christmas,” so here goes… ’Tis the day after Christmas, and members of the Boys & Girls Club of Burbank and the Greater East Valley are enjoying the toys, games, dolls, activity sets, sports equipment and books they received, thanks to the employees and clients of Comprehensive Financial Services. The Burbank-based company, a diversified financial consulting firm that specializes in retirement, investment, estate and tax planning services, traditionally hosts an annual holiday party for its staff and clients. Those who attend are asked to bring an unwrapped toy for members of the local Boys & Girls Club. This year, due to the pandemic, that didn’t happen.
The Boys & Girls Club of Burbank and Greater East Valley announced Wednesday that plans are moving forward to purchase the former Salvation Army facility in downtown Burbank. The search to find a new main clubhouse has taken more than a decade, according to representatives from the local chapter of the national nonprofit. “When I walked into the building, it was as if we were home,” Shanna Warren, the club’s CEO, said in a news release. The club has had its current home in former a firehouse on Buena Vista Street since 1995. Though adequate 25 years ago, when the club served only 75 members, now more than 200 members and 70 employees walk through the main clubhouse doors.
As schools closed mid-March to transition to online learning in accordance with the statewide measures aimed to slow the spread of COVID-19, local resident Bonnie Botero eyed with alarm as her friends and neighbors began preparing home offices to work remote while their children learned close by.
Day care facilities had closed in cascading unison, including that of her 6-year-old son’s after-school care facility. Botero, who is considered an essential worker, was left scrambling as to how to care for her active boy while she worked shifts of up to 12 hours per day. Her husband, while working from home, had to be plugged into his computer for hours on end in order to keep his employment.
The couple took all the vacation and personal leave they could to try to cover the gaps, but it wasn’t close to enough, and the parents felt they were failing miserably: “He would wake up crying, he was having panic attacks … we were trying to supplement activities during the day but it just wasn’t enough. He was just on his own.” Continue reading “Boys & Girls Club Cares for ‘Essential’ Children Amid Crisis”