In 1962, Rob Orbison, Sam Cooke and Elvis Presley topped radio playlists. The average household income was $5,556.00 and a gallon of gas cost only 28 cents.
Yet the North and South Omaha Clubs would open their doors during trying times. The assassinations of John and Robert Kennedy, Malcom X and Martin Luther King, Jr. rocked the nation. The deepening war in Vietnam, the Cuban Missile Crisis, the growing drug culture and urban poverty made the sixties a dangerous and complex period of American history.
The Gene Eppley Boys Club sought to “beat the streets” by offering boys guidance, a safe place to stay and individual services like food, clothing and medical exams.
Boys could learn to swim, play football or explore their artistic side through a myriad of programs offered at the Clubs.
The world has changed considerably over the past 50 years. Music has changed considerably. The median household income in Omaha sits at $44,358 with gas nearly $4 per gallon. But in all the best ways, the Club remains the same.
Today, we also live in trying times and the same need that brought the Boys Club to Omaha still compels us to serve.
Nearly 25,000 Omaha Metro youth are living below the poverty line (for a family of four, this is effectively a budget of $6,000 per person or less per calendar year).
The effects of poverty on youth are devastating. National studies show this population to be up to 6 times more likely to drop out of school than their peers.
Fortunately, the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Midlands has not only continued to serve the community for 50 years, but adapted to meet the ever changing needs of our community’s youth. Even more, we’ve expanded to provide services to Carter Lake and Council Bluffs, IA.
For only $30 per year, today’s Club members – both male and female – can receive a hot meal after school every day, quality interaction with staff and tutors, access to state-of-the-art technology. Club members can participate in organized athletic programs, art courses, leadership development groups and college access activities.
For over 50 years, the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Midlands have been more than just a refuge from the streets – great futures truly start here. Schedule a tour today and come see for yourself!