Local non-profit $800,000 short on mortgage after COVID causes 60% drop in donations
Posted January 28, 2021 4:40 p.m. EST
Updated January 29, 2021 7:56 p.m. EST
Durham, N.C. — A local non-profit with a history of serving children in our community is now in need itself.
Jerome Levisy, the CEO of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Durham and Orange Counties said they are struggling financially, and if the situation doesn’t improve, he will be forced to make tough decisions.
“We may be looking at some severe reductions in program operations,” Levisy said. “I think everything is on the table, when we talk about how we could still offer a boys and girls club program.”
As with many other non-profits and businesses, COVID has presented many challenges.
For one, they've had to close their doors until Feb. 8 after two kids tested positive for the virus.
On top of that, donations have dropped 60 percent– likely due to the COVID economy causing families and businesses who typically donate to have less money themselves.
"We’ve had to cut our staff in half," said Levisy. “We’ve had to cut services, and that’s transportation. Because we pick up from various schools. Now we’re not picking up from all of the schools that we used to pick up from. We’re not able to offer a full, robust program schedule.”
The Boys & Girls Clubs of Durham and Orange Counties has been around 82 years, serving children most in need in what Levisy described as a “comprehensive approach” – offering daytime and after-school academic programming, and even character and leadership development.
Right before the pandemic, the Boys and Girls Club moved into a new building, with plans to buy it. Levisy said, at the time, they were confident they would get enough donations to pay the mortgage. Their capital campaign was “essentially halted,” though, due to the pandemic. Now, they are $800,000 dollars short.
With any reductions, Levisy said he worries about the children.
“When the boys and girls club suffers, the community suffers,” he said.