For 1,000 Valley children, the thought of going back to school is now very cool thanks to the generosity of local couple Michael and Ellie Ziegler. Civic and community leaders for more than 40 years, the Zieglers teamed up with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale earlier this year with a singular mission: to give children, regardless of socio-economic factors, the opportunity to start the school year off on a positive note and on an even playing field as their peers. Research has shown that kids starting school without the needed supplies or clothing perform behind their more affluent peers.
“From that mission, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale’s first-ever ‘30 Days of Shopping’ initiative was born,” says Ellie Ziegler.
During the ‘30 Days’ events, which kicked off with a lively shopping spree for 180 Club kids on July 12 at Kohl’s in Desert Ridge and will continue with similarly sized sprees through August, selected youth from the Clubs will each receive a $100 Kohl’s gift card to pick out clothing and other needed items for the new school year. Youth selected for the events are Club members and identified to participate in the events based on greatest need. The events will also include helping members at the Club’s Peach Springs Branch, which are located on the Hualapai Indian Community, who will shop at the Kohl’s Flagstaff location in August.
As well as helping prepare children for the upcoming school year, the events allow community partners and businesses to engage directly with youth from the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale.
“Volunteers from organizations such as Kohl’s, Scottsdale Active 20-30 Club and Valley of the Sun Active 20-30 Club have participated in this important community event for more than 10 years,” says Steve Davidson of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale. “This year, to have one couple step up and ensure so many children get what they need for the new school year is truly inspiring.”
The Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale provides a positive, safe and fun environment to help 17,500 youth of all ages and backgrounds develop the qualities needed to reach their full potential. The Club offers more than 100 youth development programs at the organization’s nine branches and multiple outreach sites located in Scottsdale, Phoenix, Mesa, Fountain Hills and the Salt River Pima-Maricopa and Hualapai Indian Communities. For more information, visit www.bgcs.org.