WILSON, Okla. -- Helping troubled teens is one of the things the boys and girls club is best known for, but doing it on a tight budget can be extremely tough. They received some good news Friday, and it came in the form of a generous donation from a state senator. Shelby Levins has the story.
Oklahoma State Senator Johnnie Crutchfield handed over thousands of dollars to the Boys and Girls Club of Wilson. The donation purchased new, much-needed technology for the club, but this donation was about more than just money for both the Senator and the local nonprofit.
The Pipes sisters have called the Boys and Girls Club of Wilson home for countless afternoons, but they're not the only ones. State Senator Johnnie Crutchfield grew up just a couple of houses down and attended Wilson Schools.
“We were always scrambling for the World Books, and there were only a couple, and there were only a couple sets in the whole town. Then when I found these young people were kind of scrambling for computers…” Senator Crutchfield says.
So Crutchfield stepped up and wrote $5,000 check to buy ten new computers.
“Our future is these children over here. I guess I’m kind of proof. If you would have said someone from Wilson, Oklahoma, was going to be a State Senator, a lot of people would have laughed.”
Crutchfield says small towns like Wilson have the right people-- they're just often overlooked or lack resources, but he says organization like the Boys and Girls Club provide the support and activities kids need.
“We served 1,500 kids last year. That's quite a few kids in our area. Summer camps, after school, on the weekends - we're open 6 days a week and it really gives the kids something to do so they're on the streets,” Misty Sanders at the Boys and Girl Club of Wilson says.
Sanders used the club herself when she was a teen. Now she's the executive director. Both Sanders and Crutchfield say they're from Wilson and want to give back.
“I’m giving back to the help other kids where I was 50 years ago,” Crutchfield says.
The Pipes sisters say they'd be lost without the Boys and Girls Club, and the new computers are making homework a lot easier.
“I’d only be working on it in one class period in school. Now I can work on it after school until they close. It's a lot easier.”
The Boys and Girls Club has been in Wilson for ten years. Senator Crutchfield says he hopes the computers will help the club have many more successful years.