Salv. Army Boys & Girls Club after school program closing

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DENISON, TEXAS -- Kardale Smith says he loves his after-school program.

"We go outside to the football field, do kickball," Smith said.

But he and 74 other kids won't be able to do that this year. The Salvation Army Denison Boys and Girls Club is cancelling its after-school program.

"We're just at a point now where we just cannot continue to run programs that we cannot afford to run," Grayson County Salvation Army Corps Officer Mayor Don Wildish said.

Over the past ten years, the after-school program has fallen behind by about $700,000 to $800,000 dollars.

"That boys and girls club would run the salvation army anywhere from 60 to 80 thousand dollars in debt each year," Wildish said.

The program costs $50 dollars per kid each week, but Major says, in order to make ends meet, they would actually have to charge $200 dollars per kid each week.

He says many of the families can't afford that.

"We just simply were not getting the type of income that we needed to sustain the type of work at the Boys and Girls Club," Wildish said.

Caron Yarborough says her daughter has gone to their after-school program for years.

"She is very well taken care of there. Now I'm going to have to go and find other places, people I trust, to take care of my 8 year-old," Yarborough said.

Another parent lost his wife to breast cancer a few years ago.

He says this after-school program helped he and his daughter get back on their feet.

He's upset that he found out today, just days before the first day of school, that the program is closing.

"Yeah, it's been a blessing. And now to find out that I'm having to go find somebody or find another way to do that within my budget or within my means is going to be really hard to do," Donald Droegemeier said.

There is another separate Boys and Girls Club after-school program in Dension and that program will remain open.

Wildish says they are looking into joining with another local after-school program to help ease some of their after-school kids into new care.

He also says that he hopes this is a temporary closure: just for a year.

To donate to the Grayson Co. Salvation Army Boys and Girls Club, call 903-868-9602 or mail a check to P.O. Box 490 Sherman, TX 75091.

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