COVID-19 Safety

Better Together: A message from our President and CEO


Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Northwest Indiana’s Commitment to our Community, Stakeholders and Donors



April 3, 2020


It is hard to believe how much has changed in two short weeks – social distancing is the “new” normal, friends are meeting through Zoom, downtown areas are empty, and schools are closed early. Yet at the same time, I find so much has remained the same, and I’ve been moved to see the ways our communities are pulling together more than ever to make sure everyone is safe and healthy. I see new and inventive ways businesses are catering to their customers. I witness people across Northwest Indiana painting windows and displaying hearts in an inspiring act of community spirit that reminds us all of the joy life still brings.


My team has been reaching out to you – the very people and businesses that have taken care of us and our Clubs. I am amazed by your stories. I am humbled by your trust in sharing your fears, and, most of all, I appreciate how each of you said you still support our Clubs and our kids, whether you are doing this now or saying you will again in the near future. What you are really saying is how much you care about our youth and communities. Thank you!


While I could give you updates about what our organization is doing right now for our Club members and their families, this week I really just want to focus on YOU and extend our Boys & Girls Clubs hands. As you have been there for our Clubs and kids, we in turn are here for you. Please let me know if there is anything Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Northwest Indiana can do to help you during this trying time.


Thank you for continuing to give – whether it is through your time, treasure or talent – because it ALL makes a positive difference. And thank you for being part of our Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Northwest Indiana family because together we can withstand any challenge thrown our way and come out stronger in the end.


Thank you – and I wish you, your families, co-workers and/or your employees continued health and safety.


Ryan Smiley

President & CEO


March 27, 2020


Dear Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Northwest Indiana Donors, Volunteers and Community Partners –


Listening to Governor Holcomb’s order, his message was clear: Stay home and stay safe. Boys & Girls Clubs is taking this message very seriously. The safety of our staff and the members we serve must continue to be our top priority. This means our Clubs will be closed longer, and our staff will continue to work remotely. Thanks to you, we are fortunate enough to have this option for our staff and are able to continue providing them with their regularly scheduled hours and wages until at least April 17. We appreciate and value their employment and commitment to our Clubs and kids.


As we continue to make critical decisions for our Clubs affecting our members, their families and staff, our course of action is made with certainty because of individuals like you. You have made it clear that you want our communities’ youth to remain safe and our Clubs to remain viable.


I am holding hope that we will be able to open our Clubs in May. In the meantime, our organization is offering virtual training opportunities for all staff, piloting virtual programming for members, conducting assessments, updating operating plans, and doing other types of remote work to be more than ready for our “opening” day. When our Clubs re-open, we will be one step closer to being the best youth development organization in our communities.


As President and CEO, it is my promise to keep you updated with how our organization is continuing to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and how our Clubs are remaining connected to our Club members. I also want to thank all of you for the influx of calls, emails and messages checking to see how WE are doing. That is true commitment and heart. Even in times of change, our kids still have their “home away from home,” in their Club community because of you.


With sincere gratitude,


Ryan Smiley
President and CEO

Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Northwest Indiana COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Precaution Plans

Our organization follows the guidance and expertise of local, state, and national health officials to help protect our Boys & Girls Club members, their families and our employees from all communicable diseases.  The leadership of BGCGNWI is closely monitoring media reports and information being publicized by the CDC and School district partners regarding the growing concerns about the spread of the respiratory illness known as Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).


If a school district or a school (i.e. charter school) closes that is served by a Club, then that Club also will close.

First, and most importantly, we have a policy in the operations manual which addresses communicable diseases and Club member attendance. We are happy to provide this policy with our stakeholders. Second, we have implemented additional protocols and practices pertaining to Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) that have taken effect immediately. All of our employees are:


  • Adhering to all policies and guidance provided on Coronavirus and other communicable diseases
  • Participating in and completing the blood borne pathogens training that is available every other week
  • Washing hands (to CDC standard) upon arrival to Clubs & during transitions time
  • Instructing and ensuring Club members are washing hands (to CDC standard) upon arrival at Clubs and prior to meals
  • Monitoring and watching for signs of ill children
  • Following reporting process and protocol — incident reporting and communication protocol
  • Conducting zone cleaning for key contact areas with Clorox wipes including computers and tablets, door knobs, and controllers
  • Creating additional sanitizing stations for parent and large group events in our Clubs
  • Posting posters and having information available for parents

To learn more on how to prepare and protect yourself and family from Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), we recommend the following sites:


CDC Website

Indiana Department of Health