This year’s National Boys & Girls Club Week (April 7-13) theme was “Open the Door. Take the Tour.” Boys & Girls Clubs of America encouraged people to go online and take a virtual tour of a Club. At TFS, we took it one step further …
There is a Toyota principle called “genchi genbutsu,” which means “go and see.” The idea is that to learn about something and truly understand it, you must “go and see” it. With that idea in mind, we offered the TFS associates at our corporate headquarters in Torrance, Calif. the opportunity to tour one of six area Boys & Girls Clubs.
More than 260 TFS associates participated, visiting Boys & Girls Club of Carson, Boys & Girls Club of the Los Angeles Harbor, Boys & Girls Club of Long Beach, Boys & Girls Club of the South Bay, Watts/Willowbrook Boys & Girls Club, and Boys & Girls Club of Venice. Once on site, the associates and executives toured the facilities learning about what the kids can do at the Clubs, how the staff engages them, what impact the Clubs have on the kids, and some of the many volunteer options available.
The event was a rousing success with everyone. The Clubs were welcoming and enthusiastic about opening their doors and sharing their stories. The feedback from the TFS associates has been that it was an eye-opening experience that had many of them looking for ways to get involved with the Clubs in the near future.
Here is some of what we heard from associates:
“The visit to the Boys & Girls Club further strengthens my understanding as to why TFS helps and supports this organization. There are so many great services, e.g. college-bound programs, that the Boys & Girls Club is offering to the community, and I was very surprised and glad to hear about their passionate commitment to these causes that are so important to youth.”
“One of the college prep counselors shared a story about a young lady who only had a 0.8 GPA her freshman year of high school. Her mother had kept her home to take care of her three siblings. Because of the college prep program, she was able to raise her GPA to a 3.5 and get accepted into a university. Now the girl’s younger brother is surpassing his sister and has also been accepted into a university.”
“I had never been to a local Club before and I had no idea the amount of programs and services that they offered. It’s really impressive to see what they do to keep kids engaged and help them survive and be successful during their formative years. Now that I have been to a Club, I feel like there are ways that I can get involved that can utilize my skills and interests in a valuable way.”
Boys & Girls Clubs of America also acknowledged the significance of the Club tours and the program developed by TFS. “We are so impressed with the work Toyota did to leverage the 2013 National Boys & Girls Club Week and incorporate it into your Making Life Easier promotion,” said Marey Wagner, account director of Boys & Girls Clubs of America. “In fact, I believe it’s one of the largest corporate activations we have seen!”
There’s still time for you to “take the tour” if you missed it National Boys & Girls Club Week. Click here to take a virtual tour of the Club experience.