Boys & Girls Clubs of the Brazos Valley Severing Ties with United Way

By: Stephanie Ando Email
By: Stephanie Ando Email

After nearly 60 years of working hand-in-hand in the community, the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Brazos Valley has decided to sever ties with the local chapter of the United Way.

The United Way raises money for charitable organizations, and last year, they went $240,000 in debt after mistakes were made managing money.

Representatives from the United Way of the Brazos Valley say the organization is stronger than ever, but at least one organization disagrees.

"Five years ago, we were at $130,000 a year in support from the united Way, which was a huge impact. What they offered us this year was $9,205 a year for the next two years," said Ron Rolett, President of the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Brazos Valley.

Rolett says that's one reason why the club's board voted unanimously to end the long-time partnership.

"[The United Way] essentially said that we don't have a large enough impact on our community to justify significant United Way funds," said Rolett.

"That is not true. That is not true at all," responded Andy Martin, President and CEO of the United Way of the Brazos Valley. "I'm really sad that they look at our relationship as just a funding relationship, because our partnership is a lot more than that."

Martin says the community has changed over the past several years, so the United Way has had to adapt. This year, the United Way had $1 million in requests, and only $350,000 to give away.

Martin says a team of community volunteers decides where funding dollars go based on the financial need of individuals going to an organization for help, not the financial needs of the organization.

"They did what was best for them, and we did what we thought was best for our kids," said Rolett.

Rolett says what's best for the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Brazos Valley is moving forward on their own.

Several agencies that are still United Way partners tell News 3 they're happier than ever with the organization's new direction and leadership.

United Way officials say their door is always open if the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Brazos Valley changes their mind and decides to come back.

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