This article first appeared in the Hobbs News-Sun.
We work with nonprofits that make a difference. Whether it is literacy, homelessness, youth development, or any other area of impact, we know that change is not restricted to the four walls of a building. Our grantee partners make a difference by meeting people where they are and changing systems that have held people back for generations.
For example, the Boys and Girls Club of Hobbs has been working this way for many years. If you are a Hobbs resident, you are probably familiar with the $10M facility that stands on Broadway Street as a monument to Lea County’s support of youth. It would be easy for an organization with a facility like this to rest on their laurels and wait for the children to come. However, that has never been the case.
The Boys and Girls Club has a long history of providing transportation from schools to their facility. They have also operated programs based out of Hobbs Elementary schools, bringing the benefits of an after-school program directly to students who need it. In 2022, the JF Maddox Foundation provided a grant to start a youth writing and development program called “Write It Out Loud”. The facilitator made connections through a local middle school and invited students to participate in a writing and performance program that developed coping skills for working through difficult situations.
Our latest partnership with the Boys and Girls Club is a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) outreach program designed to target at-risk youth who do not have access to an after-school program. The goal is to help Club youth develop skills that will make them competitive in the workforce. This new program will take learning kits into the community and find students who do not presently attend the Boys and Girls Club, allowing them an opportunity to experience something they would not have otherwise. Those students then will gain access to the Boys and Girls Club facility and all its programs, opening doors to new possibilities.
The Boys and Girls Club is one example of organizations in our community who think beyond the walls of their building and push their program’s borders to ensure it reaches people where they are. Phoenix House through its SANE nurse program, Nor-Lea Hospital District through its mobile health clinic, and so many other organizations have partnered with us to find innovative ways of making an impact outside their walls. It changes the way people view our community and it reminds us why we are so proud to call Lea County home.
David Reed is the Chief Operating Officer for the JF Maddox Foundation, a family foundation focused on cultivating big-picture possibilities in Lea County, New Mexico. Through its investments, scholarship program, and leadership institute, the JF Maddox Foundation has transformed the Lea County community bringing about the changes that residents thrive on for generations.