By Erin Porteous, CEO

One of my favorite children’s books is now out of print, but my dog-eared copy still sits on my shelf. It is “Caretakers of Wonder” by Cooper Edens. It begins, 

“This very night, while you lie quietly in your bed, 

Open your eyes.

By Erin Porteous, CEO

One of my favorite children’s books is now out of print, but my dog-eared copy still sits on my shelf. It is “Caretakers of Wonder” by Cooper Edens. It begins, 

“This very night, while you lie quietly in your bed, 

Open your eyes.

Now look out your window! 

For even at this yawning hour, 

So many of your friends  

Are working to keep the world magical.” 

Sit down with any member of our staff for any length of time, and you will see a spark, a bit of magic that propels them. Working with kids every day requires determination, a serious sense of humor, and a soulful belief in the potential of every childFirst and foremostour staff is there to clear obstacles for our kids and create more equitable opportunities for them – making sure they have a warm meal, a safe place to go in their neighborhood, and trusted adults to guide them. Our daily work is to simply take care. But the work that lights us up, that provides us with fire, is cultivating wonder. Every day, we make sure that our Club kids know that their dreams – their wonderings – are not only valid, but achievable. 

I wonder if I could go to college.  

I wonder if I could paint.  

I wonder if I could start my own restaurant.  

I wonder if I could make change in my community.  

The answers to all of these are a resounding yes.  

At Boys & Girls Clubs, we are humbled and grounded in our joyful duty to be the caretakers of wonder for our kids every day, in all the ways we know how. It is that hopeful, honest and wonderous element of childhood that keeps us motivated, even in the midst of meeting all of the current safety and health protocols – allowing us to find the balance of both protecting and encouraging our Club kids. We have been charged with this duty for the entirety of our 60year existence. It’s difficult work, but I firmly believe that there is magic to be found in it.  

Caretakers of Wonder ends with this: 

…imagine what you most would like to do 

To help keep the world magical. 

For you know, that one of these nights 

Your friends are going to tap on your window 

And invite you to become 

One of the Caretakers of Wonder. 

As we continue in a holiday season that continues to be so different than those we have experienced before, my sincerest hope is that we can find the moments of magic, discover the ways we can still take care of each other, and cultivate a spirit of wonder, especially for our children.