Gift from Aaron’s provides refresh of OKC Boys & Girls Club facility

By: Dan Childs

The Salvation Army Boys and Girls Club in Oklahoma City was recently the recipient of a $25,000 teen center refresh gift from Aaron’s Inc. as a part of Aaron’s three-year, $5 million partnership with Boys and Girls Club of America’s Keystone Program. Keystone Club helps teens develop their character and leadership skills in hopes of helping them reach their potential and creating positive change in the community.

The Oklahoma City Keystone Club is the 25th teen center remodeling and the first Salvation Army Boys and Girls Club recipient. Melissa Brown, executive director of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Oklahoma for The Salvation Army, wrote “Joshua Huling, Unit Director of The Salvation Army Boys and Girls Club of OKC, has an incredible heart for teens and has done a fabulous job of rebuilding the teen membership at the Club.” She went on to mention the room designated for the teens was small and in need of furnishings, games, activities, interactive video games and a place to call their own.

In advance of the remodeling, Aaron’s employees worked alongside the teens to design a refresh for the Teen Center that included new computers, TVs, paint (selected by the teens), furniture and games. The

“Keystone Teen Center” was revealed to the teens in a ceremony attended by community members and leadership from BGCA, Aaron’s and The Salvation Army.

On the day of the reveal, Skylar Martin, 15, president of Keystone Club said, “I was just shocked. It turned out way better than I expected it to turn out and I’m excited to see how everything is going to go along in here.”

“The partnership with Aaron’s has granted our teens a firsthand example of how giving back impacts the community while providing them with the resources necessary to achieve academic and professional success,” said Traci Jinkens, development director of The Salvation Army’s Central Oklahoma Area Command.

Currently, programs for teens include Career Launch, Power Hour, Healthy Habits, ImageMakers, Keystone Club and the soon to be launched Passport to Manhood. Aaron’s and BGCA are committed to developing leadership among the nation’s teen population with three principles: 1) Own your path: No matter where you come from, the future is yours to decide; 2) Own your decisions: Making good choices opens more doors for your future; and 3) Own your community: Use your talents to make an impact in your community.