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New York Life Foundation Grants $1 Million to Boys & Girls Clubs of America

Multi-Year Grant Supports a National Grief and Bereavement Initiative

NEW YORK, N.Y., March 10, 2011 — The New York Life Foundation today announced a four-year, $1 million grant to Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) to support a national pilot program, Be There: A National Grief and Bereavement Initiative. The initiative will build awareness and knowledge of childhood bereavement and increase the resources and tools for Boys & Girls Club youth development professionals to help them appropriately assist grieving youth and their families.

“New York Life Foundation’s investment in this initiative will allow us to incorporate bereavement training into Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s training and professional development system,” said Roxanne Spillett, president and CEO, BGCA. “We want to help raise awareness of the prevalence and impact of childhood bereavement and give our Club staff the tools they need to help young people and their families deal with the loss of a loved one.”

“The New York Life Foundation is pleased to support Boys & Girls Clubs because they are uniquely positioned to make an enormous impact in the lives of youth in communities across the country,” said Chris Park, president, New York Life Foundation. “While caring adults can make all the difference in helping grieving children to have a healthy response to loss, adults who work with the children in the Clubs often have no formal training regarding how kids grieve and what can and should be done to help them through their grief. The Be There initiative is designed to change that.”

This year, BGCA will create a best practices guide to serve as a model for pilot testing. Ten Clubs will pilot the Be There initiative in year two (2012), with an additional 10 Clubs selected for pilot testing in year three. In the final year, five more sites will implement the model. Throughout these four years, BGCA will provide workshop, conference and on-line trainings, a Web community, technical assistance and dissemination of grief resources to all Clubs as they build a culture of caring for grieving young people.

About The New York Life Foundation

Inspired by New York Life’s tradition of service and humanity, the New York Life Foundation has, since its founding in 1979, provided more than $140 million in charitable contributions to national and local nonprofit organizations. Through its focus on “Nurturing the Children,” the Foundation supports programs that benefit young people, particularly in the areas of safe places to learn and grow, educational enhancement opportunities and childhood bereavement. The Foundation also encourages and facilitates the community involvement of employees, agents, and retirees of New York Life through its Volunteers for Life program. To learn more, please visit the Foundation's Web site at

About Boys & Girls Clubs of America

For more than 100 years, Boys & Girls Clubs of America ( has changed and saved lives, enabling young people to achieve great futures as productive, caring, responsible citizens. Today, some 4,000 Boys & Girls Clubs serve some 4 million children and teens through Club membership and community outreach. Clubs are located in neighborhoods throughout the country and on U.S. military installations worldwide, providing a wide variety of youth development programs conducted by trained, professional staff. Key programs emphasize academic success, good character and citizenship, and healthy lifestyles. In a Harris Survey of alumni, 57 percent said the Club saved their lives. National headquarters are located in Atlanta.