JOPLIN, Mo. — An area organization needs your help to take care of a record number of young people this summer.

Call it the calm before the storm. By this time next week, the Boys & Girls Club of Southwest Missouri in Joplin will be full of hundreds of young people. Between the two gyms, the outdoor playground, and every room in the new section of the campus, there could be nearly 500 children taking part in the program.

“We have to become very creative this year, um that is an enormous number, it causes some problems in activities, transportation, food, building space we’re great on,” said Rhonda Gorham, Club C.E.O.

Rhonda Gorham says there’s a possibility they may have 300 more kids this summer than last year.

Gorham believes part of the reason for the increase could be due to a parent or parents no longer having the option of working from home, and with no one watching the kids, keeping them home alone isn’t an option.

“We’re starting to see people come out of that COVID state, people are going back to work, organizations are requiring you to choose work from home, go back to work and I think we’re just seeing the result of that,” added Gorham.

In addition to needing financial donations, she says school supplies will be in short supply and would gladly accept any of those donated products.

The summer kids program starts next Monday and runs through August.

If you’d like to make a contribution to help offset those expenses, follow this link here.