Boys and Girls Club of Salem, Marion & Polk Counties 
Salem, Oregon

First-Ever Purple Hands Pledge Party in 2002
Neil Johnson, Former Program Director at the Boys & Girls Club
Neil reflects on the BGC’s Partnership with the Purple Hands Pledge®

Forever Grateful for our Heart to Heart Partnership

The Boys and Girls Club helps inspire and enable our youth, grades 1-12, to realize their full potential as productive, responsible, and caring individuals. The Boys & Girls Clubs offer an inclusive, safe, and supportive environment for children and teens to grow, learn, and lead healthy productive lives.

The Salem, Marion, and Polk County Club branches serve over 13,000 youth. Many are from economically disadvantaged homes, qualify for free or reduced lunch, and live in single-parent households.

Their goal is to deliver programs that prepare today’s youth for a great future.

Our Partnership Helps Us Reach Thousands of Children and Families, Year after Year!

The Hands & Words Are Not For Hurting Project® began our partnership with the Boys & Girls Club in 2002 with Neil Johnson, Program Director.

Members of the Boys & Girls Club and South Salem High School Students play a major role in our 10-minute training film, “Power of One”, produced in Salem, Oregon in 2002.

Students in the film were asked the following questions:
 Why is the Purple Hands Pledge® important for you as an individual?
For your family? 
For your school?
For the community?
For the world?

Their answers were unscripted testimonials from students’ hearts who were positively impacted by the
Purple Hands Pledge® and wanted to inspire others!

The “Power of One” training film traveled from Salem, Oregon to Harvard University’s “Children at RiskNational Symposium and far beyond! See More Here!

Following the success of the “Power of One” training film, the Boys & Girls Club held the first-ever Purple Hands Party in 2002. Kids participated in activities centered around taking the Purple Hands Pledge®.

In 2004, the Hands & Words Are Not For Hurting Project® held an event at the Salem Center Mall. Boys & Girls Club members recruited shoppers to take the Purple Hands Pledge®.
Fun Photos Here!

Each year the Boys & Girls Club hosts the Annual Back to School Family Health Fair. This event provides free backpacks filled with school supplies donated by the community to help children and families prepare for the upcoming school year. 

Volunteers place our Family Pledge Promise Letter in English & Spanish inside the backpacks for families to learn and take the Purple Hands Pledge® together.

♥ A variety of official permanent tangible reminders (magnets, pins, & wristbands) are given to participants who take the Purple Hands Pledge® at our Purple Hands Resource Table.  Kids love the Purple Hands Game Toss!

As of 2009, the Hands & Words Are Not For Hurting Project® has participated in this event, providing a chance for children and their families to take the Purple Hands Pledge® and learn more about our educational organization. 

From 2002 to present day, the number of children and families we have reached is uncountable!

Ashley Rardin, West Salem High School, leads children and families in taking the Purple Hands Pledge®

Student Activist, Ashley Rardin, West Salem High School, pictured with volunteers at the 2018 Back to School Family Health Fair

23,110+ Students have received a backpack with our official materials and Family Pledge Promise Letter inside!

Each year a Boys & Girls Club member volunteers to be the Purple Hands Pledge® Bear Mascot for their Annual Back to School Family Health Fair event. We give special recognition to our most recent Purple Hands Bear, Daytona Lewis, who has enthusiastically taken on this amazing, unforgettable role, four years in a row!

Our History Highlights!

Sue Bloom – Cheif Executive Officer
Boys & Girls Club of Salem, Marion & Polk Counties

Jodi Loper – Senior Health Services Director
Boys & Girls Club of Salem, Marion & Polk Counties