"Like most organizations, we have had a great success," Cox said, referring to the last spring break when Arizona Governor Doug Ducey put a series of restrictions in place to contain the spread of the virus.
Unlike other organizations, the Boys & Girls Club was asked to be an "essential" ministry, added Cox, which meant that a variety of well-distributed distance learning services continued in locations across the county to serve the children of essential workers .
More space, or "COVID capacity," meant fewer children to look after, but it also meant hiring more staff, Cox said. Its employees went from 15 employees on the payroll to triple that number to provide coverage in safe learning locations.
"When you have that many people, the budgets look tough," said Cox.
Before the pandemic, the organization was caring for up to 250 children a day, but COVID capacity did not allow such numbers, Cox added.
Kelly Elliott, CEO and executive director of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Flagstaff, said programs as a whole had decreased by about 30% from the average number of children cared for during the pandemic.
"It was strange, but we were able to keep our children connected with their mentors at a time when it is more important than ever that they have a support system," Elliott said.