Boys & Girls of the Smoky Mountains helps children cope, understand current events

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (WVLT) – The Boys and Girls Club of the Smoky Mountains provides a safe place for children to come to after school and during the summer. When big events happen, they’re also there to help children understand the events of the world.

Tuesday morning, the pool tables, ping pong tables and art areas were quiet, but it’s in the afternoons when the building comes to life with hundreds of kids enjoying the games and after-school activities.

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The club said they focus on one on one attention for each child.

“When there’s something that they need to share or they’re feeling bad or they have emotional problems and, and we have a great, great opportunity to provide informal counseling, but also to just, just let them know that we’re there for them,” said Mark Ross, with the Boys & Girls Club of the Smoky Mountains.

So when something like the fatal shooting at Austin East High School happens, so close to home, they know kids may have questions.

“We all have our plans for if, if, if that terrible day arrives, and we all hope and pray that it never does. But you know, it can happen anytime anywhere,” said Ross.

According to Ross, the mission is to build great adult leaders for tomorrow and you can find motivational quotes on the walls to back up that mission.

“If they needed shoes, or they needed health care they needed dental assistance we have all kinds of resources in the community we can help kids with because we have a relationship with them,” Ross said.

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