LA CROSSE, Wis. (WXOW) - The Good Fight received a $100,000 grant from the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration to pay staff and student membership fees.
The money makes it possible for The Good Fight to hire and maintain a consistent staff, making a big difference for students who use the safe space. It also pays entry fees for a student if his or her family cannot afford it.
"Consistency and routine is important and when you have students that are coming into an environment that is a drop-in program sometimes we can get lost in that loose structure," The Good Fight Executive Director Isaiah Thomas said. "So to have staffing that is all in the know and the same conversation, knowing the importance of our work, the importance of positive engagements and not folks just filtering in and out is super important for the kids to see and to engage with. So that's why the consistency of staffing and the engagements and so on are so important."
Thirteen-year-old Madison Mulroy boxing, basketball and volunteering through the club.
"I like being able to kind of just let off my energy without getting in trouble for it. It's fun too," Mulroy said. "I'm able to like to come here which that's helping me and then I get to help other people while I'm here while I'm with my friends. It's fun."
Thomas said providing a safe and fun space for children is imperative during their formative years.
"They're still impressionable," Thomas said. "A 16-year-old, for example, they see a black male sitting in a space with them where they're a black teenager and they're like, 'I don't get the point of all this.' To be able to have a real and relatable conversation with them is crucial."
FSPA Sister Laura Nettles said they want to help Thomas because they believe that children are the future.
"The work that they do here and the way that they reach out and they take in students that don't necessarily fit in other organizations is just amazing," Sister Nettles said. "It's exactly who we are looking for and who we try to support as FSPA."
The club recently moved to a new location and put up a bigger boxing ring for kids to blow off steam after more than a year stuck at home.