the starfish story

A young girl was walking along a beach upon which thousands of starfish had been washed up during a terrible storm. When she came to each starfish, she would pick it up, and throw it back into the ocean. People watched her with amusement. She had been doing this for some time when a man approached her and said, “Little girl, why are you doing this? Look at this beach! You can’t save all these starfish. You can’t begin to make a difference!” The girl seemed crushed, suddenly deflated. But after a few moments, she bent down, picked up another starfish, and hurled it as far as she could into the ocean. Then she looked up at the man and replied, “Well, I made a difference to that one!” The old man looked at the girl inquisitively and thought about what she had done and said. Inspired, he joined the little girl in throwing starfish back into the sea. Soon others joined, and all the starfish were saved. — by Loren C. Eiseley


Hundreds of children in our community do not have anywhere to go when the school day ends. The same is true for 1 in 4 children across the country. Without role models and proper supervision, they are at risk for losing their way. In fact, nearly one-third of all violent crime committed by juvenile offenders occurs during after-school hours.

Our passion

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Northeast Florida is a local, autonomous chapter of the nation's #1 most effective youth-focused organization, helping children of all backgrounds develop the qualities needed to become responsible citizens and leaders.

Everyday, we provide a secure, engaging place for young people, ages 6 to 18, to blossom. Inside the Club, children find caring staff members who challenge them to partake in life-changing programs. We foster the characteristics that will help them become successful adults by focusing on

  • Academic Success
  • Healthy Lifestyle Choices
  • Good Character & Citizenship

Our Starfish Guardian program helps you make an investment in the children of our community. We invite you to take a personal tour of the Club and learn about our impact. If you support our efforts, you can become a Starfish Guardian of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Northeast Florida by committing to a multi-year investment. Guardians donate funds annually for three to five years in the amount of $1,000, $3,000 or $5,000. Your gift will provide after-school services, including mentorship, homework assistance, snacks, leadership skills and healthy lifestyle choices for youth enrolled in the Boys & Girls Club. 

Our young people need your support!

With your generous support, you can give young people in our community hope -- hope that they can build better lives for themselves.

Boys & Girls Clubs fill a critical need: 57% of alumni say "The Club saved my life."

Consider the following:

  • 3 in 10 students will not graduate on time.
  • Teen pregnancy and the dropout rate is on the rise.
  • 3 in 10 kids are obese or overweight.
  • Juvenile crime escalates during the hours of 2-7 pm.
  • 1 in 5 children live in poverty.

For more information contact, Darby Stubberfield (St. Augustine Club), or Erin Outlaw (Beaches Club),

To make an investment in the youth at the Beaches or St. Johns County by becoming a STARFISH GUARDIAN, please click below:

Pledge paid annually each year on the month of your choice. This gift will be placed in the current year's operating funds.