Actor Danny Glover, perhaps best known as Robert Murtaugh in the “Lethal Weapon” movie series, lifted a hand and waved at children as he was whisked to a room for media interviews at the Boys and Girls Club in Pass Christian.
He’s been visiting Boys and Girls Clubs most of his life ever since he stayed off the streets of San Francisco by attending a club near the Golden Gate Bridge. He believes children deserve a safe place to be to do their homework, learn new skills and build friendships.
Glover and “Good Morning America” host Robin Roberts had been in Pass Christian in July to help raise money for the club at its annual Steak and Steak dinner. He wasn’t able to visit children at the club at the time, so he returned to the Coast on Friday to look at the modern facility and visit with club members, ages 5 to 18.
Glover said the Boys and Girls Club was also a part of life for his brothers, nieces and nephews. During a summer when he was 20 and attending college in San Francisco, he started tutoring at his former club.
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“I have a child’s heart,” he told the Sun Herald. “I always felt like my energy was the kind of energy that allowed me to be around young people. That’s my own little secret, my own little back-of-the-corner secret. I don’t go out and announce and say that I think I connect or resonate with children.”
“I’m a big kid myself.”
Glover, also a political activist and philanthropist, is an advocate for economic justice, access to health care and education programs in the U.S. and in Africa.
Glover has played all sorts of villains and heroes as an actor, and has worked with well-known stars.
But acting is not the most important part of his life, he said.
“The greatest experience I’ve had is being a father,” Glover said.
“My daughter was always saying, ‘Dad, you act so silly.’ She says that to me now.”
His movie roles also include lead parts in movies such as “The Color Of Purple,” “Predator 2,” “In The Heat of The Night,” said to be his all-time favorite.
Hurricane Katrina destroyed the Pass Christian club’s building in 2005. The government of Qatar, in Western Asia, donated some $19 million to help Katrina survivors, and designated $5,000 to construct a building. That building, now called the Qatar Center, is the home of the Boys and Girls Club.
The 33,000-square-foot space houses a state-of-the-art gym, classrooms, computer labs, an art room and an upstairs hangout for teens. To accommodate autistic children and those who need quiet areas, there’s pop-up tents they can crawl in to have their own space. The club has 260 members.