On March 2, Serving on the Streets (S.O.S.) kicked off its Change for Change Campaign to raise money for a new community center, which will be located in the old Brazil Junior High School building, Washington St., Brazil.
At the annual fundraiser, S.O.S. sent everyone home with a Ball jar to save their change in for two months, with a goal of raising $20,000.
Participants can turn their jars back in to S.O.S. by May 2, and all the money will go directly into the account for the community center.
By increasing their funding, S.O.S. increases their match portion for a federal grant, which will raise their score and raise their chances of receiving the grant.
"We are currently trying to receive a grant through the city of Brazil that will help with most of the cost of the renovation of the old Brazil Junior High School," Fundraising and Volunteer Coordinator Shannon Clark said. "However, the grant does not cover all the expenses, so we need help to match our portion to get the grant."
This is the third and final time S.O.S. can apply for the grant. If S.O.S. receives the grant, Clark has big plans for the building.
"It's going to be a community center for all of Brazil to use," Clark said. "There will be activities such as open gyms, tutoring, art and music classes for the kids. We will offer life skills, budgeting and parenting classes for adults, as well as food programs such as meals for families and a commercial kitchen to be able to facilitate the summer food program we do with the YMCA."
The community center will also be the S.O.S. headquarters, housing their current programs including preschool, kid's club and youth.
But finances and hard work are needed for this vision to become a reality.
"The community center will need a lot of work," Clark said. "We currently have no heat and no plumbing. There have been leaks and vandalism to the building, including graffiti and broken windows. We want the community center to be a positive place and add brightness to its surrounding community, not to be an abandoned eye sore on the street."
All jars should be turned in by May 2; however, donations will be accepted at any time. Donations can be dropped off at Riddell National Bank or S.O.S., 100 N. Forest Ave.
S.O.S. is also selling T-shirts for $15 and bracelets for $1.
"We have big goals and a short time-line, but we believe our community has the power to raise the money and be the change we all want to see in the world or just right here in our own town," Clark said.
For more information, call the S.O.S. office at 448-8700 or e-mail Clark at Shannon@servingonthestreets.org.