Circle of Care looking for help with new building

Published 7:12 pm Monday, January 14, 2019

VALLEY — A local nonprofit organization continues to ask for the public’s help with a fundraiser campaign in the middle of the federal government shutdown. 

Circle of Care, an organization in Valley designed to offer services to families to help reach their goals, is still hoping its Care Campaign will pick up some steam to help offset costs for its new facility.

“We got off to a really strong start, and then the holidays started and it lulled a bit,” said Executive Director Jonathan Herston. “We really haven’t gotten the momentum back that we had before the holidays.”

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The campaign is projected to raise about $60,000 to help with a new roof on Circle of Care’s new facility in the Valley Medical Park. Herston said a new roof would have a price tag of about $30,000. The campaign was also designed to help with HVAC costs and to make the restrooms in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The crux of the project is simple. Circle of Care has asked that people pick a number between $1 and $100 and donate that amount each month. It starts at $1 and goes through $100. According to Circle of Care’s website, $1 through $13 is taken, and the highest amounts of $100 and $99 are also taken, but there are 62 slots left for people to donate.

Herston said any donations to the organization will make a big difference for a long time.

“You don’t get a lot of opportunities to invest in something that is going to have that systemic impact long term,” he said. “Helping us get into that facility will have a big impact and will be a part of every family we serve.”

A $125,000 grant from the Chambers County Development Authority allowed Circle of Care to purchase the 1,000-square-foot former medical facility and doctor’s office as its new home. Herston said the facility will give the organization a bit more space to continue what it’s doing with families as a counseling service, but also as a business incubator space for startups.

The organization has written grants and asked for donations for about $380,000 with contingencies built into the number. However, some of the grants are now tied up at the federal level, and Herston said there won’t be any movement on those until the government is opened.

He said the organization can’t start any construction until it’s heard back from the grantors, so it’s asking for the community’s help for its basic needs like the roof repairs to stop leaks.

“I would love for the community to rise up and help us with that roof,” Herston said. 

The government shutdown has also affected Circle of Care’s ability to officially hire interns.

Herston said there is a group ready to start, but they must have a completed background check to begin working.

The federal entity that processes that paperwork isn’t running. Additionally, Herston said there are funds tied up for the Emergency Food and Shelter Program, which Circle of Care assists with, and won’t be released until the government is open.

Currently, Circle of Care resides at 2200 35th Place in Valley, and it’s been there since 1996, but it’s outgrowing its space and needs to move as soon as possible.

“We have been in this building for several years at full capacity, so we need the new building,” Herston said. “The new building will help lower overhead, so we can reinvest funds, and more space so we can host those programs and pursue funds to create programs in the future.”