If a circle was drawn on a map that perfectly pinpointed the center of Parker County the veritable “Bulls Eye” would be the Center of Hope, or rather it's new location.
The organization hopes to remodel and be working from Clear Lake Road in a spot long-time residents better remember as the former Kennedy Meat Market.
To make that goal a reality supporters of the organization recently gathered for a “hybrid” capital campaign dinner/fundraiser to show what the Center of Hope can become through the renovation of the 36,000 square foot building.
The Celebration of Hope event raised $250,000 and every day that number is growing.
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“But even more important was that people saw what the Center of Hope does,” Paula Robinson, executive director said. “It shows how people lives are being changed and that this is an investment, not just a charity or a building.”
She said she expects to see an even greater return in the next 4-5 weeks.
“This was the most successful event we have ever done judging by the feedback we’ve received,” Robinson said. “In most capital campaigns you raise a significant portion of your goal before you launch it. Because of the timing and the date of December 2016 we did it differently.”
Robinson refers to moving day as their “glory goal,” almost a full year from today. For that to happen the estimated cost for renovation is projected at $4.6 million dollars.
“If we can raise $1.8 million there is a foundation we can go to that will grant us up to 20 percent, which is almost another $1 million that the community wouldn’t have to support,” Robinson said. “We’d still have to have another $1.8 million, but at that point, once we have 40 percent of the funds raised, there are a lot of other foundations that will help and join in.
She said the key, however, is that [the foundations] see that the community supports it.
“We just have to get through the first hurdle,” she added.
Once the building is finished all of Center of Hope’s programs and services, as well as The Hope Chest, will coalesce under one roof making the work of the organization more efficient.
“All total the space of the new location is about 1/3 larger than all of our other spaces combined,” Robinson said. “It sits on seven acres too, so the possibilities for growth are unlimited.”
The building was originally on the market for $1.3 million but Center of Hope was able to purchase it for $625,250.
“We didn’t have quite enough money to buy it at the time so we said, okay if God wants us to head in this direction, and own our own property, He will have to show us and provide the funds,” Robinson said. “We didn’t want to go into debt.”
She said within a weeks’ time they had received three gifts totaling $200,000, the exact amount left that they needed to buy the building.
Robinson said she vacillates between being excited and scared by the project.
“I was praying one day and remembered God laying on my heart - ‘you commit, I’ll provide,’” she said. “I know what God has done for us in the past. I’ve seen things that would blow me away and I remembered, this is not about what we can do...but what He can do.”