Fundraising underway for $2 million building
The Attleboro Council for Children is going to need some change of address forms in 2020.
Recently, the volunteer-run organization signed a Purchase and Sale Agreement for a site at the corner of Town Street and John Dietsch Boulevard in North Attleborough. Though empty at the moment, work has begun raising the money to cover the expected $2 million price tag for a new building.
As much as this will cost, Bob Vachon, co-chair of the council’s leadership committee, said renovating an existing building to meet their needs would cost much more. He said that a new building can be customized to meet all their requirements.
“It gets built the way we need it to be built,” he said.
In this case, the needs include 10,000 square feet of space to handle the many programs the council runs, including Christmas is for Kids, which provides personalized bags of gifts to approximately 1,000 children each year. Sarah Achin, council president, said 200 volunteers contribute more than 4,000 hours to make the event a success.
“We make sure every bag has that feeling, like ‘this would be a good Christmas,’” she said.
In addition to Christmas is for Kids, the council also distributes backpacks of supplies to needy children for back to school and summer camps. There is a daycare scholarship for families that make too much to qualify for assistance, even if that amount is small. Achin hopes that once the new site is up and running, they can set aside office space for existing heating assistance, food pantries, and other similar programs.
The council is an all volunteer-run, nonprofit organization that raises funds to provide programs and services to children and families residing in Attleboro, North Attleborough, Mansfield, Norton, Rehoboth, Seekonk, and Plainville. When it came to finding a new site, Achin said a number of factors were considered, including ensuring the location was near public transportation [the new site is on the GATRA bus line] and in the vicinity of the people they help.
The current location for the council is a former high school in Attleboro now available for sale. Achin said as long as the building is owned by the town, the council can stay there. The hope is to have the new site up and running in time for Christmas 2020, but the sale of the school could happen before that.
“There’s no real backup plan,” she said. “If we need to come up with one we will. We’ve been in a number of spots. We’ve been nomads, we figured it out in the past.”
For more information on the Attleboro Council for Children, visit councilforchildren.org or call 508-226-2336.