WAKEFIELD, R.I. – The Jonnycake Center has announced the public phase of its $1.68 million capital campaign to fund the move to its new location.
Dubbed A New Home for Hope, the campaign has raised close to $1.3 million to date through gifts and pledges, the center announced Monday.
In the summer of 2019, the center purchased the former schoolhouse located at 22 Kersey Road in Peace Dale. The building will serve as the new home for the center’s food pantry, Jonnycake Market, as well as its social services team, expanding programs, and administrative offices.
The nonprofit center provides basic needs and resources to as many as 2,000 South County residents each year.
“Over time, we have enhanced our programs and services to meet the evolving needs of our community,” Executive Director Kate Brewster said. “While our capacity to help has grown, our physical space has not. Everyone agrees – our staff, volunteers, partners and most importantly, those we serve – that our current facilities are inadequate, inaccessible and disconnected. We need a space that delivers safe, effective and efficient services under one roof.”
The campaign’s donations will offset the cumulative costs involved in buying and renovating the building, as well as landscaping and furnishings. The center will choose a general contractor to perform the renovations by the end of the month.
Brewster said the 120-year-old local landmark was chosen because of its proximity to Jonnycake visitors and suitable size, noting it is extra special that the beloved building is being re-purposed for the community. Renovations are planned to start this winter and be completed by the summer of 2021.
The campaign received an early boost with lead gifts from the Wilcox Family Foundation, Champlin Foundation and Centreville Bank Foundation, as well as a bequest from the late Eric Harrah. Since then, more than 30 donors have committed another $445,000, totaling close to $1.3 million.
Laurie White, president of the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce, joined the campaign as its chairwoman. Her late husband, award-winning investigative journalist Jim Taricani, was a board member until his death last summer.
Other members of the volunteer campaign committee include Eve Keenan, Linda Tucker, Jane Hayward, Lou Giancola, Alix Moffatt, Alison Croke, Susie Clendenen, Claudia Swain, Roland Fiore along with Mark Ross as honorary adviser.
“As we work to achieve our philanthropic goal and raise the final $400,000, we hope we can continue to count on the generosity of businesses and families to donate their time, talent, and treasures to make it possible for us to lift up our community members who are in need of help, especially during unprecedented times like these,” White said.
Information about the campaign is available at jonnycakecenter.org/newhomeforhope including a case for support, naming opportunities and a list of board and campaign committee members.
Last month, the Jonnycake Center received a $200,000 grant after being named one of two Rhode Island recipients of the 2020 Bank of America Neighborhood Builders Award.
It was selected for its work to further the economic and social progress of individuals and families in low- to moderate-income communities, Bank of America said.
Bank of America also awarded a grant to the Boys and Girls Clubs of Providence.
“We are honored and humbled to be chosen for this prominent award,” Brewster said. “The grant and professional development opportunities provided will allow us to have a strong and sustained social services team, develop an effective and efficient business model as we transition to a new facility and create a pilot program that can begin to address our members’ greatest need, which is affordable housing The resources and technical assistance provided through Bank of America will prove invaluable as we enter into a new phase of growth.”
In addition to the $200,000 grant, each awardee also receives a year of leadership training for the executive director and an emerging leader, access to a network of peer organizations across the United States and the opportunity to access capital to expand their impact.
Since 2004, Bank of America has invested more than $260 million in 50 communities through Neighborhood Builders, partnering with more than 1,300 nonprofits and helping more than 2,600 nonprofit leaders strengthen their leadership skills.
“As we consider many of the challenges that our community is facing – from the health and humanitarian crisis brought on by COVID-19 to the need for progress on racial equality and economic opportunity – the Neighborhood Builders program is a relevant and timely initiative to support the communities we serve,” Bill Hatfield, Market President for Bank of America in Rhode Island, said.
“This program enables partners like the Jonnycake Center and the Boys and Girls Clubs of Providence to plan strategically for growth and long-term sustainability, and we look forward to seeing how this investment helps them make even greater strides to address their mission.”
The Neighborhood Builders program provides relevant skills development and topics to help nonprofit leaders address current and future community challenges. Examples of the leadership training topics include human capital management, increasing financial sustainability, and storytelling.
The invitation-only program is highly competitive, and community leaders participated in a collaborative selection process to choose the awardees.
Since 2007, Bank of America’s program has partnered with 21 nonprofits in Rhode Island, investing $4.2 million.