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Small Town Heroes

With lack of funding at difficult financial times, the Nelsonville Community Center stays afloat with the help of volunteers and perseverance.

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RHONDA:

We had a little boy- pause- he wouldn’t come around a lot, he was shy. We convinced him to come to the groups and we happened to have pizza that day and this little fella at a lot of pizza. He walked up to me and asked me to feel his stomach and said, WOW this is what it feels like to be full. And the thought that he had never felt that before made it all worthwhile.

MIKE:

One way or another the center was going to be open with RHONDA: and for her to have that fire and determination and everyone have will to pitch in and be here long hours to get the center painted to get it ready for business for these kids to have a place to go. The fight she had to get the doors open, this pretty much tells me she isn’t giving up on kids any time soon.

RHONDA:

Some people come because they’re hungry.

(AMBIENT) Rick:

“this got mayo on it? No you have to do it yourself. We might have made the subs but we’re not going to put everything on it! Hey ya’ll, keep moving please!” Hahaha.

RHONDA:

Some people come because they’re lonely. The kids come because they’re bored. I think everyone has their own reason and we try to offer something for everyone so that way we can touch any need that somebody might have.

RHONDA:

We have our free store- anyone allowed to partake- it’s just fun- (AMBIENT sorting through racks) “Smalls over here!”

RHONDA:

Sometimes the kids don’t - cant reach out beyond where they are, we are trying to show them that there is more out there than this small little place, it’s great and beautiful but to grow up, but in this world you have to have a little more knowledge about life.

(AMBIENT) RHONDA:

“Someday when you are older you might like to make some peanut butter and jelly with your kids and you’ll know how.”

RHONDA:

When funding was cut we were no longer able to keep the center open under children’s services- so rather than close it I decided to do it as a private non profit. We opened on the square in Aug of 09. It was hard to start a business (an a non-profit is still a business) with no money and that is exactly what we did. We started with no money.

RHONDA:

I used to have a neighbor that says poor people have poor ways sometimes. We had to cover the walls to keep the wind from coming through the cracks. We papered the wall with fabric and designed it to look like a quilt. We rerouted furnace and bummed and begged for pieces of carpet.

RHONDA: (AMBIENT)

sounds water running, stove lighting up, door opening) I have an amazing, an amazing group of volunteers- that makes me pretty emotional- because they are so dedicated- PAUSE- I don’t know how to thank them enough. (Hammering (AMBIENT)) And these people will work non-ending, endlessly. Anything they can think of that would better the center, they are right there to do it.

RHONDA:

I think some people just need to know that someone cares. It’s important to feel wanted. The companionship and social interaction is just as important for someone who has money than someone who doesn’t. And I think some of our people come in because they know we are glad to see them. And that makes people feel good, and when you feel good it makes it easier to deal with things.

(AMBIENT)

Laughter

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Small Town Heroes