Community Room For Maine Foster Kids
OOB365 is a Maine non profit Our group builds community and community spirit through the creation of fun, family friendly events, volunteer fellowship and community action. Since our inception in November of 2008, our volunteers have worked with local businesses, the American Legion, The VFW, Milestone Foundation, the Community Food Pantry and Sweetser (to name a few,) to help show what it is like to be a part of something bigger than ourselves. Our volunteers are regular people some are retirees, business owners, milennials, and school age kids.
We are working on a project for Maine Foster Children who reside in a residential home to build a community center for them. Currently, at Sweetser in Saco, there are 39 children who reside there (in State Custody) as they are not allowed with their family or are looking for forever homes. The age ranges for the kids are 9 years old to 17 years old and it is a mix of boys and girls.
The community center is located at one of the buildings on the property that will provide a space for these kids to go to feel less alienated and to have some fun and participate in activities. It will also be a place where community members can go in and meet the kids or hang out with them (play games, cards, pool, watch TV.) We also are installing a full kitchen so that the kids can learn how to cook and care for themselves as they age out or are adopted out of the residential program. The effort to help the kids in the foster and adoptive program in Maine started 4 years ago and we have worked to help bring awareness to the significant need for families for these Maine kids. One boy was even adopted by our treasurer and now this boy, is part of the OOB365 family and volunteers with us- it is great to watch him grow and become a good citizen.
Sweetser is a place that helps these lost kids. If you are familiar with the Saco campus, you may remember the old building that had a gym floor in it. We are working on the basement space. It has 4 windows in it, so there is some natural light and an old farm kitchen.. We are just starting the capital campaign and have a preliminary budget of $25,000. We know that does not seem like much to get a community room completed but we are also going to get some of the items donated (we have secured a pool table, stove, refrigerator, television.) The budget is for structure changes, lighting, moving the baseboard heating, building clothes closet as well as a reading nook. We are also creating two rooms that will be “time out” rooms that the residence needs when a child gets out of control and needs a space away from the others.
It is very difficult and awkward to reach out for help but this project is larger than what we have tackled in the past. However, we are up to the challenge as we know it will have a lasting effect not only for these 39 residential foster kids, but also for those that follow their path. It is a gift that will keep on giving past our lifetimes. We have partnered with the Rotary Club of Saco Bay Sunset, Home Depot, plumbers, and electricians. This project will hopefully spearhead an effort to show these kids that people outside of those being paid to be with them, care about them. We intend to let the current residents help in the build too so they have some ownership in the space.
OOB365 builds community one event or project at a time, this one has the potential to make a significant difference in the lives of these kids.