The North East branch of The Door, a charitable organization, recently hosted an event at The Bean cafe. The heads of the branch, Zach Trimble, The Door campus pastor in North East, and Bill Bennett, North East director and board president, held the event in hopes of motivating town leaders to contribute and help The Door fix up a house for at-risk teens in the local area.
The Door is a nonprofit charitable organization that acts as a second home for at-risk teenagers who have neglectful or unfortunate home lives. The facility is a getaway where teenagers cannot stay overnight but can do homework, relax, play sports, interact with others and eat a family meal.
The goal is for these teenagers to feel comfortable, safe and are able to escape, even if only for a few hours, from the turmoil they may have to deal with in their daily lives.
The event was open to community members who were interested in donating to The Door’s cause. All those in attendance had the opportunity to speak with Bennett, Trimble and David Taylor, executive director of The Door, and they were welcome to beverages and treats for free while interacting with the heads of the branch organization.
“We are trying to make an opportunity for the community to get involved whether it is financial or giving food. This is specifically an opportunity for community influencers, the leaders in our community,” Trimble said.
Bennett added, “If we can gather these community influencers together and give them good information and a good vision for what we are doing, they can really be advocates for us.”
The event was a way for Trimble and Bennett to reach out to the public and ask for help as they begin renovating their facility. The new facility would be open Monday through Friday from 3. to 7 p.m. The facility is expected to include a living room, an entertainment room and a large dining room with a 16-person table.
“Research was done on successful people and what they found was that these people had a strong faith growing up, and they sat at a table for dinner with their family at least three times a week. So, we want kids to experience that, too,” Bennett said.
A basketball court, a “Place of Peace” and a sign are additional features Trimble and Bennett want to add to the property.
On average, Trimble and Bennett work with 40 to 50 teenagers. Many times, the numbers go up because the teens like to bring their siblings along. Bennett estimates that 90 percent of the teens are boys while the remaining 10 percent are girls. Many of them come from fatherless homes.
“We want to show them what it’s like to be part of a family, care for them and share faith with them so that they can grow to have successful lives,” Bennett said.
Currently, Trimble and Bennett are operating out of First Baptist Church and offer activities and meals to teens on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. They hope to have the new facility finished by early fall when the school year begins.
Donations can be mailed to The Door at P.O. Box 6, Bellwood, PA 16617, or donations can be submitted online at www.thedoorkids.com.