About 15 adult and teen volunteers stood in the rain Friday, Nov. 28, outside of the McDonald's on Bellis Fair Parkway dressed in yellow T-shirts and red and brown antlers trying to raise money in a last-ditch effort to save Amy's Place.
"Help Save Amy's Place for Youth, Please?" and "Help keep Amy's Place Open!" were written in brightly colored letters on the signs held by each of the volunteers who waved to passing cars and thanked those who donated change and dollar bills.
Amy's Place, 2006 J St., is a youth drop-in crisis center that has served more than 620 homeless and at-risk youth since its opening in December 2006.
The volunteers had been standing outside of the McDonald's since 8:30 a.m. Asked how long they planned to stay, street outreach volunteer Roy Homan shook two nearly empty plastic donation buckets and said "as long as it takes."
Homan said the center has about $700 in its account and needs $5,000 to remain open. If the money isn't raised, the center will be forced to lock its doors.
"We're in extreme dire straits," Homan said.
The center gives a place for youth ages 13 to 21 to study, receive necessities such as clothing and toiletries, play computer games and enjoy sit-down family meals, Homan said. The center also helps the teens and young adults with completing school and provides referrals to other agencies for those who need additional help.
If the center is able to remain open, program director Heidi Unick said she would like to move to a bigger location in Bellingham's commercial district. The house on J Street has become too small for the number of teens and young adults served.
To make a donation or receive more information, contact Amy's Place at 671-5567.
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