A Building of Our Own Means We Can Put More Kids in Nice Warm Beds
The Wish Project has reached a point where we are ready to own a building. We would love to have you be a part of this amazing leap forward.
We plan to buy or build a 35,000-40,000 square foot building in or near Lowell and rent out a portion to help cover the mortgage. Rental income will reduce our overall monthly payment and provide benefits of ownership. We are in talks with several potential tenants but timing is critical for all of us. Ownership would also allow us to launch our own for- profit venture to further provide revenue for the Wish Project operations.
THE BENEFITS OF OWNERSHIP
- Our intention is to extend our mission of reuse/recycling and make the building as green as possible. Our goal is to install solar panels on the roof to reduce our energy bills and potentially increase revenue.
- Most important, however, is that the interest rates are currently low which makes this purchase possible. Ownership of our own would also allow us to build equity and have stability for the long term, as the market recovers.
- With a larger building we can rent a portion to a tenant to cover most of our mortgage payment thank to the current low interest rates. This would free up $57,000/year that we are currently spending on rent. We do realize that ownership means that unforeseen repairs may be needed in the future and we have secured a $50,000 line of credit from Eastern Bank to meet those in the short term. One strong possibility is to rent to a moving company or mattress recycling facility.Thanks to a $50k grant from the MA DEP we just built the Thermonator heat extermination unit. With more space and reduced overhead we can start a for- profit venture providing mobile- thermal-extermination of bed bugs with using heat.
- One of the buildings we are looking at would allow for at least one other social enterprise such as a furniture building program potentially for homeless women to learn how to build furniture and run a business.
- A new building would allow us to more outreach and marketing around out BITS projects (Magic of Christmas, Backpack Attack and many others). With a big clean space we could host public events similar to Cradles to Crayons, such as backpack stuffing parties and baby showers for newborn kits – to increase our corporate support. Currently, all 18 projects run out of unheated 3K sq. ft. mini storage space. Half of the goods we provide to clients are generated from this project. They generate more than $500K in new goods donated by the public to our local poor. This amount could easily be doubled with more visibility, an inviting space to work and a paid staff person to run the projects.
Location is critical for the success of any organization that serves an urban client base and relies on suburban donors and volunteers. Most clients we serve do not have cars. Highway access is also critical for the constant stream of tractor trailers of beds donated from hotels and universities. More than twelve hundred volunteers come from all over the US and compile ten thousand hours a year of sorting goods. The volunteer program is critical to ongoing funding as many of our most committed financial donors started by volunteering with us. Many of our volunteers are from Fortune 500 companies. In essence, we need to be easily accessible to our clients, our donors, and our volunteers.
A Good Investment
The Wish Project is a good investment, as we pride ourselves in being fiscally responsible. TWP had audited financials since the beginning and currently has three accountants on the board of directors. For every dollar donated, we leverage that into four dollars of goods going out. In the past nine years, TWP has intentionally moved from 90% grant/government supported to 90% privately funded. TWP does not have one dominant source of funding, but a diversified revenue stream that puts no burden on the poor being served. The large majority of donations are $100 or less, but they total about 50% of our income. TWP is confident that, with a more appealing and more functional building, we can develop into the million-dollar forty- hour a week charity that is needed to serve the Merrimack Valley fully.
Please consider helping The Wish Project reach financial sustainability for the future. No child should ever have to sleep on the floor because they cannot afford a bed. We have the beds but need more space to provide them in the future.
If you have questions regarding a financial donation, please contact Dave Fitzgerald or call 866-947-4360.