Thursday, May 25, 2000

Helping agency moves into bigger quarters

By Sue Kiesewetter
Enquirer Contributor

        UNION TOWNSHIP — After nearly a year of planning, Reach Out Lakota has a new home.

        The 9-year-old community food and clothing pantry that serves families in the Lakota Schools has moved out of its rented space on Tylersville Road. It reopened Wednesday in its new, 4,000-square-foot facility on the grounds of West Chester Presbyterian Church, 8930 Cincinnati-Dayton Road. The one-acre site is being leased to the organization for $1 a year through the generosity of that church and the adjacent St. John Church.

        “We're so happy. The community has been so generous,” said Lourdes Ward, Reach Out Lakota's director. “People are already drop ping off packages. We've moved and our shelves are stocked.”

        On Monday, ribbon-cutting ceremonies were held at the new location as volunteers celebrated nearly a decade of assistance. Besides offering food, the group now provides clothing, toys, personal care items and small appliances. Soon services will be expanded again to include nutritional and budget counseling and after-school tutoring — projects that were stymied because of lack of space at the group's former 3,000-square-foot lo cation.

        The expansion was made possible by more than $100,000 in donated services, building materials and volunteer labor, said Jon Weidlich, who sits on Reach Out Lakota's board.

        Soon the group will begin a capital campaign to raise $200,000 to pay a construction loan, Mrs. Ward said.


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