By Susan Motander
Recently, the Foothill Unity Center gave a sneak peek of its new location to the public. The center that has long been centered in a rented facility in Monrovia with a satellite location in Pasadena is now looking to move to a new, much larger building just down the street on Chestnut Ave. in Monrovia.
For many years the center has been swiftly outgrowing its current Monrovia building. World Vision suggested purchasing one of its existing buildings with parking, just a few blocks away. What made the entire purchase necessary was an outpouring of support from the community and the very active support of World Vision according to the center’s Executive Director, Betty McWilliams.
“We needed $6 million to purchase the building,” she said at the preview party. “With community support we have raised the $3.125 million we need to close escrow soon. And World Vision has given us a 10-year note for $3 million.”
Even with ten years to pay off the note, McWilliams is sure that the note will be paid off much sooner. “We have received so much support and I know that will continue. As soon as we pay off the loan, all those donations will go back to helping our clients,” she added.
Is the new facility worth it? With more than quadruple the office space (multiple staff members currently share every office) and even more warehouse space, the building will satisfy many needs. There is also the added bonus of quality space for the staff and more than adequate restroom facilities for everyone. If all this were not enough, there are even three kitchens in the building including one that can be used as a teaching kitchen for client families to learn to prepare foods they have been given.
“Sometimes we have families who return vegetables they don’t know how to cook,” McWilliams said. “Several families returned fresh green beans because they did not know how to prepare them. The kitchen will give us an opportunity to teach them.”
One way the Center is raising funds is to name buildings or areas in honor of someone. For example, when approaching the building, one will enter through the Fred and Diane Bowden Garden. At the center of the warehouse will be the Peter Amundson Refrigerator/Freezer.
There are still many areas seeking supporters. To assist in making the dream a reality, go to the capital campaign’s website at http://foothillunitycenter.org/campaign/