The Brightside Project has been working to bring hope to children with initiatives like the Dolly Parton Imagination Library and mobile Sunshine Bus since 2016.

The program's directors say, their headquarters is just not big enough to continue their mission. Instead, their sights are set on the former Donnell Ford Lincoln building on Continental Drive as the site for a new Youth Center.

"We feel like it's time to go from not just handing out food and personal care and books to these kids, but take the next step," Brightside Project founder Scott Lewis tells 21 News.

The Brightside Project has big plans for the building, including a multi-purpose recreational room and an art studio. The building can also serve as a hub for public events.

"It'll help us to have all of our big events inside in a big building, instead of paying thousands every year for rentals," Lewis adds.

But the plan doesn't come without its own challenges.

The Brightside Project only has until June to meet their $3 million fundraising goal. As of May 3, they still have $860,000 left to raise.

If the non-profit can secure the funds before a June 1 closing date, they will receive a $350,000 charitable donation that will help offset the total cost. If they can't make that deadline, the contribution will decrease to around $200,000.

"This youth center is so much needed, and we know there are people out there that can help us. It's just getting to them," Lewis says about the fundraising efforts.

Contributions can be made online at

The Brightside Project asks that you please designate your contribution toward the Spark Campaign, if possible.

For more information on campaign pledge levels or alternative donation methods including cash, check, and brokerage account, contact The Brightside Project by emailing [email protected] or by calling 234-320-4005.