“5ten Main is a place where anyone can go to feel safe and have fun. Everyone is equal and loved at 5ten.”
“5ten Main is a great place for teens to go on weekends and after school. Without 5ten, we have no place to go.”
“When we have homework or a group project, we can come here after school and work on it together.”
“It gives us a place to be and a place that is ours. It’s like our other home.”
“5ten gives me a place to belong.”
These comments, made by students who frequent the 5ten Main Youth Center, help one to see how the youth in our community feel about 5ten Main as the Center finishes three years in operation.
At Main St. Foundation and the 5ten Main Youth Center, we believe every student deserves a safe place to grow in character through meaningful relationships. Your donation ensures that students have 5ten Main as a place to build their relationships, their knowledge, and their future. In order to give more to our rural community and to help our youth thrive, we need those who can support our efforts to expand and provide 5ten Main. Raising 36K will allow us to provide year four to our community and any additional funds can go toward renovations to our outdoor area and support for years to come.
We Need Your Help
For three years, our very generous community has taken what we thought was a crazy idea and has supported Main St. Foundation and the 5ten Main Youth Center. Unfortunately, though, like many small towns, we are struggling financially for a variety of reasons. In a tightly-knit community, there are fewer resources for multiple organizations to draw upon. This is why we need your help.
How We Began
Main St. Foundation was sparked four years ago outside the local pizza shop when our now executive director encountered 12 high school students with nothing to do on a Saturday night. For those living in a small town in Northwest Kansas, “nothing to do” on a weekend has been an issue for years. The truth is, once youth have left a sporting event or have seen the one movie that comes to our local theater weekly, there is little recreation for teenagers.
That conversation sparked an idea. In August of 2014, the Main St. Foundation held its first meeting. Our mission was not only to give local youth something to do on the weekends, but also to reconnect them with the community. In a world where they could find things to do online at home, our youth had lost sense that the community not only wanted them, but cared for them deeply. Our vision became to build relationships with youth through fun activities that brought connection. It quickly became clear that mere activities were not enough. We discovered that a central place where youth 7th -12th grade could drop in was necessary. We would need a youth center. It took some negotiations, but we purchased a bar on Main Street that had been abandoned for over two years. The building happened to be just two blocks from our junior/senior high school.
In August 2015, after six months of initial renovation completed with support from the community and small grants, the doors of the 5ten Main Youth Center flew open and we are already coming to the close of our third year. We have renovated that back garage and it has become our local food pantry. 5ten, as it is now affectionately called, has become part of our youth’s lives and part of our community. As a matter of fact, this has become a second home for many of our youth in Atwood. In this spot, youth hang out with friends, work on homework, enjoy 5th Quarters after home sporting events, watch movies, have tutoring available and the list of "things to do” goes on. More so, the vision is being realized. Our youth see 5ten as a place to find safety and the caring of a community that surrounds them.
Yet, we don’t want to stop here. Our desire is to expand our programming and offerings so the needs of our youth can be more deeply met. Currently, we are working on bringing in classes (computer, life skills, engineering, etc.) and putting more on the schedule. We know that some students need outdoor space, as well. It is exciting that our city recently gave Main St. Foundation the deed to the land behind the building. We hope to be able to raise the funds to build a half-court basketball court and a lounge area.
Would you consider helping us expand all we do to reach youth?
Would you consider financially supporting the Main St. Foundation and the 5ten Main Youth Center? We need others like yourself to join our community in believing in our youth by supporting us financially. This will enable us to renovate the outside, bring in the classes, grow our staff and sustain all we offer currently to our youth. For more information, you can visit our website at: www.mainstfoundation.com