PEPPERELL -- For people in need, PACH is a game-changer.
Pepperell Aid from Community to Home has been a community resource since 2007. They run a food pantry and help connect people with fuel assistance, housing, clothing and other needs.
Now, with the purchase of a building for a permanent home, PACH is looking for help from the community. They need money to purchase and retrofit a building.
The nonprofit plans to close on a former medical office building on Hollis Street at the end of the month.
Board member Patty Thorpe said PACH set a goal of raising $500,000. That would be enough to refit the building for their needs and to purchase it.
They have a commercial mortgage from Main Street Bank.
PACH wants to replace the 12 refrigerators and freezers it uses now with a commercial walk-in unit. Interior walls need to be taken down to create larger storage spaces.
"We want to start construction this fall, once we start getting money in," Thorpe said. The target date for opening is June.
PACH is currently located in the town-owned Peter Fitzpatrick School. The town plans to sell the building and the pantry needs to leave that donated space next spring, Thorpe said.
All journeys begin with one step. The Gateway program at North Middlesex Regional School District took that step for PACH.
The special needs students donated $250 to the fund.
Others have stepped forward.
Town government, the Board of Selectmen and Town Administrator Mark Andrews, earned praise. "They have been tremendously supportive and helpful," Thorpe said. "They really have been wonderful."
The fundraising campaign will bring more than money. It will create community awareness about what the volunteer-run nonprofit provides for more than 300 families and individuals each month.
PACH plans to send out postcards to every home in September as part of the capital campaign.
A big banner is planned for the building at 66 Hollis Street as soon as the sale is final. A cook-out and walk-through might be held before work begins.
The organization got fundraising guidance from Loaves and Fishes, a larger food pantry located in Devens. They have been a great help, Thorpe said. Their supporters raised $1 million in a capital campaign.
"We're confident we can raise the $500,000," she said. "I do think we are going to be successful."
The capital campaign committee includes Janet Cramb, Derek Ten Broeck, Traci Ezzio, Deb Hayes and Dick Egan.
For more information, or to volunteer, visit the pantry's website, pachoutreach.org, or call Patricia Thorpe at 978-339-3419.
Follow Anne O'Connor on Twitter @a1oconnor.