IRONS — The Great Lakes Energy Fund recently bestowed a grant of $2,000 to the Seventh Day Adventist Community Service Center in Irons.

The group is based out of the Irons Seventh Day Adventist Church in Irons. Those who operate the center are hoping it is the next step towards creating a new Community Service Center building, which has been a dream for the group ever since they were no longer able to stay in their previous location. The group is well known in the community for providing goodwill and food pantry services to those in need.

"The food pantry can still function thanks to this grant," said group member Nancy Przedwojewski. "Historically, the Community Service Center is a social outreach organization designed to help the community. It's fashioned after Dorcas from the Bible and began more than 60 years ago. We just want to lend a hand to people who need it."

The grant will go toward keeping the shelves of their food pantry stocked. Their goal of helping others was complicated in recent years after having to vacate their previous building.

"The founders moved into the old grange hall in Irons decades ago and the owner eventually sold it to the church," explained Przedwojewski. "Even then it was an old building, — it was built in 1899 — and we recently had to move out of it. We had bats in the attic, we had mold, we had a leaky roof. We just couldn't use it any more."

The community service center was able to use the storefront belonging to a longtime friend of the church for no charge during the past year. Since the one-year period ended, however, the group has been operating out of their small church.

"We're fully operational but on a limited basis," said Kathy Porter, the service center director. "We've had to turn down donations because we have no room to put them."

Thanks to another generous donation, the Community Service Center owns four acres of land in Irons. They had enough money saved up to begin clearing the land, installing a septic system and hire an architect, but $200,000 will need to be raised in order to start construction and finish the building.

"We have a GoFundMe page at gofundme/ironscsc," said Przedwojewski. "We know it will take a rich donor to complete the building. We hope people will donate so we can keep our services going while we keep applying for grants like the one from Great Lakes Energy. We're so thankful to everyone who looks at our little group and thinks it's something worth continuing."

With only 10 active families belonging to the church, it's members are all active. Porter said they are up to the challenge and getting to help others is worth the trouble.

"It's wonderful to watch God in progress and see how many people can be helped through clothes or food or goods," said Porter. "Whatever comes, comes. We'll try and keep moving forward in the meantime."