"We are a local community outreach center that provides hunger relief and community development for the surrounding area," said Rev. Chris Dito of the Parkview Assembly. "It was started just through the COVID-19 pandemic. There was a need in the community, and so our church responded to it. It's sort of taken a life of its own and grew, so we decided to incorporate a separate entity called the Delaware Regional Dream Center."
The 501c3 non-profit organization will get a grand opening for its 2700 sq. ft. warehouse and base of operations at 10 a.m. on Saturday, October 17, 2020, at 303 Ruthar Drive in Newark. The ribbon cutting was preceded by a sizable donation already. Another charity organization, Convoy of Hope, has already provided roughly 30 pallets of food for the Dream Center's efforts.
"We take all those different food elements, and we put them in boxes called Boxes of Hope," Dito said. "We've had hygiene kits and masks, [Dave Tiberi] has provided for us through Donate Delaware, so there is a myriad of material inside the Boxes of Hope, and we also have fully loaded backpacks for the children as they are about to go back to school. So there's many things happening. We're packing, and we're preparing to meet the needs of the community."
Tiberi said Donate Delaware partnering with the Delaware Regional Dream Center made sense, as they're both focused on improving conditions for vulnerable portions of their communities.
"It was a natural fit [partnering] with the Regional Dream Center because of the outreach they're doing in our schools right now. It's been incredible," he said. "The Dream Center's adopted, like, five schools, and that's a real passion of ours: making sure the young kids, the young people, as well as the families that are struggling, their needs are met. So with that partnership, it really fits with Donate Delaware, which is all about making sure that we're also helping those organizations that are deeply impacted in our community."
Because, when it comes to banding together through tough times, no one does it better than the First State, Tibeiri said.
"I always joke that you can't get it done in Delaware, you can't get it done anywhere," he said. "No one ever expected this to be where it is today. I mean, we started this in mid-March either, right? And who would've thought that this far into it, we'd have distributed over a million PPEs...It's programs like the Delaware Regional Dream Centers that are out there right now, in the trenches, that we've got to make sure we're behind and supporting."