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Bank gives building to group that helps children - abc27 WHTM

Bank gives building to group that helps children

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) -

Lance Deane is spending his summer helping younger kids.

"When I see them, they're a little arrogant sometimes," he said, "I can't get mad at them because that's exactly how I was."

It's all part of the Joshua Group, designed to keep kids off the streets and help them with their education.

"They help me with my homework, help me in my tests, help me study, help me with everything," Deane said, "They almost force you to be successful in life."

Deane just graduated from Bishop McDevitt High School and is going to Kutztown University. He says none of that would be possible without the Joshua Group.

"Not just financially," he said, "a lot of people don't understand that these people have families of their own. They're blessed and kind enough to do what normal people don't do on an everyday basis, by coming to help us."

Kirk Hallett saw the need about 15 years ago, so he quit his job and started the Joshua Group.

"I realized this is something that these guys really are looking for, somebody to give them hope and direction other than what they were getting out on the streets," he said.

Right now, the group is in tight quarters. They help 150 students, but they want to do more. That's why they're moving to a much larger building right across the street - and they didn't have to pay a dime for it.

Metro Bank took over the abandoned building and decided the Joshua Group needed it more.

"Our ability to give this deed to them helps them reach this financial hurdle so to speak," said Adam Metz of Metro Bank.

Hallett has big plans for it.

"A library, a reading room," he said, "a computer lab available to anybody in the neighborhood, two pre-K classes."

It's all about expanding. Lance is proud to be a part of the Joshua Group's legacy.

"I'll never forget where I come from," he said, "Hopefully, I become very successful and one day I want to come back and give back."

While Metro Bank donated the building, it's still up to the Joshua Group to pay for renovations. It will cost $750,000. So far, they've raised nearly all of it. They have $100,000 to go. They hope to have the new learning center open in December.

 

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