A local church is trying to raise money for repairs on its new building, but it isn't turning to the usual bake sales and dinners to do it; it's taking fundraising online.
The Philadelphia Community Church in the Old Brooklyn area sees up to 120 worshipers and needs serious work. Through prayer and a crowdfunding site, it's hoping to raise around $260,000.
As Pastor Luis Vizcarrondo showed 19 Action News Reporter Dan DeRoos around the small neighborhood church, it was clear his family has a passion for their parishioners.
"Let's start working together to revitalize our communities," said Vizcarrondo.
"You'd like a little better church to do that?" DeRoos asked.
"Pretty much," answered Vizcarrondo.
The building dates back to 1876 when it was a Polish Catholic Church. It has since been several other churches. The entire facility, like the restrooms, is outdated.
"So you see here, there's the trough, and I would say this is back from the 1920s, 1930s," Vizcarrondo said as he pointed to a rusted porcelain urinal in the men's room.
The Philadelphia Community Church has operated in Cleveland for 28 years in a couple of different neighborhoods, but moved into this location two years ago.
"Our sanctuary is actually on the second floor. The reason being that one of the existing churches in the past believed that building this second-floor sanctuary would bring them closer to God," explained Vizcarrondo.
That's a problem because the handicapped chair lift recently stopped working. The lift is broken and the company that installed it is out of business. Vizcarrondo said it can be a struggle getting parishioners up to the sanctuary.
"We have to assist them. Even if we've had to assist them by carrying them or do whatever we have to do to help them up," Vizcarrondo said.
There are cracks in the walls, stained glass windows that are collapsing, and chair fabrics that are peeling. The church has turned to social media and the crowdfunding website, Plumfund, to further its mission.
"We are here to welcome you. And that's the best part about it. We want to be that welcoming family," said Vizcarrondo.
According to the site, here is how the church would like to spend the money:
1. Pay Off Mortgage ($52,000)
2. Renovations ($176,400) - Renovations will include four major repairs to the roof, windows, siding, and handicap elevator. The rest of the renovations will occur on the inside of the building. Church officials would also like to have an old sign removed and replaced with a new sign displaying the date of establishment.
3. New Furniture & Equipment ($31,600)
Click here if you would like to donate to the Philadelphia Community Church.