PHOENIX - Cross Roads Preschool, a nonprofit that has served Phoenix since 1965, is asking for the community's support after the pandemic has forced them to close their doors early, cancel their summer programs and delay the start of the new school year.
Emily Watson, director of Cross Roads, is excited and hopeful that those empty classrooms will be filled with children next month.
"With an August 25 start date, we dropped down to 50 [students], and now that we are planning on an October 1 start date we're back up to 85," said Watson.
Normally around 300 kids attend, but this number has dropped due to the pandemic. Watson says in order for the nonprofit to function financially, it needs to be at 100 students.
"We have applied for multiple loans, all kinds of grants and then we had parents that were like, 'You have a community that loves and supports you -- let's start a GoFundMe," Watson said. "I think everyone is going to be cautious, but I know all of the safety precautions that staff and the team here are doing are going to help keep everyone as safe as possible."
Roxanna Catlett has two children who attend Cross Roads Preschool.
"This is really an opportunity for them to get back into the school get back into education, but also most importantly -- to be back in the social setting with friends," Catlett said.
Crossroads has classes for children ages 2 to kindergarten age. Hours vary as does tuition - and the nonprofit relies on that money to stay in business.
Their GoFundMe has already raised more than $20,000, and the goal is $50,000.
"This money is going to go directly to paying for payroll, directly to rent and utilities -- just the bare minimum to keep it open," Watson said.
Check out their GoFundMe: https://charity.gofundme.com/o/en/campaign/help-save-crossroads/crossroadspreschool