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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) – The call is going out for generous Memphians to save the day.
Memphis Athletic Ministries (MAM), a faith-based non-profit that helps 2,000 kids and their families every year, needs help of its own right now. The cold weather really did a number on MAM’s Grizzlies Center.
From the gymnasium to the bible study room to the bathrooms, water got everywhere when a pipe burst in the laundry room at the Grizzlies Center at 2017 Ball Road near Airways Boulevard and I-240.
And now, the faithful who lead the ministry are praying for a miracle.
On Thursday afternoon, a heart-breaking sound filled the air in the heart of South Memphis. Workers with chainsaws and metal poles were pulling apart the basketball court where MAM’s coaches offer some of their best lessons.
”This is going to be a long-term project,” MAM President & CEO Jonathan Torres told Action News 5. “As you can see behind me, they’re currently ripping up the floor behind me by hand, plank by plank. They’re tearing up the hardwood floor. We’re looking at probably close to a million dollars in damages, between the hardwood floor and other assets that have gotten destroyed, we’re looking at close to a million dollars.”
MAM inspires young people across Memphis to stay in school and stay out of trouble, leading them through Christ-centered coaching, on the court and off.
The non-profit usually offers after-school care at the Grizzlies Center for 250 children a day.
Now, Torres said there’s no safe place for the children to go for at least four to six months. MAM leaders are still looking for a temporary location.
”We have the staff ready,” said Torres. “We have the programs ready. We have the curriculum ready. Everything is good to go for the spring semester, we just need a place to be able to bring kids.”
Torres is optimistic a school, church or organization can provide space to keep their successful program running while the Grizzlies Center gets repaired.
In addition to finding a temporary home for the afterschool program, MAM needs financial support.
The insurance claim is still being processed, and most of MAM’s funding is committed to the kids.
“Playing sports here is free,” said Torres. “Afterschool care, free. Enrichment, free. Field trips, free. And so this is a huge burden on us to take this construction project on. We’re really hopeful the community can step in and support us.”