After experiencing significant growth, Compass for Kids has moved into its own office space with the purchase of a building at 1201 S. Fourth St. The nonprofit has also hired Christy Freeman Stark as director of marketing, a full-time position shared with Kidzeum of Health and Science.
“We had outgrown what Central Baptist Church could offer us; we’ve been renting office space on the third floor of their building since 2016,” Compass executive director Molly Berendt said. Compass for Kids was founded in 2011 as a ministry of Douglas United Methodist Church and later operated under the umbrella of Family Service Center before becoming its own 501©3 in 2016. “We have really been growing the past seven-and-a-half years since we went independent,” said Berendt.
“We had initially been looking to lease, but financially, it made sense to purchase a building instead,” she said. At 4,700 square feet, the former chiropractor’s office is significantly larger than Compass’ previous office space. However, Berendt noted that the Fourth Street location will serve as the group’s administrative headquarters, but all programming will continue to be offered off-site.community partners at other locations, such as the churches that host our after-school program, Club Compass, and our summer camp hosted at various elementary schools,” Berendt said.
Compass has recently added three staff members to newly created positions as part of the organization’s expansion. In September, the nonprofit hired a coordinator for the new youth leadership development program, intended to expand the organization’s outreach to middle and high school students, along with a director of finance and administration. Now, Freeman Stark has joined Compass for a marketing position that is jointly funded by Kidzeum. “It’s a full-time position so we can offer a salary and benefits, but we share the position with Kidzeum,” said Berendt.
Freeman Stark is a watercolor and mixed-media artist who owns and operates Christy! Studios. She is also one of the co-founders of DIM Art House, 319 Chatham Road, a salon concept with event space and gallery shows.
Berendt said a ribbon cutting and community open house will be announced at a later date.