Every Day A New Opportunity...
The Bright Side Opportunities Center is a service organization and facility of the Bright Side Opportunities Corporation. The Opportunities Corporation is an outgrowth of the Bright Side Baptist Church and its mission. The philosophy and the mission of Bright Side Baptist Church have been to serve the community around it and be concerned about the safety and well-being of families in neighborhoods. As the Church began its planning to build a new edifice at Hershey Avenue and Wabank Street in Southwest Lancaster, the goal was to provide a safe haven and expanded services to the community.
With the modern day challenges that many communities face, Bright Side felt socially obligated to reach out in its new location to help preserve positive aspects of community life, while working to strengthen areas that needed improvement. The Church sought to be a partner, not a single agent for change, and it firmly believes that there ought to be a “hand-up” for people and not a “hand-out.”
As a part of the planning process to move into the southwest, leaders of the Church conducted an open-ended needs assessment to help determine where their programs might fit in. After interviewing city and school districts officials, representatives of law enforcement, recreation, social services, creative arts and health providers, as well as citizens in the neighborhoods, it became apparent that there was a need for a facility that could provide multiple services in one location. A decision was made to form a separate 501c3 corporation and construct a separate building to house the needed services. Thus, Bright Side Opportunities Center was born.
Because of the anticipated size and cost of the new building, a community capital campaign, not connected to the church, was launched. Through the generosity of the Lancaster community, the Opportunities Center opened in November of 2004 with the mission of serving all who came through its doors, regardless of economic status, religious or church affiliation.
Over the years BSOC, as The Center is called, has teamed with other providers to offer an array of opportunities in the building. There are educational initiatives available through the Village of Love Early Learning Academy - after school program and adult and ESL classes through Lebanon –Lancaster IU13.
South East Lancaster Health Services maintains a federally qualified health clinic here, supporting nearly 8500 visits. The fitness center equipped with state of the art equipment and a certified personal trainer. As well as a full service Fulton Bank branch which promotes financial literacy. There is excellent support from corporate sponsors, led by Turkey Hill Dairy, that provide numerous services and experiences to The Center and its members. A youth center, a gymnasium, a banquet hall, a cultural center, a recording studio, and computer lab are other service areas in the building.
Bright Side Opportunities Center and its partners are pleased to offer a hand-up to whoever might need one.