Chances are you have probably walked passed The Red Door on Phoenix Street on downtown's south side.
The giant glass doors and windows with coral red paint around the frames used to just be the back entrance of nonprofit Over the Rainbow Butterfly Garden, which is an in-home care agency benefiting adults and children with developmental disabilities, and its subsidiary The Garden Thrift store, which donates its funding from used clothes sales to other community nonprofits.
Now, The Red Door is the door to opportunity for any of Flagstaff’s 600 nonprofits, should they choose to utilize the new meet-up space.
Monica LeDesky, who has helped run Over the Rainbow Butterfly Garden and The Garden Thrift since 2017, decided to renovate suite #130 which was previously used as storage for the thrift store and occasional holiday party venue. LeDesky enlisted the help of her Flagstaff Leadership Program (FLP) group, and the team of 24 set to work transforming the 1,200 square-foot area into a space nonprofits could benefit from.
At the grand opening event on Thursday evening, LeDesky shared in her speech that the FLP team went in hoping that nonprofits could use the space “to conduct workshops, meetings, charity fundraisers and community classes.”
Nearly every weekend since late January, the FLP team, dubbed “The Next Level," contributed with clean up, demolition, painting and decorating the two-story space LeDesky said.
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One nonprofit that’s members plan to start using the new work space is Friends of Flagstaff Future, or “F3," which aims to help Flagstaff become environmentally sustainable, socially just and economically prosperous.
Darren Bingham, a board member of F3, who also helps run Praxis Plastics and volunteers at the Azulita Project, which are also nonprofits based on environmental sustainability, said the new meeting space will be a huge benefit for all local not-for-profit organizations. These organizations are tax-exempt under IRS code 501(c)(3) as "public charities" because they provide a public benefit to the community. They often receive grants or raise their own funding.
“People don’t want to say it, but having a board meeting at your house every week might be taxing, so having a community space is really important, especially one that is cost-effective,” Bingham said. “As a nonprofit you usually work on a very tight budget, so paying for office space can sometimes take money away from budgets or from other programs. Flagstaff can be very expensive. For nonprofits, a dollar is a dollar and we have got to make our money go far – as far as [it can go.]”
Bingham said that The Red Door is a “beautiful spot and perfect location,” and likes that there is also an included kitchenette and childcare area. He also noted that he was impressed with the fact that the FLP preserved the original spot and didn't knock anything down to create something new.
The mission of Over the Butterfly Garden's Garden Thrift store is "growing local non-profits through the seeds of giving." In this sense, the addition of The Red Door space is helping one nonprofit by helping other nonprofits -- coming full circle for community growth and support.