Lodi's ambulance company is spearheading a nationwide campaign to raise money for Lodi Adopt-A-Child for renovations needed to the building the nonprofit leased from the city Wednesday.
Both Adopt-A-Child and the San Joaquin Partnership for Families were vying for the former New Shanghai Restaurant on East Elm Street.
In January, when the City Council failed to make a decision regarding which organization to lease it to, the partnership was offered a home in the Boys and Girls Club on Stockton Street.
Council members then awarded the $1-a-year lease to Adopt-A-Child.
But there are approximately $220,000 in necessary renovations before the local charity can move in.
The building, including 1,250 feet of office space, needs its heating and cooling systems replaced and new electrical wiring. The city will pay for roof replacement and asbestos removal.
Rick Keiser, American Medical Response director of operations for San Joaquin and Calaveras counties, said the ambulance company is trying to help bring additional exposure to the foundation.
Dennis Lewis, Adopt-A-Child leader, said he has $650 in the building fund.
The president of the foundation - a 13-year-old nonprofit organization staffed by unpaid volunteers that provides Christmas presents and clothes to underprivileged children - collected a $100 donation by Councilman Alan Nakanishi after Wednesday's meeting.
And, at the Jan. 16 City Council meeting, business owner Frank Alegre said if the council awarded the lease to Adopt-A-Child, he'd give them $10,000.
Keiser said the local AMR provided Lewis with $100, the first donation.
"It is our hope that we can bring in some additional dollars from people currently unaware of the work they are doing for the kids and families," he added.
The company helped raise additional money for Adopt-A-Child's Christmas program when Lewis was worried a donation shortfall was going to compromise the giving.
Lewis hopes to begin renovations on the building as soon as possible.
The group's lease in their current building on West Pine Street is up June 1.
The New Shanghai Restaurant property was donated to the city in December 1998 with the intent that it be used for a group that supports youth or seniors.