The smiling faces that line the walls of the Brooklyn O’Malley Boys & Girls Club are also mirrored on the kids who come through the doors.
Corey Cager, 11, is one of those kids. He visits the Brooklyn O’Malley Boys & Girls club almost everyday.
“Last year, I never did my homework. I never liked doing my homework. I was busy in the streets and sometimes, my dad said I might die and he didn't want that to happen. So I looked up on the internet the Boys and Girls Club and I joined, and I changed over the past years,” Cager said.
He added that the new renovations make the club that much more enjoyable for him and all his friends.
“I'm getting used to this habitat that's what I'm saying,” said Cager.
“Built Upon A Dream” was dreamed up by Belinda Lee. She used the show “Extreme Home Makeover” as a model for what she hoped to achieve.
“Instead of focusing on private residences, which is what the network was doing and doing really well, it was a popular show, but to focus on private nonprofits in need,” said Lee.
Through many corporate partnerships, the club was transformed.
“We did not have this room. This room is our new art room, there was not a wall here, they built a wall. We have new windows as well. The windows are great. We can see God's daylight, before it just looked very depressing and dim,” said Candice Crenshaw, the unit director for the Brooklyn O'Malley Boys & Girls Clubs of Metropolitan Baltimore.
There's also new flooring, furniture, paint, fencing, landscaping, and electrical. Many companies donated their time and supplies to do something nice for the community and the kids.
“The kids know like wow, ‘they did this for me, I matter.’ The kids feel special, as they are,” Crenshaw said.
It's a positive step for many hoping to see a change in the City's direction.
“Stop complaining. If you're not contributing to how we move our City forward, then stop complaining. It's what we all do together. No one person can do this work by themselves,” said Baltimore City Mayor Catherine Pugh. "The investment we make in our neighborhoods, and our communities, and our rec centers will pay dividends for years and years to come"
ABC2 put together an hour-long special on the Brooklyn O’Malley Club dream build. You can hear from the kids at the center and see what went into the incredible transformation. The special airs this Thursday, September 21 at 7 p.m. on BOUNCE TV.
The Built Upon A Dream includes Manekin Construction, Under Armour, Sagamore Development, T. Rowe Price, Taco Bell, Toyota Financial Services, Nations Photo Lab, Yogibo, Fence & Deck Connection, Ruppert Landscape, Window Nation, Lowes, Hord Coplan Macht, BCT Architects as well as many sub-contractors, suppliers and volunteers.