“Being a member of the Chamber has enhanced our relationships with businesses and corporations, extended our outreach for making the business community and others aware of what we do and increased our ability to get the word out about our events. It has also enhanced our community donations beyond churches and individuals.” – Kelly Dent, Extended Services Manager, AGAPE
AGAPE Love From Above to Our Community is a faith-based, non-denominational Christian ministry founded in November 2008 by a group of about 60 people from the local community who met at Wesley United Methodist Church wanting to hear about the three-year-old dream of Billy and Eileen Chapman. Liking the opportunity to implement the words of Matthew 25 and serve their Lord and community, a committee was formed to make it happen. They identified the principle mission: “help fill in the gaps so no one falls through the cracks.” They developed a vision, established values and guidelines and wrote the by-laws for the ministry. The committee reported to the group and the group appointed a 13-member Board of Directors. AGAPE was registered as a charitable organization and approved as a 501(c)(3) in 2009.
As a non-profit charitable ministry, AGAPE accepts financial and in-kind donations, the latter being its largest program. It receives food (perishable and non-perishable), furniture (not badly stained, torn or broken), adult clothes, large and small appliances that work (refrigerators, stoves, washers and dryers, coffee makers, toasters, microwaves, etc.), bedding, mattresses, box springs, bed frames, dishes, utensils and cookware — basically, any items needed to reasonably furnish an apartment or small house.
AGAPE’s “business” is one of only a few in the community that wants to go out of business — meaning those who were once its clients are self-sufficient and can provide for themselves. AGAPE distributes all donated items, if available, free of change, and requires responsibility and accountability from its clients. Sometimes assistance is denied because extremely bad choices have been made, advice is not followed to help themselves, lying, or abuse of the system or conduct is such that assistance it demanded as an entitlement. AGAPE tries very hard not to be an enabler.
AGAPE received the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank Partner of the Year Award in 2016 for its “fighting hunger” program, and also received accolades for its service to Columbia County during Tropical Storm Lee and the flood of 2011, when it served as a flood recovery center. AGAPE is extremely grateful to the Chamber and the entire community for their continuing support, and could always use volunteers to help it fulfill its mission. For more information on volunteer opportunities, visit AGAPE’s website or call 570-317-2210.
Member spotlights are chosen via a random drawing from members that submit their business cards at a Business After Hours event. The next Business After Hours is scheduled for Jan. 17 at the Bloomsburg Area YMCA, 30 East 7th St., Bloomsburg. There is also a second Business After Hours scheduled in January at the Danville Child Development Center, 986 Wall St., Danville, on Jan. 31.