The Agapè Center in Cornwall is the first on the list of many more to come.
The Agapè Center
Excerps from the Center's first bulletin
"FRIENDS OF AGAPÈ"
Vol.1, Issue 1
Published twice annually
(Vol. 2, Issue 1)
Greetings from the Chairman of the Board
"We are not in the business of serving ourselves but others, who come to the Centre daily with various needs... As our name implies, all such service is motivated by nothing other than love. We are not ashamed to admit that we define "love" as seen in Jesus Christ. In the English language "love" can mean many things, but in Greek - from which "agapè" comes - it always a selfless love, and offered freely and willingly whithout thought of reward.
We welcome the interest and support of all who know this love, and others of goodwill who wish to be instruments of it in a world that is often painful, hopeless, and loveless to many people... Feel free to drop by the Centre any time. Our helpful staff and efficient Administrator will be pleased to answer any questions you may have. We continue to covet your support, and once again, sincerely thank you for it."
Rev. Fred Rennie
"The Agapè Centre exists to provide food, clothing, and household items for people in need through a soup kitchen, food bank and thrift shop. These services are offered to clients in a dignified manner while encouraging personal responsability.
The Centre strives to work in close cooperation with other community agencies in order to enhance its ability to meet the needs of its clients and to avoid duplication of services.
In the responsible discharge of its services, the Centre is always mindful of its ongoing accountability to the community that supports its mission."
The Soup Kitchen... a friendly place to share a meal !
"People come to the Agapè Soup Kitchen for many reasons. Most come to eat a well balanced, economical meal but one will also find friendly faces, companionship and fellowship. Depending on the time of the month we serve 50 to 90 people a day.
The soup kitchen is open 12:00 noon to 2:00 p.m. Monday to Friday and the last three weekends of the month. Visitors are asked to contribute .50 cents, if they are able, to support the cost of the service or purchase a monthly meal ticket for $7.50 which reduces the cost of the service to .33 cents.
Three wonderful groups make it possible for the kitchen to be open three weekends of the month. The groups include: Trinity Anglican Church, St. Matthews Lutheran Church and the "A" Team. (We would welcome the opportunity to be open every weekend if other groups are interested). The soup kitchen usually serves soup, salad, a main dish, coffee and desert.
Members of St. Thérèse de Lisieux Parish also put on a delicious meal on the first Tuesday of every month.
Recently we have started celebrating the birthdays of our visitors at the monthly birthday party. Balloons, special table cloths, a banner, personalized birthday cards, cake and candles, a special treat and a free meal ticket, all help to make the day very special. But most of all "Huggy Bear" comes around to give hugs to those celebrating and also to whom ever wants a big bear hug!"
The Food Bank, when the money doesn't go far enough.
"The Agapè food bank looks like a very small grocery store. In this store, food is given free of charge to individuals who are in need.
Each person receiving this service must first be interviewed by an experienced intake worker to determine the need... A client can get help in the food bank once per month and more often for very special circumstances. Clients usually go home with about one week's worth of food for themselves and their family.
However, the food bank is only as helpful as the donations we receive. We receive some food from the National Food Bank and a reclamation program. However, most of the food that people take home comes from the local community donations. The Agapè helps on average 320 adults and 215 children each month. With recent plant closures and jobs being replaced at minimum wages, our stats are on the rise with little relief for the immediate future."
The Thrift Shoppe... We give it away and we sell the rest!
"Thanks to the generous donations of the local community, everyone can dress in style at The Thrift Shoppe.
Our first responsability is to the less fortunate. After a short interview with an experienced intake worker, individuals who are in need are given a referral to go to The Thrift Shoppe and shop for free. Housewares and furniture are also available.
Since the community is so generous, we are able to open the store to the general public to generate funds to support the Soup Kitchen and the Food Bank..."
Working Together... Now and at Christmas time !
"The Agapè Centre is one of 4 food banks that serve Cornwall and surrounding areas. The other three are the Salvation Army, St. Vincent de Paul at St. Francis de Sales and St. Columban churches.
We are working and meeting together on a regular basis to avoid duplication of services. We service the City of Cornwall, Martintown, Williamstown, Glen Walter, Summerstown, St. Andrews, Newington, Monkland, Long Sault, Ingleside and Cornwall Island. We have also met with our counterparts in the neighboring counties and determined our boundaries which will apply at Christmas also.
Preparations for the Christmas basket distribution started way back in the month of May.
Thanks to the Children's Christmas Fund, we will be able to work from one central data base to ensure that every family who needs a basket will receive one....
People can register for a Christmas basket at any Cornwall food bank starting on November 1st."
Establishing cooperatives... meeting people where they are.
"Many different services exist in Cornwall for people on low incomes. We try at the Agapè Center to tell people about the services that could help them. But sometimes it is better to bring the services to them.
We have recently formed two cooperatives that we feel will benefit the people who come to us for service.
Kim Height from the Canadian Mental Health Association comes to work at the Agapè Center one half day per week to offer her services to our clients...
Sylvie Gagné from Family Counseling's Credit Counseling also spends one half day a week advising clients of options when they are in very difficult situations.
We hope to continue to form partnerships with appropriate agencies to help our clients."
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Centre Agapè Center
231 McConnell Ave.
fax : 613.933.4971
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