Giving with grace
“ In helping others, we shall help ourselves, for whatever good we give out completes the circle and comes back to us.” Flora Edwards
Recently we’ve been letting the public know that we have experienced a 25 percent increase in demand for our services over the last six months here at the Agapè Centre. But what does that number translate to in terms of actual experience? For us, it means increasing the number of volunteers we require to deliver our programs like the Food Bank and Soup Kitchen. It means holding more food drives and fundraisers. It means finding the time and resources to assist an ever-increasing number of clients. And it means that quite a number of our former clients have been returning, those who haven’t been to the centre for several months, and, sometimes, years. The combination of recession, job loss and increasing food prices has been too much for these families to bear, without seeking our assistance.
For the first time, we have had to hold food drives in the summer to help us meet the new demands being placed on our food bank, culminating in the Back-to-School Food Drive which was held at Baxtrom’s Your Independent Grocer at the end of August. So here we are in September looking forward to our next big food drive, the Thanksgiving Food Drive, to be held once again at Baxtrom’s Your Independent Grocer. We depend on the Thanksgiving Food Drive to get us through the fall, and carry the Food Bank program until our Christmas season begins.
A Thanksgiving Food Drive has always been such an appropriate pairing of the things that are important to us at centre, feeding the hungry and sharing with the members of our community. During the food drives this summer, our volunteers received a number of comments from people wondering why we were holding yet another appeal for food. The answer is simple: because the need is there. Our clients are single families, working families, seniors with inadequate pensions, others living on fixed incomes, transients, the homeless and, always, those who are hungry.
It is a tremendous task, trying to assist all those come to the centre. Now, as in the past, the Agapè Centre has been giving its all to answer the call of the poor, the hungry, those in crisis and those individuals who have fallen between the cracks of what we were promised was an affluent society.
So, once again, we are asking for your help, to assist us in supporting our local people in need. Please come out to our Thanksgiving Food Drive and buy that little bit of extra groceries to share with those less fortunate, while you shop for your own celebration with friends and family.
School snacks for children, like juice boxes, granola bars, fruit and pudding cups and other school lunch items are some of the items we have the greatest need for. We also need brown beans, canned meats, canned pasta for kids, peanut butter, canned vegetables and fruit, juice, boxed kitchen helpers, cereal and pasta.