Agape Center campaign nearing half way point

The Agape Center on Sixth Street in Cornwall (Cornwall Newswatch/Google Maps)

Randi Belec

CORNWALL – The Agapè Center launched a building campaign in September to generate enough money to repair extensive damage to the building. The damage is mostly wear and tear from age, although there are some major concerns, such as the heating system, and cracked windows.

The center had set down a time line to complete the building campaign by May 2015. With five months left of the campaign Alyssa Blais, Executive Director for The Agapè Center, is confident the campaign will reach its $1 million goal. Blais declined to give a total of the amount of money raised so far, citing that they are still waiting on some applications for funding. The Agapè Center is still reaching out to the community for support.

“We definitely need community support.” Blais told Cornwall Newswatch.

The center has five major repair projects that need attention. They need to repair, or replace the accessibility ramp, flooring, bathrooms, and the heating system and windows. The problems with the heating system can cause the temperature to drop inside the building to as low as 14 degrees. These major improvements to the building will create a safe and secure building for staff and clients. Blais plans to have all renovations done by the end of 2015, and will be ready to start by spring.

The Agapè Center reaches out to all those in need of food, in Cornwall. The facility supports 1,200 clients a month. In the most recent year the center has seen a 30 per cent increase in client activity. Blais believes this is due to the fluctuating economy and inflation.

“It’s rare that you can survive on minimum wage, and in this climate people have no stability,” says Blais. “I think the increase is also because there are less and less people who have support.”

Recently The Agapè Center has received money from Sunrise Rotary, in order to restart the kid’s cooking program. This program was a success during the summer, and geared to teaching school age children how to prepare cold meals, pack their own lunches, and encourages them to try new foods. The center will run a variety of food related programs, including programs to teach adult how to cook and eat healthier.

“We are going to be able to provide these programs in the upcoming year,” says Blais.

Not only does the center have huge plans on the rise to renovate the building, but it is also focusing more on food security issues. Blais is very confident about the campaign, and the upcoming projects.

For more information about The Agapè Center, or to donate to the cause visit http://agapecenter.ca/

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