Agape Community Outreach offers helping hand in Wetaskiwin

Dozens of families in the Wetaskiwin area are celebrating the upcoming anniversary of a new clothing and thrift charity in the city.

Agape Community Outreach executive director Kate Halas

Dozens of families in the Wetaskiwin area are celebrating the upcoming anniversary of a new clothing and thrift charity in the city.

Agape (pronounced Ah-gawp-ay) Community Outreach is a new non-profit resource for those families and individuals in the area who are having a tough time making ends meet said executive director Kate Halas.

“Agape is a Greek word, it means ‘perfect love,’” said Halas by phone Oct. 12. “We support low-income families and people who are struggling in the economic downturn.” Halas said they’ve also helped people fleeing from abusive relationships. “We help them to start over.”

Halas said since Agape is so new, with its one year anniversary coming up in December, the charity has survived with no government funding and no grants. She noted many sources of funding want to see records from a charity for 12 months of operations.

She said Agape is also waiting for its charitable number to be approved by the federal government, but it’s been taking a long time. Halas said she hopes to receive the number in November.

The primary source of funding for Agape Community Outreach has been their thrift store, located at 4910, 48th Street in Wetaskiwin, in the old “Curves” gym. The store itself is open to the public but all proceeds above operating costs go straight to the outreach program. Halas said the substantial downtown construction has led more traffic past the store, a silver lining for the program.

Halas said the community outreach program supports people from the surrounding area, including Maskwacis, Millet and the counties, but she will not turn away anyone in need. Halas said she also enjoys working directly with clients because she’s not a big fan of red tape and bureaucracy. “When you’re in genuine need, application after application, that’s not feeding your family,” said Halas.

She said everything for sale in the store comes from donors; donations come from both inside and outside the community. Recently, Agape received a huge donation of grad dresses, some brand new.

However, Agape has some limits. The store doesn’t accept large appliances, mattresses, box springs or toys. Anything else goes from there.

The other part of Agape is the community outreach, which Halas handles at the store. She said those in need can meet with her and discuss their needs. “There’s not a lot of hoops to go through,” she said. “We only ask you take what you need.” Outreach support is always free of charge.

Over the past year, Agape Community Outreach has helped 55 families. Halas said Agape Community Outreach has also reached out to local police and emergency services to offer help to people in crisis, such as those who’ve had a house fire.

The store’s hours are Monday to Friday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday 11 to 5 and closed Sunday and stat holidays.

Halas said Agape was conceived in response to seeing people suffering in the community, losing homes, eating pet food because groceries were too expensive.

“At the end of the day, we just wanted to offer a hand,” added Halas.

 

Just Posted

Mentally healthy workplaces boost bottom line: speaker

Robert Manolson says employees looking for kinder workplaces

Wetaskiwin reader horrified at Trudeau’s weakness

Trudeau ignores child murderer’s transfer: writer

Residents not happy with county order to remove approach

County of Wetaskiwin says approach unapproved, dangerous

Leftover pumpkin recipes

Pumpkin cake recipe complete with icing

Ponoka County fire crews handle second baler fire in 12 hours

Fire crews handled a baler fire just west of Gull Lake

Singer k.d. lang receives Alberta’s highest honour

Celebrated singer-songwriter k.d. lang received the Alberta Order of Excellence in Edmonton

Payette invites critics to ‘come and spend a few days’ with her

Governor General Julie Payette made her first official to B.C. back in March

Police say suspicious death of B.C. artist ruled a homicide

Patrick Zube Aylward’s body was found in a residence on a rural road outside of Seton Portage, west of Lillooet, B.C.

Temporary roads being built in areas affected by landslide in northern B.C.

Emergency Management BC news release says Disaster Financial Assistance is available to eligible residents of the Peace River Regional District who may have been affected by the landslides

‘Mom, I’m in trouble:’ Canadian faces 10 years for alleged graffiti

Brittney Schneider, another tourist caught spraying message on walls of Tha Pae Gate in Thailand

Feds consulting on national anti-racism strategy behind closed doors

Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez says people still face systemic racism in some communities

Pot sales down by nearly 70% on Day 2 of legalization in B.C.

Several products on BC Cannabis Store are still sold out

Colourfully named cannabis products appeal to youth, Tory health critic says

Conservative health critic Marilyn Gladu says the Liberal government needs to do more to ensure cannabis products available online are not enticing to young people

B.C. high school teacher faces sexual assault charges

A Mt. Boucherie teacher has been charged with child luring, sexual exploitation and sexual assault.

Most Read