Faith-based nonprofit Agape Child & Family Services has kicked off fundraising for a $6 million Love Your Neighborhood initiative to improve lives of Memphians in need.
The 47-year-old philanthropic organization has earmarked over $3.3 million for site-based services like school initiatives and workforce readiness programs.
“The theme speaks to our core desire to love all of Memphis, reaching people where they live, working to engage local businesses, organizations and individuals to support children and families right here in Memphis,” said David Jordan, president and CEO of Agape.
Agape's educational program, Stars, has seen success. All 41 recent participants at MLK Prep graduated high school and 93 percent of those students went on to pursue higher education.
Currently, Agape has the resources to fund some school programs more than others. For instance, Agape has connectors up through high school for Frayser students. Hickory Hill, meanwhile, has support from Stars staff for elementary students only.
Agape staff, called Connectors, work directly with students and families to address outside needs that may affect school performance.
The remaining funds from the Love Your Neighborhood initiative will go to homeless services, facilities, and volunteer recruitment and training. Foster care, adoption and counseling services will be funded too.
“Families here struggle with challenges such as poverty, homelessness, safety, education, job skills and parenting skills,” said Jordan.
Agape's programs will have years-long focus in the high-needs communities of Frayser, Hickory Hill, Raleigh and Whitehaven.
Agape Child & Family Services has launched a $6 million campaign themed Love Your Neighborhood. The campaign is an effort to fund the agency's growth through the year 2020.
“We’re seeing significant positive changes in the communities we serve such as an increase in school attendance, better grades, increased parental involvement, enhanced workforce readiness, and we’re helping hundreds of homeless families on the road to self-sufficiency,” said Jordan.
The nonprofit uses a two-generation model that wholly supports both parent and child through wraparound services, Jordan explained.
The Department of Human Services recently awarded Agape a $12.2 million grant to continue its work in Frayser, Hickory Hill, Raleigh and Whitehaven.
The grant money will be doled out over the next three years. It will allow an extra 1,000 families in Memphis access to Agape’s services.
“The campaign is an effort to fund the agency’s growth through 2020,” said Jordan. So far, Agape has reached 83 percent of its fundraising goal.
“We are hopeful that the Love Your Neighborhood campaign will help us continue our critical work in support of local families in crisis,” said Hamp Holcomb, Agape board member and campaign chair.
“We feel confident that the support we receive from current and new supporters will help us transform the city of Memphis the only way it can be done – one family at a time.”
While Agape is busy helping to improve Memphis’ most disadvantaged areas, they are also enjoying their new facility located at 3160 Director’s Row. It was donated by the Hope Christian Community Foundation to house Agape’s growing staff.
“Since moving in, we have added a host of new leadership and supportive team members to help us further our mission of serving children and families in the Memphis area,” said Jordan.