Your spare change can change lives - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Your spare change can change lives

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - The Agape House is asking for the public's change to help them continue to change the lives of others.

Volunteers set up at the intersection of Carroll Street and West Kings Highway in Paragould from three to seven Friday afternoon to collect donations for the organization.

The Agape House, started in 2005, is a women's facility designed to help get them off the streets and kick their drug habits for good.

Board of Director Chair for the Agape House, Jeff Rousseau, says the drug problem in Region 8 showed up some time ago and many are working to rid the communities of it.

"As we know, in the mid 19-90s this area was hit really bad with the epidemic of meth," Rousseau said. "From that, it really polluted our community and we're trying to win the war on meth. Since then we've come up with these programs like the Overcomers and the Agape House and other things in the community that are helping people get clean and stay off of drugs."

Executive Director of the Agape House, Sunny Curtis, says they want to help women get their lives back.

"We see women set free from drug addiction," Curtis said. "We watch them become productive, contributing members of society. We see families restored. Mothers and their children restored to each other."

Rousseau says it takes just a little to help change a person's life forever.

"You can put change in a bucket that will back somebody," Rousseau said. "Or help someone that can volunteer their time and be the hands and legs that do all the work."

Curtis says the program at the Agape House is involved in all aspects of their client's lives.

"We have classes on financial literacy, which is a budgeting class," Curtis said. "We have a love and logic class, parenting classes, employee ability skills and even bible classes. If they don't have their GED we get them enrolled and get them started to get their GED first and foremost. A lot of women return to college while they're with us. They finish their employee ability skills. We work as a court liaison with the court system and help them get things straightened out."

Curtis says despite all they do and the people they help, they rely solely on the donations and contributions of others.

"We don't receive any government money," Curtis said. "We run almost one hundred percent on contributions. And it takes a lot of money to run a house. We've got running two houses and a step down house, right now. And it just takes a lot of money to operate three homes."

Rousseau says to remember that everyone deserves a second chance to live their life.

"Don't give up on them," Rousseau said. "And if you can help them, there are enough programs to direct them to the right path. Don't just shun them. Try to get them help. They're real people."

The Agape House has served sixteen counties in the past two years and even helped women from four different states. Curtis says the majority of our clients come out of Greene, Craighead, Poinsett and Cross counties.

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