Your spare change can change lives

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

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

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

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

"As we know, in the mid 19-90s this area was hitreally bad with the epidemic of meth," Rousseau said. "From that, itreally polluted our community and we're trying to win the war on meth. Sincethen we've come up with these programs like the Overcomers and the Agape Houseand other things in the community that are helping people get clean and stayoff 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 ofsociety. We see families restored. Mothers and their children restored to eachother."

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

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

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

"We have classes on financial literacy, which isa budgeting class," Curtis said. "We have a love and logic class,parenting classes, employee ability skills and even bible classes. If theydon't have their GED we get them enrolled and get them started to get their GEDfirst 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 thecourt system and help them get things straightened out."

Curtis says despite all they do and the people theyhelp, 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 ittakes a lot of money to run a house. We've got running two houses and a stepdown house, right now. And it just takes a lot of money to operate threehomes."

Rousseau says to remember that everyone deserves asecond 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 theright path. Don't just shun them. Try to get them help. They're realpeople."

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

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