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The history of AGAPE and its service to the Columbia and Montour county residents began in July 2006 when Mission Central’s vision of hub expansion throughout the communities is first suggested at the Annual Conference of the Central Susquehanna United Methodist Church. The idea for a Mission Central Hub in the Bloomsburg area expanded to include addressing the needs of our local communities. The vision to “fill in the gaps so no one falls through the cracks” is created and in December 2008, the first AGAPE Board of Directors are appointed.
AGAPE opened its doors to the community in July 2009, where initial services provided are the receipt and distribution of used furniture and linens, providing informational assistance and referral services. AGAPE assists 349 families in its first five months (July to December 2009). In its first full year, AGAPE’s eight programs provide $53,807.53 in assistance to 1,073 families.
In September 2011, Tropical Storm Lee hits Northeast Pennsylvania leading to the most damaging flooding in this area in over 100 years. AGAPE is designated the Flood Recovery Center for Columbia County. AGAPE coordinates over 5,000 volunteers to help individuals with clean-up and rebuilding throughout the region. AGAPE distributes recovery supplies to communities in six counties in Northeastern Pennsylvania. An estimated $2,000,000 is distributed in flood relief, clean-up, rebuilding and refurnishing assistance. In 2012, AGAPE continues to serve the community by assisting flood survivors through distribution of clean-up and rebuilding supplies, and volunteers to assist in rebuilding efforts.
Through our holistic approach to addressing our community’s needs, we have succeeded in serving 9,011 families, providing $1,052,765.16 in total assistance to our communities (not including flood relief efforts) and serving 16,498 hot meals from 2013 to 2014.
These accomplishments would not be possible without the support we receive from our community.