Reaching Out for Agape, a student-run Indiegogo campaign that aims to raise money for Agape Outreach Homes, has launched. They are fundraising to help Agape purchase fifteen new beds for residents who live in the house as well as those transitioning to independent living.
Agape simultaneously combats homelessness and mental illness by providing a place to live and treatment programs for its clients. The home itself houses 24 men currently. Furthermore, the treatment programs at Agape involve relearning basic tasks, receiving medication and therapy for mental illnesses, and learning new skills for future use. Agape has been an important part of the greater Knoxville community since 1983.
This project is part of an English Public Writing class, where groups of University of Tennessee students choose an organization, develop a campaign, and take on campaigning themselves. However, to the group members of Reaching Out for Agape, this is much more than a class project. Not only have tireless hours been put into the campaign, but they also have become personally invested in the cause. Agape gives them a chance to better the community, helps them work to make a positive difference, and allows them to learn skills firsthand that they otherwise could not.
Team member Eric Pelehach once served with his church at Agape two years back, and his encounters with some of the residents still stick with him today: “I will never forget some of the conversations I had with the guys there. They were such genuinely good people, and ever since that day I knew I wanted to come back. It’s crazy that a Public Writing class gave me that chance.” Furthermore, “My family still donates to Agape. Knowing I’m not really contributing that, this feels like a great way for me to help.”
The goal of the campaign is to raise $1,500 before its ending date, April 28th.