Beloved Agape volunteers,
I'm sure you may have intuited that this was coming. It is not safe for us to operate a community kitchen with vulnerable populations right now. This is a very difficult decision because we know our guests need the meal we provide, and we all know that good nutrition is part of having a strong immune system. Even acknowledging the immense need, we simply cannot risk anyone getting the coronavirus, particularly when so many of our guests do not have easy access to adequate health care.
We decided to give our guests a $20 gift card to Wendy's, anticipating that this may purchase them several meals. Roger Dumont, William Robinson, and I distributed the gift cards last night at our regularly scheduled Agape hour. We did this very safely, outside and from behind the fence, and wore gloves. Every guest was extremely appreciative to have the gift card. I hope that we can be back at Agape quickly, but if it is more than a month or so, our leadership team will work on another strategy to make sure our guests know they are loved and cared for at Agape, even if we can't prepare them dinner ourselves.
I am very proud to be part of a community that puts the human dignity of our guests ahead of more pedestrian concerns like money. Budgets are important, but our team quickly put our mission into action and reallocated funding in our budget to make sure that our guests would be treated with the utmost respect. This is why we are Agape. "Agape" is a word that means radical, God-like love. We mobilized radical love this week and I know we will continue to find creative ways to continue to put love into action.
Thank you all for your support of Agape. Many have asked what they can do. Please pray. Pray for our guests and for vulnerable people everywhere. We will be communicating other ways you can help, including organizations you may want to donate to, but for tonight please pray.
I love you all,