Agape is a Greek word that means unconditional love, or as its President and CEO David Jordan says, “choosing to love thy neighbor as we love God and ourselves.”
Agape has been loving Memphis for 50 years and Jordan has been with them for half that time.
At the beginning, the organization was focused solely on foster care and adoption, but over the years Agape decided it needed to address poverty as well.
“Only 3 to 5 percent of families who live in dire poverty — born, grow up — ever escape poverty into prosperity,” Jordan said.
That is why Agape created community cafes where conversations are held with families in Frayser, Hickory Hill and Whitehaven to find out what is working and what is standing in their way of success.
“The number one matter, almost always, has been ‘I or we don’t feel safe.’ We don’t have the education, the schools for our kids to be successful. Or I may need help with my kids to be successful,” Jordan said.
Agape kicked into action and adopted a two-generation whole family wraparound model serving both the parent and child, from donating computers and internet hot spots to families whose kids are virtually learning, connecting parents with career and employment assistance, and helping families in transition when it comes to housing.
“That is where we have housing for women that are fleeing from domestic violence. We have housing for people that are fleeing homelessness,” said Sherry Mackey, Agape;s director of marketing.
Agape truly walks alongside their neighbors. Our anonymous donor took note and gave them $1,000 as a thank you for being a dedicated community changer.