Effingham Catholic Charities Concludes Successful Agape Project

Effingham Catholic Charities Concludes Successful Agape Project 

Since 1981, Effingham Catholic Charities has aimed to provide help and hope to those in need in and around Effingham. This time, however, this incredible community came together to support us. In April 2023, we announced the Agape Project—a capital campaign created to address needed renovations to the Effingham Catholic Charities facilities. In Christianity, “agape” is defined as the highest form of love, a transcendent sacrificial love that persists regardless of circumstances. 

The goal was to raise $600,000 over a three-year pledge period, with all donations remaining local and exclusively benefitting Effingham Catholic Charities. However, thanks to the hard work of our committee members and many munificent donors, we reached our goal in only a little over three months! 

“We have been overwhelmed by the response to our campaign. The incredible generosity and support of so many people reinforces the fact that we are all blessed to live in such a loving and compassionate community,” stated Beth Lindvahl, the campaign committee chair. “I am also so grateful to all of the campaign committee members who dedicated themselves to this effort and remained determined to see it succeed.” 

The proceeds of the Agape Project will allow us to replace the aging HVAC systems, repair the parking lot and walkways and renovate the onsite food pantry at the Catholic Charities facility at 1502 E. Fayette Ave. In fact, because of the community’s generous response at the start of the campaign, the HVAC system was replaced in time to beat the summer heat. “I know the clients, staff and volunteers are very happy to have the air conditioning back on!” said Lindvahl. 

The next step will be to begin renovations of the onsite food pantry. Sister Carol Beckermann, Area Director for Effingham Catholic Charities, said the new food pantry will provide the hundreds of families we serve every year with a more dignified environment. “The renovation design will provide more open space to allow people an opportunity to “shop” for food items as opposed to the more impersonal ‘assembly line’ type of process,” stated Beckermann. “It will create a more interactive space where people can feel relaxed and dignified and where we can connect with our families on a deeper, more personal level.” 

We intend to finish renovations in the food pantry over the next few months. This fall, we will celebrate the campaign’s success with donors, committee members, and community members at an open house showing off the newly renovated facilities. 

While the success of the Agape Project will address the identified critical facility needs, ongoing traditional special events will continue to fund the program operations of Effingham Catholic Charities. 

The next Effingham Catholic Charities fundraiser is the Austin Luckett Memorial Golf Tournament on Friday, August 4, 2023, at the Cardinal Golf Course in Effingham. Golfers can register online at cc.dio.org or contact Maria Kingery at 217.857.1458, ext. 102.  

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