HERMISTON - The struggle for funding is something every volunteer organization faces on a day-to-day basis, but when the organization takes on a special project the struggle becomes even more daunting.

The Agape House took on just such a challenge in September 2003 when it announced plans for a capital building fund-raising campaign to purchase and remodel its facility at 500 Harper Road at a cost of $675,000.

The mission is beginning to see progress in its grant-writing campaign with the announcement of a $105,000 grant from the Meyer Memorial Trust Foundation.

"We asked for $100,000, (Meyer Memorial) increased it to $102,000 for computer equipment and we got $105,000," said David Hughes, director of Agape House. The mission has also received local grants of $10,000 from ConAgra Foods, $15,000 from Wildhorse and $15,000 from Good Shepherd Health Foundation.

Agape entered into an agreement with Good Shepherd Health Care Systems, owners of the proposed building, to purchase the facility. The hospital is starting preparations to erect a metal building to replace the warehouse on Harper Road.

"It is good we can support each other," said Rick Rice, public relations director of Good Shepherd Health Care System. "We are a community not for profit organization as is Agape House, so it's a win, win situation for both of us."

The process should take about six months and during that time Hughes will look for support from businesses and the community to step in and help Agape reach its goal.

"We need business and community support to show grant funders the community is behind us," Hughes said. "Neat things are happening. We are so excited - so appreciative."

Hughes is continuing his fund-raising campaign efforts which include more grant writing and a Golf Tournament at Echo Hills Golf Course this Saturday.

Anyone interested donating to the building fun or participating in the golf tournament can contact Agape House at 567-5774.

Agape House

Agape House was founded in 1986 by Kathleen Knudeson to help the less fortunate in the area with food, shelter and clothing. Agape House has served the community from its present 11th Street location since 1987.

The organization provides food to individuals, open table meal programs and senior centers. In addition, Agape House helps with clothing, household items, furniture and appliances, and emergency temporary housing and prescriptions.

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