Not quite a year ago, AGAPE senior center in Goessel closed its doors. Last week, board president Norman Schmidt officially donated the final proceeds from the sale of the facility to the Goessel Community Foundation. He presented a check for $20,000 to GCF vice president Myron Schmidt and Central Kansas Community Director Sandi Fruit.
“We realized we just couldn’t keep going the way we were,” Schmidt said. “Our discussions always centered on the fact that we wanted to keep this money in the community to aid our seniors and that purpose will be served with the Goessel Community Foundation.”
Schmidt said he understood the goal of GCF was to help the community. He expected AGAPE funds to go toward providing meals for elderly shut-ins in the community through Bethesda Home. Money donated will also help develop the community foundation network.
Cindy Wiens, GCF president, said a Goessel Seniors Endowment Fund has been created with the AGAPE donation.
“This money will provide support services and fund food and nutrition, health and wellness, transportation, mobility services, and social opportunities for our seniors in and around Goessel,” she said. “Our main goals are to continue to support the homebound food delivery.”
Currently 10 to 12 homebound seniors in Goessel receive meals on a daily basis. The meals are prepared at Bethesda Home and delivered by volunteers.
“We still have some people that are lonely and grieving the loss of the AGAPE center,” Linda Ewert, Goessel Ministerial Alliance member and coordinator of Goessel meal deliveries said. “But our meal program is going strong and the food is very good.”
Ewert said meals are planned by Bethesda nutritionist Trish Shimming for those who sign-up ahead of time. Anyone wishing to join the meal delivery program can contact Shimming at Bethesda Home.
“Some of the people that used to eat at the AGAPE center are the ones now delivering meals,” Ewert said. “We have a very dedicated core of volunteers. They are very reliable. We can always use more volunteers though.”
Ewert said one issue not adequately resolved after the closing of the AGAPE center was the pool players need for space.
“They have their pool table set up in the balcony of the Goessel Mennonite Church and continue to play regularly,” Ewert said. “But it is difficult for some to make it up and down those stairs. I wish there was a better place.”