Directors of the Agape House food pantry and resale shop are gearing up for the holiday season and recruiting volunteers amid unexpected management changes.
After the abrupt resignation of the manager last week, and closing the resale shop for the day after Thanksgiving, rumors spread that the community institution might close permanently.
Lindell Nickelson, Agape Help House board president, was at the center Nov. 26 to reassure volunteers that everything would proceed as normal.
Nickelson said the personnel crisis is temporary but would not, in any way, diminish service to the community.
“We went through some management changes,” she said. “But we’re working through restructuring. The main thing we want the volunteers and the public to know is that Agape Help House is in operation.”
Following the resignation of executive director Candi Wolf Nov. 22, directors met the following day and agreed to ask Jeannie Guffey, Tri-County Senior Center manager, to act as interim manager while a new full-time manager is hired.
“We’ve turned to an expert in working with volunteers to make certain both the pantry and resale shop continue normal operations,” Nickelson said. “After the first of the year the focus on hiring a full-time manager.”
Guffey will oversee day-to-day operations of Agape House until a new manager can be hired. She will continue as executive director of the senior center.
“I’m just here to get help the volunteers through the holidays,” said Guffey. “One of my main goals is to recruit additional volunteers for the holiday season. We especially need drivers.”
The organization, which operates with five paid employees and approximately 20 volunteers, has openings for two paid dockworkers. Individuals interested in the job must have a driver’s license. They will work 35 hours a week during the hours the resale shop is open.
The Agape House has been in operation in Pacific for 31 years, according to Bob Stoltz, a 30-year board member.
“We outgrew three buildings before we bought this building,” Stoltz said. “We had a 15-year mortgage, but were able to pay it off in seven years with sales from the resale shop.”
The resale shop also helps to fund the food pantry.
“There will be no loss of services during the holiday season,” Nickelson added. “The main thing we want the public to know is that the pantry and resale shop will continue to serve the community.”
Agape House is located at 120 Lamar Parkway.