Damon invited Tony & Susan Juarez from Agape's Grace in Louisburg. They started the non-profit organization in 2002 as a way to care for and empower adults with disabilities. 
After Tony gave the invocation, Susan explained more about their enterprise on the corner of Amity & Broadway in the former Louisburg United Methodist Church building. Susan's youngest brother Raymond is intellectually disabled, so the couple is familiar with the care and needs of adults who have similar challenges and want to be independent. 
They started their program in 2002 with 2-3 clients, working Monday thru Friday. Similar to Tri-Ko in Osawatomie and Lakemary in Paola, Agape's Grace helps find meaningful work for their clients through community service. By 2007 the response was so great that Susan knew they needed to pursue a day program. She didn't want it to mimic every other program, instead she wanted it to be community based, faith based and to start later in the day when everyone would be the most productive.
While the other organizations serve large groups, Susan and Tony wanted to keep their numbers low, not serving more than 10 clients at a time, so they could maintain a family oriented experience. They partnered with the Ministerial Alliance and became a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. When they had enough work and activities that it started to overwhelm, Tony left his 16 years of work in sales to fully focus on Agape's Grace. "It was a huge leap of faith," he said, "and I love it. The people we take care of are no different than we are. We are kind of life coaches, and we are all dealing with the same issues."
It was difficult to find consistent community service opportunities in Louisburg where those services can quickly be exhausted and Susan and Tony also knew their clients could benefit from actual jobs.​ In honor of her mother, Lela Wagermann, they opened a thrift store in 2011. "The lives we have been able to touch have been amazing," Susan said. Truly a family affair, their oldest son Anthony helps with the business. 
Their work is consistent and can be exhausting, as it's a 24/7 venture. With a total of 24 staff members, they monitor medications (an on-call nurse consultant trains staff to administer meds) and are inundated with paperwork. Financed through a waiver with the Home and Community Based Services and the state of Kansas, the majority of their funding goes toward insurance and taxes (sales and employment) and then toward salaries. Surviving paycheck to paycheck, they rely heavily on donations and shoppers at the thrift shop.
Members of Agape's Grace work the thrift store and keep it running smoothly. They also do outreach, through special projects such as Lela's Love Fund and Lela's Angel Tree. The annual recipient of Lela's Love Fund is a member of the community who is going through crisis. This year's recipient was Mrs. Roarke.
In Other News: 
  • Craig made up for lost time getting Happy Do$$ars
    • ​​Collyn supported Craig's age finding plight​
    • Bowes enjoyed watching Garrett Griffin play LIVE
    • Jim lived to see another birthday
    • Tom also enjoyed watching Garrett play LIVE...wait...didn't Kiersten already pay that Happy Do$$ar?!
    • Craig's daddy is still filing his taxes - he was derailed due to the World Series and blew by that secondary October 15 deadline
    • Damon is not filing his taxes
  • Coats for Folks is NOW. Please donate before December 11
  • Raymond's father-in-law Garry Murphy took his last breath on Monday, November 10. Funeral services were Thursday in Harrisonville.
The November Board meeting was held on Monday, November 17th @ Sidelines
  • A member of the Leavenworth Rotary Club will serve as a program to discuss Rotary license plates
  • Kiersten moved to offer a matching donation opportunity up to $250 to Agape's Grace. Craig seconded. The deadline for donations will be December 3.
  • The board will develop a policy for donating to clubs and organizations
  • Be ready for a Holiday Party in January
  • We declined to replace the popcorn machine in the LMS concession stand
  • We want our Rotary MOJO back
    • The board is creating a list of participation expectations for club members
    • Everyone should have a mentor