SCHUYLKILL HAVEN, Pa. -- A nonprofit organization that helps veterans held a job fair and ribbon cutting Tuesday in Schuylkill County.
We Agape You has helped countless veterans in Pennsylvania. In 2017, the nonprofit organization built a house near Pottsville for a veteran who lost his home in Puerto Rico after Hurricanes Irma and Maria. Now, the nonprofit plans on having a bigger influence in and around Schuylkill County.
According to the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, a veteran dies by suicide every 65 minutes. Those who sacrificed their own lives for our country are sometimes left hopeless, but that's where We Agape You steps in.
"Our mission is to create employment targeting veterans and the needs, but our target is veterans," said president Randolph Simmons. "We're about employment creation, not waiting on a job. Come to us and we'll create employment."
Agape is Greek for "Christ-like love." Its mission is to provide veterans with housing and employment opportunities by fixing up old, rundown properties. Once finished, those properties then serve as affordable housing options for those who served our country.
"It's beneficial. We appreciate it. It's encouraging," said Donald Mengle. "I think today, they're doing a much better job than the way it was in the 1960s and '70s."
The grand opening for We Agape You's new office in Schuylkill Haven took place Tuesday. There will be around a dozen employees working there, helping veterans find employment and housing opportunities.
Veterans tell us they're appreciative of organizations like We Agape You because these organizations haven't always been available to veterans, and volunteering and working in the community gives them a sense of purpose.
"I'm on a volunteer basis, so I come here on Mondays and Tuesdays and just do some trim work and it's enjoyable," said Iraq War veteran Michael Eddie.
Some renovations need to be done to that building, but officials expect it to be completed in about a month. For more information on We Agape You, click here.