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Fun event gives Family Promise of Effingham financial boost

POSTED: March 13, 2018 8:11 a.m.
Mark Lastinger/staff/

The St. Boniface Catholic Church team is all smiles as it crosses the finish line Saturday at First Baptist Church of Rincon.

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RINCON — Michael Tageson’s donation was a little larger than he had planned.

Tageson left a considerable amount of skin on the First Baptist Church of Rincon parking lot during Saturday’s 2018 Family Promise of Effingham Bed Race.

During a preliminary heat, Tageson took a spill while manning the right rear position of Rincon First Christian Church’s bed.

“If it wasn’t a ten (on the pain scale), it was a nine,” Tageson said as blood oozed from his scraped right elbow at the conclusion of the event that generated more than $10,000. “It was worth it, though. It’s for a good cause and everybody had lots of fun.”

The fun didn’t overshadow the seriousness of Family Promise of Effingham’s purpose — to aid those in need of a home. LaQuana Hargrove, a 29-year-old mother of two toddlers, provided focus with a tearful speech before the racing started.

“In the very beginning, I was so nervous. I was so scared,” she said. “I didn’t know how this program would turn out to be. I was afraid I would have my kids taken away from me.”

Family Promise of Effingham — thanks to the support of local churches — provides food, shelter and support services as it clients receive training to help them achieve sustainable independence. Its approach has helped nearly 80 percent of its clients secure housing.

Hargrove, who works at Rincon’s Kroger Marketplace, got her own apartment late last year.

“I’m just very grateful and very blessed for all the people that came to help us,” she said.

After pledging $400 to Family Promise of Effingham at the end of her remarks, Hargrove received quite a shock. Leah Kessler, the organization’s director, gave her the keys to a van parked in the church parking lot.

“I was not expecting that at all,” Hargrove said as her eyes moistened again. “I was truly at a loss for words. I just appreciate everybody in the program, especially the ones who sat down with me and talked to me.

“I used to be closed off because I was afraid of what people would think of me.”

Kessler said Hargrove was rewarded for sticking with the program and adhering to its requirements. Hargrove, who professed love for Family Promise of Effingham’s staff and volunteers, urged others in need of housing to follow her example.

“If you are a family that is going through a struggle and you have nowhere or no one to turn to, go to Family Promise,” she said. “If you follow the things they ask you to do, you’ll make it.”

For more information about Family Promise of Effingham, call 912-228-4748 or email program.director.fpe@gmail.com.

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