AGAPE is blessed with talented, friendly administrative staff, and if you’ve ever visited our main office, you’ve likely had the pleasure of meeting them. Karen Gibbs works as an administrative assistant for the counseling department. With a master’s degree in professional counseling, she’s able to use some of that knowledge and experience in her day-to-day work. To learn more about Karen and her role at AGAPE, check out the Q&A below:
When did you join AGAPE?
I began working two days a week at the AGAPE Woodmont Hills office in August 2014. In January 2015, I moved to the main office and increased my hours, working four days a week. I enjoy my Fridays off!
What’s your favorite part of the job?
My favorite part is getting to tell prospective clients that we have a counselor who can see them, even though they can’t afford to pay very much. It’s great having options – such as grant money, special funding and interns who can see clients at a lower fee – that allow us to serve a larger population. It gives them hope after being denied services elsewhere, and I know they’ll be seeing a compassionate Christian counselor who really cares about them.
What about your work might surprise people?
We see clients as young as 4 and as old as upper 80’s. Mental health issues and life problems span the generations.
What motivates you?
Knowing that people are getting the help they need at AGAPE, whether through social services or counseling. It makes coming to work mean so much more than just working a regular job.
What have you learned since joining AGAPE?
Before coming to AGAPE, I had never worked at a non-profit before. I’ve learned the importance of being a good steward of the contributions made by our faithful supporters. Their hard-earned money should be put to the best use and not wasted.
Do you have a favorite memory from working at AGAPE?
One of my favorite memories is last year’s Halloween party. It was our first time to dress up for Halloween, and one of the interns came in looking like a big pink cloud. She was dressed as pink cotton candy, and she had gone all out on her costume! Jeff Fox also came in full hockey gear, rolling into the building on his inline skates. It’s fun to do things like that because so much of our work deals with hard and serious issues. It’s good to be able to laugh and be silly sometimes.
What do you like to do for fun?
I enjoy reading, traveling and taking naps whenever possible. Looking at Pinterest is also a favorite thing to do when I’m relaxing.
Tell us a little about your family:
My husband, Phil, and I celebrated our 48th wedding anniversary this year. We met at Lipscomb in 1968 and have lived in several different places, including Frankfurt, Germany where he served in the army in the early 1970’s. We have two adopted children, Josh (34) and Kelsey (29). Josh was adopted through the TN Department of Children’s Services when we lived in Knoxville, and AGAPE did the home study for our daughter who was born in Abilene, TX.