It Takes a Congregation

Volunteers, friends, and supporters of Love INC gathered at the Double Tree Inn on May 13, a sunny spring evening respite from the rain. It turned out to be a busy weekend for many who would normally attend the Love INC banquet, but God saw that the right 130 people were there.

“Bridging the Gap” was our theme for the evening. We were blessed with a number of heartwarming stories told by some dedicated servants who are active in what we refer to as gap ministries through their local churches—that is, they work in collaboration with Love INC to provide services that are not otherwise available to needy neighbors in our community. Here are a few we highlighted:

  • Loads of Love, Belmont Baptist
  • Diaper Ministry, Olivet Presbyterian Church
  • Personal Care Closet, Connect Church
  • Medical Equipment Ministry
  • Children’s Clothing Closet, Immanuel Lutheran
  • Bunk Bed Ministry, Partner Churches

Fran Storer of Immanual Lutheran told us about three women who have been loved on by their church since opening the children’s clothing closet only a year ago. Even though subset of members run the ministry, they involve their whole church in praying for and serving the families who visit. “Sometimes it just takes a congregation,” she wisely summed up.

“For me, Love INC represents the collective conscience of our Christian community,” she added. “They are an invitation, not only to give but to serve. They open the door and give you the opportunity to touch a life – to know who and how you are helping and to feel the response when you get a hug and hear the words, ‘I can’t believe it. Thank you so much.’”

Fran and the other gap ministry speakers articulated the mission of Love INC from a place of firsthand experience, and they were exactly right.  And now, Love INC is looking for churches to fill a number of other gaps, such as Furniture Delivery teams, Baby Items closet, Food Deliveries and another Diaper Ministry team.

Please contact our Executive Director, Ray Klein, to learn more about how your church can serve.

 

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Our Success in 2014

The year 2014 was busy but successful on many fronts for the ministry of Love In the Name of Christ. New churches continue to join the network, partnering with other fellowships to help people in need. There was no letup in clients — our neighbors in need — calling Love INC seeking assistance.

Social and government agencies also continue to call Love INC seeking assistance for their clients. And, churches, both in and out of the network, continue to call and refer people to Love INC who are asking for their assistance.

The numbers of those helped continued to grow and you have been a vital ingredient in that growth through your prayers, financial support and volunteering. In fact, in 2014, you helped serve 4,090 people (1,953 adults and 2,137 children). Love INC also worked with 107 different churches and 85 different agencies providing assistance for our neighbors in need. We fulfilled a total of 1,841 requests for help, among them the following:

  • 410 households received furniture and household goods; 10 others received medical-related items.
  • 151 families received as much clothing as they could use.
  • 104 authenticated emergency financial needs were met.
  • 495 families received Thanksgiving meals, 136 families received Christmas meals, and 51 families received Christmas gifts through programs Love INC helped coordinate. In addition, 405 children received school supplies.
  • 13 people received household repairs, 5 received help with housecleaning, 3 received auto repairs, and 14 received firewood.
  • 14 families received help moving to a new residence.
  • 12 homeless individuals or families received supplies, such as tents, blankets, food, and/ or outdoor equipment.

Six hundred eighteen of you volunteered 4,852 hours to assist and make life better for your neighbors in need. Many thanks as well to the 432 donors who gave generously to fund Love INC’s work to bring churches together to transform lives and communities in the name of Christ.

We also are excited about working with churches to add new Gap Ministries to the network. These ministries are designed to meet a need not already being offered (or not offered enough) in the community. Gap Ministries are relational, and most are designed with a mentoring component that gives a hand up to people, while helping them with immediate material needs. The current and developing Gap Ministries are:

  • Laundry Mentoring Ministry – Belmont Baptist Church
  • Diaper Mentoring Ministry – Olivet Presbyterian Church
  • Personal Care Ministry – Word of Faith Church
  • Medical Equipment Ministry – Ruckersville Baptist Church
  • Children’s Clothing Ministry – Immanuel Lutheran Church
  • Furniture Delivery Ministry – Calvary Chapel of Charlottesville
  • Bunk Bed Ministry (New!) – Multi-Church
  • Firewood Ministry – Ivy Creek UMC, St. Paul’s, Ivy & Scottsville UMC

Another plus that grows out of the relational ministries is that volunteers often become aware of additional issues within the families they minister to. And in communicating these issues to Love INC, the other revealed areas can be addressed by caring volunteers, further building relationships between God’s people and those being served.

Also imperative to the Love INC ministry is the small army of loyal volunteers that come to the office, sort through donations, help with mailings, do data base projects, make deliveries to shut-ins and assist with phone calls. Would you consider joining them? We will communicate new needs as they develop through the coming year.

Now, to wrap up this summary, we want to express our appreciation to all those who have contributed their time and resources to the Love INC movement to help people in need. We have been blessed, but so have hundreds of others in our community.

Learn more about Love in the Name of Christ.