Love INC: Making a difference one relationship at a time

Love INC

OSKALOOSA – “It takes a village to raise a child,” says the African proverb, but at Love INC of Mahaska County it means more than raising a child. It means impacting others’ lives, to empower and provide physical and spiritual help as lives are transformed.

Providing those resources from financial assistance to transportation to appointments to providing classes in budgeting and finance, does not come without some cost. Love INC’s big fundraiser is the annual dinner and dessert gala, which will be held Friday, March 27th at Gateway Church of the Nazarene, 140 Gateway Drive in Oskaloosa. Love INC’s annual gala will feature some new events this year. Social time will be at 6 p.m. with dinner beginning at 6:30p.m. The DeBoef Brothers will perform as part of the program. Members of the Oskaloosa High School orchestra program will be on hand to provide background music during the dinner.

The highlight of the night will be the dessert auction where tables will have a chance to bid on a dessert to share with their table.
“Everyone will receive a dessert, I assure you,” said clearinghouse coordinator Joy Moretz. “We will have desserts available if a table is unable to win one.”
Emcee for the seventh annual event is Joe Milledge, owner of Thunder Country KIIC radio. Brad Veenstra will serve as auctioneer. Country Catering will provide the meal
Moretz said new this year is that everyone must have a ticket. Tickets are $20 each and are available at the Love INC office, Mahaska Drug or Brown’s Shoe Fit. For more information call 641-676-3750 or email loveincofmahaskacounty@gmail.com.

From its local beginning in 1998, Love INC has been changing the paths many were following by caring, praying and providing a hand up. The organizations impact on Mahaska County goes deeper than its mission: To mobilize churches to transform lives and communities in the Name of Christ. It has mobilized individuals to action.
In 1998 several Mahaska County churches decided to work together to serve neighbors in need within Oskaloosa and formed Love INC, a 501(c)(3) organization governed by a local board. The local affiliate is also part of the National Love INC movement. The organization has grown in scope to encompass all areas of Mahaska County from Barnes City to Eddyville and Rose Hill to Peoria.

“Relationship is the key to it all,” said executive director Susan Doolan. “We are a partnership of churches helping people. We want to help a person all along the way. We are not placing a Band-aid on a gaping wound.”

“My wife and I began looking for opportunities to find a ministry we could become involved in,” said volunteer R.D. Keep. “My wife had been talking with some volunteers of the group. We were invited to a Love INC gala four years ago and learned more about the organization locally and at the national level.

“All the funds raised stay in Mahaska County. I have found some small ways to serve and have begun some relationships with individuals when I transport them to appointments. If you are looking for an opportunity to make an impact on people’s lives in your own neighborhood on your own time, Love INC is the place.”

Keep went on to say it took some discernment about what kind of ministry would be a good fit. He said a mission trip half-way around the world probably would not be a good fit, but driving people to Des Moines, Iowa City or elsewhere anytime, day or night, does fit.

Doolan said more than 600 people received some type of assistance in 2019. Services are provided through three avenues: Clearinghouse, Gap Ministries and Transformational Ministries.
According to Love INC’s website the Clearinghouse Ministry is at the front lines of what Love INC does. Volunteers fulfill a wide range of duties including taking calls from clients, listening to their story and praying with neighbors in need, clarifying needs and client information, praying about each situation and then referring requests to a partner church ministry, volunteer, or community resource.

Gap Ministries provide a resource or service for one-time need or limited assistance. This could include some assistance for housing or utilities, funds for security deposits, a bus ticket, coordination of rides to appointments, help moving, or minor home projects.

Transformational ministry is where many of the relationships grow. This occurs through Foundations classes. Their website states, “Foundations, our transformational ministry program, helps neighbors in need discover their God-given value and purpose while acquiring skills to move toward self-sufficiency. Foundations provides education and mentoring in a variety of areas, including budgeting, life skills, healthy lifestyles, Bible studies and more. Through relationships, both volunteers and participants are transformed as they learn and apply core skills, discover their gifts to contribute to God’s Kingdom and get the opportunity to experience the love of Jesus Christ.”

“The Clearinghouse is really where the relationships begin,” said Doolan. “It is through the other ministries that the relationship grows. We are touching lives and helping people live to their full God-given potential.”

Posted by on Mar 1 2020. Filed under Events, News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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