by Lorie Lewis Ham
Love INC (In the Name of Christ) is a national organization with local chapters that help those in need within a community. Their mission statement is as follows;
Our mission is to mobilize the Church to transform
lives and communities In the Name of Christ.
Their strategy is to help Christian churches help their neighbors by linking church ministries and volunteers to people in need. They do this through three different levels:
• Level One is a Clearinghouse Model and is the foundation of Love INC. They receive requests for help, screen these requests for the extent and legitimacy of the need, and then refer the requests to a local church ministry, volunteer or community agency. Afterwards, Love INC follows up to ensure the need was met and to offer spiritual support.
• Level Two is the Relational Ministry Model. Church members are trained and linked by Love INC with individuals and families in need on a long-term basis to provide mentoring, goal setting, and spiritual and emotional support, along with a full array of services and resources available in the Love INC network.
• Level Three, the Community Development Model, goes even further to meet the needs of communities by addressing deeper issues that contribute to poverty and homelessness.
The Reedley-Dinuba Love INC has six food pantries in the area, which is one of the many ways that they work with local churches to help those in need, according to current Executive Director, Frank Piñon.
There are also ways in which individuals can volunteer with Love INC and make a difference within their own community. Some of the simple ways include delivering food, budget management, Spanish translation, plumbing, general handyman, yard work, friendship, counsel/disciple, follow-up evangelism, deliver or move furniture, appliance or auto repairs, transportation, housecleaning, resume/job search help, help finding legal assistance, teaching food preparation and relief care provider.
Anyone with some spare time and a desire to help others can find a way to volunteer. Whether teenager or adult, everyone can make a difference. Local clubs and service groups can help too by having canned food drives to help fill up local pantries. Various clubs at Reedley High School have done such drives with great success, the most recent being the RHS Drama Club last November.
This year, Love INC received a First 5 Grant to help them meet the needs of the community and they have worked together with El Faro Church to distribute food, children’s coats in the winter, and more.
When asked why he felt that Love INC was so important to this community, Piñon’s answer was simple. “Because we care.”
If you would like to volunteer and make a difference in your community or if you, yourself, are in need of assistance, you can contact Love INC of Reedley-Dinuba at 559-638-6260.
Reedley’s Redeemer’s Church offers youth groups for Middle and High Schools students.