Posted 05/10/21 Clothed in Dignity
Volunteers often recount to us some of the amazing stories they experience as they serve. We strive to see everyone the way God sees them and sometimes it is unmistakably received by our clients. Our Adult Clothing Closet had the opportunity to help Client S. They shared that they felt the Holy Spirit move as they offered her prayers and comfort along with the gift of with much needed clothing. Client S. wrote them a card that reads: “Thank you with the deepest gratitude. It’s been years since I’ve had a nice day! Love forever, S. And she left a voicemail for our staff saying “The volunteers were so amazing. It’s the first time I have felt special in a really long time.”
Posted 04/7/21 A Voice on the Line
Our Clearinghouse strives to answer every call as it comes in between 10AM and 2PM. We always hear from clients that they are so excited to get a real person on the phone and not an answering machine. In a world of uncertainty, answering the phone is the first step Love INC takes to build authentic relationships based in truth and love.
“I’m so glad you are there to talk to…”
Posted 3/1/21 Character of A Warrior-Princess
Jenny reminds me of Deborah from the book of Judges. As one commentator wrote, “My favorite thing [about Deborah] is her daily decision to be bold and take action. She saw something was wrong, and so she did something about it.”
We met Jenny at a Housing Authority presentation of the Abundant Living program In September 2019. She was in the audience and she enthusiastically chose to start coming to the budgeting classes. One of the first exercises participants in Abundant Living go through is creating a Becoming Statement: a picture of their optimal desired future. From the beginning Jenny had passion and a plan; she was going to get her children back.
Like it did for so many, Covid19 slowed down her progress but Jenny was undeterred. She took what she was learning in the program and used the community support to keep pressing forward. She wrote an appeal to the family court judge, gathered evidence like crime-scene investigator and in the middle of the pandemic won custody and finally had all her children under her roof again.
She’s open with others about her struggles and quick to share her dreams and goals. Though she’ll be graduating at the end of March, we have no doubt Jenny will continue to influence those just starting out in the Abundant Living program.
Like Deborah, Jenny is an unassuming leader, a fighter; a real-life warrior princess.
Posted 01/25/21 The Power of Stimulus Sharing
Linda lives alone on a fixed income and she’s active in the Abundant Living program. With the oil change on her 20 year old Buick, Linda received the standard “we recommend” maintenance list that left her concerned. Earlier that month, a Master Mechanic approached us to donate 100 hours of labor so we connected him with her. He cleared nearly everything on the recommended list –donating over $2500 in labor and charging only $125 in parts. While Linda was very happy with the work, she hadn’t budgeted for the bill. Thanks to Love INC’s Stimulus Sharing program, 80% of the bill was paid and Linda was able to stay on budget and continue saving to go visit her new great-grandbaby!
Posted 10/8/20 Bridging the GAP
One of Love INC’s Core Values is “we model excellence”. We want each interaction to reflect the abundant and extravagant way God love us to our neighbors! When we see a “gap” in availability of basic resources, we partner with the local churches to provide a solution. In answer to a shortage of local options for adult clothes, Love INC’s boutique-style Clothing GAP is stocked with new and like-new seasonal clothing for men and women from casual to career.
We see clients from all different walks of life at our Adult Closet, many of whom have never had personal shopping experiences. Our volunteers help them select up to a week’s worth of clothes, including new socks and undergarments and we pray with each person before they go.
There are lots of ways for you to get involved in our Adult Closet GAP Ministries. Give cash or gift cards (Walmart) to help restock new socks, bras and underwear. Donate new or like-new clothing. Volunteer as part of our GAP team to meet Clients and help them shop or help with our seasonal swap for a few hours twice a year. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.
Many Abundant Living participants have low expectations when they start out in our program but, as they begin to dream; they often list home ownership as a big goal. Despite all the challenges of 2020, we have seen 3 Abundant Living graduates realize that dream and purchase their first homes!
Torri was beaming as she gave us a virtual tour of the home she and her husband purchased this spring while they were enrolled in the program. When asked how much home ownership was their expectation in coming to Abundant Living, she said, “Zero percent! I never thought we could own a home but each time I achieved a goal, I was like, I can do this!”
Our Abundant Living classes are designed to help you dream; to outline who you are becoming and set a course to live it our. Budget and Goal coaches work with participants to help them align where they are with where they are going financially, emotionally, relationally and spiritually.
Posted 8/11/20 from a graduate of our budgeting program
We do not receive vehicles very often and when we do I am surprised. Well, I don’t know why because God has already planned out the use of the wonderful gift.
In late July we received a call from a client who had been in an accident and totaled her car. She had just regained custody of her 4 children and needed a vehicle with the capacity to transport them as well as continue to care for her mother who has cancer. We did not have an answer for her, but God did. The following morning we received a call from a donor who had just purchased a new vehicle with the help of her stimulus check offering us a van. WOW…….as it turns out, she was also a graduate of Love INC’s budgeting program and wanted to give back.
Posted 6/11/20 from a graduate of our budgeting program
I came to Love INC’s program because my finances were unmanageable. I was unable to talk to my husband regarding money and I needed spiritual help! I came to the orientation and immediately felt at ease. I was surrounded by others in similar situations. Most important thing to me was a connection in FAITH!
My favorite experience at Love INC was the groups! I learned so much about budgeting and it became second nature. I found that I learned how to express my feelings, I learned to hand my financial situation over to God. My faith grew stronger, my marriage grew stronger, my parenting improved. My attitude towards money changed.
I learned not to do “emotional spending”. My husband and I talk about finances as a team now. I learned how to meal plan and how to be resourceful. I learned how to stretch my budget! I learned how to buy sensible items. I learned how to be creative. I now spend more time with my daughter working on crafts, cooking and having fun, rather than purchasing things to please her. I absolutely love what Abundant Living did for my family! My daughter still uses the tools she learned in AL Kidz. As a family we are able to work through everything and when we have struggles, we learned to talk and are able to forgive! Thank you Love INC.
Posted 3/21/20 from a graduate of our budgeting program
Dear Love INC:
I would like to thank you for teaching me to live a better life. Recently, I lost my primary income due to the Coronavirus pandemic. I am not worried, because I have applied the principles that I learned in the Abundant Living program to my whole life. Specifically, in the last 2 years, I have paid off my debts and started saving my money. Part of what I learned in Abundant Living was the importance of having a savings worth with several months of living expenses in case of an emergency. Most of the people I work with do not have the same outlook as I do because they did not learn the principles that I did in Abundant Living. My coworkers do not have savings in case of emergencies.
This week, my employer posted a job working at the COVID-19 testing sites. I watched online as my friends and coworkers rushed to sign up just to have an income. I considered this, however, with careful thought and prayer, I chose not to put my health in danger. I am not trained to deal with infectious diseases. Also, I think that being at the testing sites would be stressful. I am thankful that I do not have to compromise my health and my emotional well-being today.
Thank you, Love in the Name of Christ, for teaching me. In this uncertain time, I can continue to make smart decisions for myself and my health with no personal compromises. Today, I am blessed.