An equation of love: Volunteers make a difference in many ways

Posted: Friday, November 02, 2001

What happens when you mix together J-B Stor N'Lok, a men's breakfast group from Peninsula Grace Brethren Church with donated appliances and furniture, then add Love INC? An equation that puts talents, abilities and resources together to minister to the needs of our local community.

J-B Stor N'Lok has generously provided free storage for the past five years to Love INC so individuals from the community can donate furniture and appliances. The items are given to neighbors who need them.

After their Saturday morning breakfast, men from Peninsula Grace roll up their sleeves and pick up donated pieces, then store them at J-B until Love INC receives a call from a neighbor asking for such an item. Then it is lovingly delivered by these same men to the neighbor in need.

We were missing part of this equation -- the volunteers to receive the donations and deliver them to the people in need. With the men from Peninsula Grace completing the equation, we successfully have matched up many requests for beds, couches, chairs, refrigerators, washers and dryers and other donated items with neighbors who need them.

Love INC of the Kenai Peninsula has been in operation since November of 1987.

The Love INC network on the peninsula is made up of 45 churches representing 25 denominations. Last year, 551 volunteers from these churches contributed to share Christ's love with their neighbors. Besides furniture, these volunteers have ministered in areas including food, transportation, family budgeting, housing and day care, helping 634 families --including 816 children.

Love INC also sponsors special projects such as breakfast programs at Redoubt and Sears elementary schools; the "Experien-cing God" musical; Lighthouse of Prayer; helping to establish CARTS; local National Day of Prayer observances; and holiday baskets.

With the holiday season upon us, we at Love INC are gearing up for our busiest time of year to give a hand to families at Thanksgiving and Christmas. You, too, can make a difference in the lives of hurting individuals, children and families. Volunteer your time through your church to respond to a Love INC need, join in prayer for this local mission work or give a financial gift to help harvest life through our Love Loaf campaign.

A Love Loaf is a plastic bread loaf bank. Daily spare change, placed in the bread loaf can be the beginning of hope for those who are hurting, hope that comes from relief and development programs made possible through generous giving.

These programs will make life and self-sufficiency possible, along with the good news of Jesus Christ, who brings an eternity of peace. Love Loaves are available at the Love INC office through Thanksgiving and will be broken open, at the Community Thanksgiving Worship Event, Nov. 25, at Kenai Central High School.

Don't miss sharing in this Harvest of Life. Be a part of the equation that brings help to our neighbors. Let us solidify our families and stand together in this crucial effort, ministering for our Lord Jesus Christ.

Janine Espy is the director of Love INC (In the Name of Christ). She can be reached at 283-5252.

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