How does the mission of Love INC differ from that of the Salvation Army, SCIO and St. Vincent De Paul Society?
All of these organizations have mission elements that include a commitment to “walk alongside” our neighbors in need – providing a hand up at a difficult time. Love INC does not provide any direct services or access to money – Church Volunteers and ministries are the “heartbeat” of all aspects of our organization. Our unique purpose is to mobilize local Christian Churches to transform lives and communities through relationships, in the Name of Christ. This occurs as we offer prayers and relationships in all interactions with our Volunteers, Church ministries, and staff.
We are not positioned to respond to emergency needs, but do make that information available to our Church partners and on our website. Love INC will continue to dialogue with these organizations, and others focused on the needs of our neighbors – collaborating as appropriate.
What steps will be taken to avoid duplication of services?
The Board of Directors and Staff of Love INC have a strong commitment to “good stewardship” and avoidance of any type of duplication by the organization or Christian Church partners. Fulfilling on this promise is made possible, in part, by maintaining a data base of ministries offered by the over 100 Christian Churches in Sheboygan County; along with the social services available. In addition, we track the referrals to those ministries/services; and identify any gaps and advocate within the Church Network to respond to the needs with additional ministries or initiatives. We act as the facilitator for “gap ministries” – lifting up the need through communication to the Church network, and assisting with securing resources to initiate the ministry. The partnership with Thrivent Financial provides a boost in this area through their Action Team process.
How does Love INC fit into the Service Continuum?
The Love INC mission is not aimed at meeting “emergency or urgent” needs of our neighbors, nor do we fit the typical social services description – we are a Christian ministry. Instead we are focused on breaking the cycle of poverty and hopelessness through relationship with Christ and connection with Christians. The Church Volunteers/Christians walk with individuals to provide them with a hand-up – an opportunity to change their lives. Through the Clearinghouse intake process, we identify the root causes of the circumstances that are being faced by the individual and their family –identifying goals and dreams while accessing resources through talented and experienced Volunteers. Success is measured by goals accomplished and, ultimately, a neighbor that can offer a talent, give time, or another service to help someone else – changing the trajectory of their life.
What are the options for Christian Churches in Sheboygan County to participate in Love INC?
The Christian Churches in the County are able to participate in Love INC at various levels appropriate for their leadership at any given time. Churches can choose from a range of options including:
(1) Providing Ministry information (we request from all Churches).
(2) Receiving and sharing Love INC information with their parishioners.
(3) Assisting in Volunteer recruitment from their parish(s) for various opportunities – many Volunteers sign up directly with Love INC, and we advise their Church Leadership of their commitment.
(4) Referring neighbors-in-need to Love INC’s Clearinghouse and receiving “referrals” from the Clearinghouse as appropriate.
(5) Providing financial support as deemed appropriate – special collection, one-time gift, etc. [Note: Church donations range from $500-$12,000.]
It is important to note that Churches will continue to assist individuals through their social ministries – both partners of Love INC and informal partners committed to the Ministry. Formal partnership with Love INC requires alignment with the Apostles’ Creed, representing our Christian foundation. Churches may work as informal partners if this is not consistent with their doctrine.
All neighbors-in-need are welcome into our Clearinghouse intake process, regardless of Church affiliation or absence of same. Love INC offers another option in responding to those in need – including a database regarding other ministries and services; profile of a neighbor’s interaction with the Clearinghouse over time; and an opportunity to break the cycle of need by identifying root causes, the true nature of needs, and negotiating steps they can take to reach their desired outcome.
We currently are a partnership of almost 40 Christian Churches. Looking at our Church Partner list on our website, you will notice some Christian denominations are not currently partnered. We continue to strategize to partner with all Christian Churches that are founded in the Apostles’ Creed as their statement of faith. Some Non-Partnered Churches are waiting to see what we are doing and how we operate. Specifically, we have made huge strides with the Catholic Churches. We have spoken at several of their consistories to share Love INC, and several Love INC board members are from Catholic Churches. We have also met with St. Vincent De Paul Society directors and council, looking for ways to come together. Already in 2018, Love INC was chosen as Father Matthew’s selected organization for the Lent season, and our Transformational Ministry Committee met with St. Vincent’s Bridges Out of Poverty leadership. We will continue to strive toward working together to further God’s Kingdom, without duplicating efforts.
What is the annual budget of Love INC, and how are these funds raised?
In 2018, Love INC has a projected annual operating budget of $220,000, although this amount may increase with special initiatives (ex. office move and set-up of expanded area). Our organizational mission demands a unique structure – all of our staff is involved with programming in their roles with coordination of Volunteers, Church Ministries, the Clearinghouse, and in Transformational Ministry. As a result, 90% of our budget is directed to organizing, directing, and supporting the Volunteers and Church leaders involved in all aspects of our Love INC program components. Ten percent of our budget covers Administration responsibilities, primarily by our Executive Director.
The majority of our operating budget is funded through Christian Churches, individuals, businesses, and various grant awards. In addition, our Volunteers are very active in organizing and hosting special events – large and small. This year, we are launching our major “Living Out Love” dinner and auction fundraiser in October. We are seeking funds through Church and corporate foundations locally and nationally to continue development of our Transformational Ministry. We have been generously gifted with treasure and many who also contribute time and talent to sustain our organization and ensure our mission.
How will confidential information be protected by Love INC?
Clearinghouse Volunteers are trained to verbally secure authorization from neighbors-in-need for verification of information and to share as needed for referral purposes. If required, neighbors will sign a written authorization form at the Love INC office. Access to our database with individual information is limited and protected. All staff and volunteers are trained regarding confidentiality and annually sign an agreement.
Does a neighbor have to participate in a Church to receive assistance? Will Volunteers evangelize?
Our primary commitment is to respect and assist our Neighbors by mobilizing Church Volunteers who are specially trained to execute their ministry and to assist Love INC in various roles (ex. Intake Specialist, Prayer Warrior, Administrative Assistant, Gap Leaders, etc). Neighbors will be “offered” a prayer during the Clearinghouse intake process, and prayer and an invitation to attend church will be extended by Gap Ministries to Neighbors they have had the opportunity to meet with. There will be spiritual role modeling in all mentor relationships. Neighbors do not have to be a Christian or participate in a Church to be assisted by Love INC or any of the ministries/resources available.
What types of training will Love INC offer?
Love INC offers training for all Volunteers directly involved in our Clearinghouse ministry, Gap Ministry, and Transformational Ministry including the following: Intake Specialists, Prayer Warriors, Administrative Assistants, Gap Leaders, Facilitators, Mentors, Committee Members, and more. Each Volunteer is matched by skills and talents to needs with the appropriate responsibility and role. Love INC will train, supervise, and assist Volunteers in fulfilling their roles. All Volunteers go through our basic Love INC orientation and training and receive additional training in the role of ministry where they will serve. Volunteers are the heart of Love INC, the force propelling our mission of transforming lives by mobilizing Christians in Churches across the county.