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Spread A Little Love With Love INC

This week, I’d like to highlight an important and exciting organization that does so much for the area: Love INC. This organization, also known as Love In The Name of Christ, serves as a bridge between the church, ministries and organizations and our neighbors in need. Through partnerships with area churches and businesses, Love INC is able to assist with household furnishings, baby items, toiletries, cleaning products, minor auto and household repairs, rides to appointments and grocery shopping, Christmas assistance and referrals for other services within the community for those in need.

This month, Love INC is kicking into high gear for a special service-oriented event called Love Month. Susan Justham, Love INC executive director, was kind enough to answer some questions about the organization and how to get involved for this week’s column.

Love INC is in the business of changing people’s lives, one relationship at a time. Susan said assistance from Love INC can be as simple as making the connections for a pair of football cleats so a boy can play football or providing a donated recliner to a neighbor in need with a medical condition that prevents them from sleeping flat on their back.

“With assistance from the churches, (we could) provide help with a car repair that helps (someone) continue to work and not lose their job due to transportation issues or help a grandparent provide a special Christmas morning to the grandchildren whose parent was just incarcerated due to drugs just a few weeks before Christmas,” she said.

Everything is possible with God — and the churches in the area partner with Love INC to walk that mission out in everyday life.

This is not more evident than in the month of February where the churches come together in force to support the organization for Love Month. Susan said Love Month began at the national level of Love INC as a recommendation to the Love INC partnering churches to show support for local Love INC affiliates by sharing in the organization’s ministry of helping those in need. This includes churches engaging in special projects that help the organization.

“We started becoming more active with Love Month in 2019 sharing with the congregation’s active ways they could support and get involved with the Love INC ministry because without the local church body, Love INC could not exist,” Susan said. “The volunteers are what makes Love INC work.”

Volunteers who are interested in helping out are able to perform a variety of roles in the organization — from helping in the Clearinghouse Call Center by answering phones to praying with and for those in need — there are open roles for everyone who wishes to help. They are the lifeblood of the organization, Susan said.

“The people of our community are what brought Love INC to Southern Chautauqua County and what makes it go,” she said. “All of the items provided to neighbors in need are donated by individuals, businesses and churches. It is individuals, businesses and churches who provide the financial support for Love INC and the volunteers are the heart of the organization. Getting involved in the community is what makes us all stronger whether it is through Love INC, in the schools or through other agencies or organizations; it makes a difference in our community.”

Susan said Love INC has personally changed her life because she has the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of others each and every day.

“I get to love and encourage others each day whether it is the volunteers who are serving, the neighbors in need, the pastors, churches or business owners that partner with us; whether it is an encouraging word, a hug, a note or a prayer … I am blessed,” she said.

For those looking for help, Susan said the process is thorough but helps provide a better understanding of what is needed. This allows the local churches to help in a healthy, holistic manner to “provide a hand up in the name of Christ,” she said.

To get involved or find more information, visit LoveINCSCC.org or call 338-9828.

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