Often, individuals in need will call around to churches, seeking assistance. Sometimes they’re searching for a basic need to be met, like food to eat. Other times they are asking for financial assistance or for the church to pay for a night in a hotel. Recently, a local Love INC Partner Church received a phone call from Barb*:
“Please can you help? My relative, John*, lives in your town. He is hungry and needs shelter. Is there anything you can do?”
Not knowing the correct resources, nor the contact information of John, this church volunteer knew to call Love INC.
“Someone recently called our church asking for food and shelter for a man named John Brown. Do you recognize this name? Has he been served by Love INC before? Could you share with me some resources I could give to their relative?”
With a quick search in the Love INC database, we came up empty. This person has never been a client so we are unaware of request patterns, or a history of needs. We gladly gave this volunteer a list of resources that he could pass on: a place to shower, a bread pantry, locations of soup kitchens, the local drop-in-center and, of course, the Love INC Helpline phone number. He was grateful and was able to call Barb back and share the information.
Not only does Barb now have helpful information, but Love INC will be ready for John’s call. There are nearly 10 Gap Ministries and 100 church volunteers that are active, excited, and prepared to meet this individual exactly where he’s at.
In our fast-paced world, it can be tempting to give the “quick fix” for people’s problems: just give the money so they’ll go away; just give them what they want so the problem will be solved. But, most of the time, the issues run deeper, the band-aids aren’t enough. Love INC exists as an extension of Churches so band-aids can open the door to real relationships. By helping, by meeting a need, by wrapping up wounds, Jesus gets brought into the light and that is precisely why we do what we do.