Love INC’s story began in Rapid City in 2001, and Executive Director John Ligtenberg says he’s “been blessed to be here from day one.” John oversees a network of local congregations that respond to calls for everything from beds for children who sleep on the floor to simple repairs for elderly homeowners–making an impact wherever they are needed.
Being a parent is tough regardless of your circumstances, but throw in low wages, poor role models, etc., and it can be overwhelming. Love INC provides a boost in resources, but especially guidance and friendships. For instance, they offer Life INC classes on finances and parenting, and programs such as Clothe-A-Kid and Cases for Kids which helps with clothing and supplies. Love INC also has The Clearinghouse which provides basic resources to parents in need.
When someone calls looking for help, John and his staff enlist their greatest resource: the church. “I believe in the unlimited capacity of Christians working together to bring positive change to people and our community,” said John.
Love INC mobilizes local churches to carry out a single mission: live out their faith through service to others. What began with a handful of churches has since grown to more than 50 churches in and around Rapid City and Sturgis, with each one using their collective time, talent, and treasures to encourage and equip their neighbors.
Loving one’s neighbor may require some heavy lifting, too. Every week, teams of Love INC volunteers head out to collect beds, couches, appliances and other large household items from donors. Whatever the category of need, the response is the same; volunteers take requests, try to match them with donations and then deliver the requested donated items.
Love INC isn’t a crisis intervention or disaster relief ministry. In order to receive help, applicants must show proof of steady income and stable residence, as well as attend a Life INC adult education class. This approach ensures the focus remains on the person rather than the need.
“There are so many people in our community who are looking for answers and looking for hope,” said John, “and when we serve together, we are both changed in the process.”
By Danie Koskan
IMPACT Magazine is currently taking nominations for the next edition of “Making an impact.”
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