Helping churches help people, Part 2

Wednesday, August 31, 2011 - 20:00

Last week, I shared with you about the ministry of Love INC of Eagle River. Today I will explain our development process, and list the people who have worked together to accomplish this great outreach ministry, in the name of Christ. We started our development in 2004, with three of us meeting to pray about the concept of churches working together to help our neighbors. We had heard of Love INC’s ministry in the Valley, and we went up there to check it out. We learned that there was a Love INC national office in Minneapolis, which could provide training, best practices, and materials, and we contacted them to start our process.

You will recognize many local names who have served through Love INC. My heartfelt thanks goes out to each person who has helped, and please forgive me if I neglect to mention anyone. Love INC volunteers are priceless! Our original officers included: Kim Cannamore, Vice President; Crystal Kennedy, Secretary; Neil Botts, Treasurer; and myself, as board chair. Debbie Bogart was very instrumental in facilitating our Love INC development team by writing our Articles of Incorporation, 501(c)(3) non-profit status, and our bylaws. Teri Rose was Love INC Executive Director from 2006-2010, followed by Rev. Gracie Jackson, our current executive director. Virginia Marquez was our operations manager.

Other board members over the years have included: Marguerite Culhane, Ed DeForest, Donna DeMoss, Ruth Doubek, Kevin Dougherty, Rev. Herbert Ellis, Dolly Hansen, Rev. Gracie Jackson, Bill McCay, Tom McGregor, Charie McCurtain, Karen Pederson, Kina Perez, Pastor Rod Poepping, Stacy Pratt, June Sobocinski, Ron Thomas, and Father Bob Young.

Our current Love INC Board includes Lisa Munson, vice president/secretary; Stasia Straley, treasurer; board members Sirpa Gorman, LeRoy Hayden, Linda Jacobs-Thompson; and I serve as board chair.

We opened our doors to serve our community in 2007. At first, we had a mobile Love INC office, which moved to a different partner church each week. For the next three years, we had excellent office space at United Methodist Church of Chugiak. Then Frank Zeller, of Frontier Properties, offered us office space in the heart of Eagle River. We are located at 11127 Old Eagle River Road, to the right of First Baptist Church and the tattoo parlor.

We have provided meals, furniture, car repairs, home repairs, transportation, moral support, access to benefits, gas vouchers, food sources, rent/utility assistance, and employment assistance. We organize “Thanksgiving Blessings,” which distributes holiday food to over 200 families. We just had our backpack and school supply giveaway. We host a “Pastor Appreciation Fun Night” in October at one of our partner churches, and a “Christmas House” for our neighbors in need during December. We have had a silent auction each February.

The Love INC Board meets from 7 to 9 p.m. on the second Monday of each month at the Love INC office. We also welcome committee members, who meet once a month, outside of the board meeting time. Love INC committees include: Resource Development, Personnel, Nominating, Marketing and Community Relations, and Finance. We need YOU!

Send us your email address, and we can send you our bimonthly Love Notes email newsletter and/or our weekly current needs list. Many needs are often met by reading this list. For example, a couch is listed as a need, and one will call Love INC saying, “I have a couch, and I would like to donate it.” We then connect the two people for pickup or delivery.

Love INC of Eagle River – Helping Churches Help People. I will close the article again with contact information. We would love to hear from you!

• Mailing address: PO Box 770833, Eagle River, AK 99577

• Physical Address: 11127 Old Eagle River Road, Eagle River, AK (in the Frontier Properties Building)

• Love INC email address: [email protected]

• Website:

• Business Phone: 250-1735

• Call Center Phone Line: 726-LOVE (5683.)

• Call Center hours: 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Wednesdays and Thursdays, and 7 to 8 p.m. on the first Thursday of each month.

• Wendy Cleveland, Love INC Board Chairperson: Cell phone: 301-0120 Email: [email protected]

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