HRC Column: Love INC’s role in Moffat County
July 24, 2015
Love INC stands for Love In the Name of Christ. Love INC of the Yampa Valley is one of two Colorado affiliates of the non-profit group. As a matter of fact, it has affiliates as far away as Kenya, Africa.
Love INC's mission is to mobilize churches to work in collaboration with local service providers to meet unmet needs of families and individuals in the Yampa Valley. Through meeting these needs and building relationships, we aim to help these church volunteers work to transform lives and communities.
A large part of this work is taken on through ministries, services and programs that have been developed to bridge gaps in community services. Sometimes the bridge is simply to help those who don't qualify for current services or who are awaiting qualification, but other times the gaps need to be filled with programs that address direct needs.
One such program or service is the Back-to-School Fair. In response to the needs many children experience at the start of a new school year, Love INC organizes churches and agencies to come together and offer goods, services, and information in a "fair-like" atmosphere.
This year we have organized to offer the following: Low-cost immunizations (bring immunization record and insurance card), free hotdogs and chips, free school supplies, free gently-used clothing, free hair cuts for the kids, games and prizes, face painting and balloons, along with informational booths on fire safety, car seats, finger printing and more.
New for this year is our "Bonus Booth." It works like this: We have a lot of donated new items like shoes, socks, underwear, belts, etc. that we want to distribute. We also have a PBJ (Peanut Butter and Jelly) Program that helps at-risk school children during the school year. We are going to combine these two to double the help we provide.
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Parents/guardians can bring a jar of peanut butter or jelly (plastic jars only please) to the booth and then they will be able to fill a plastic grocery sack with items from the booth. (What if you don't have peanut butter or jelly? A donation of $2 per child will work as well.)
Parents who can't make it to the Back-to-School Fair with their students can apply for school supplies and school clothes by calling Love INC and church volunteers can deliver directly to the homes of those who qualify.
Love INC also helps the students in an indirect way by partnering with the Craig Rotary Club to provide free school supplies to the teachers at the beginning of the school year. Needless to say, we are collecting school supply donations in several places all over town. We hope to see everyone at the 2015 Back-to-School Fair at Alice Pleasant Park on Aug. 15.