GREENFIELD — For 14 years, Love INC operated above a Greenfield medical office.
It was a blessing, to be sure, leaders said: a rent-free site where the heart of Love INC’s operations — its clearinghouse — could work to connect people in need with churches, organizations or agencies that could help.
But the leaders of the Christian nonprofit had long prayed and searched for a larger — and more accessible — location they could call their own and have space for growth. This summer, that prayer was answered, said executive director Karla Whisenand.
Love in the Name of Christ of Greater Hancock County recently moved into its new location at 630 N. State St., Greenfield, a large two-story house with wheelchair-accessible entry in the rear of the house and a parking lot that holds several cars. Leaders of the organization hope to expand clearinghouse hours and begin offering classes from its transformational ministry — the educational wing of the organization — at the new site.
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Love INC purchased the home for $139,900, according to county records. The sale was made possible in part through the donation of the down payment from an unnamed donor, Whisenand said. She and other leaders of the organization, including its board of directors, are working on a capital campaign, or a quick fundraising effort, to help finance the cost of the home, which they hope to have paid off in the next five years, she said.
Love INC partners with more than half of Hancock County’s 104 churches to connect people in need to resources offered by church groups, social service agencies or other organizations through its clearinghouse. The nonprofit also works to fill in the gaps, aiming to fulfill the needs of the community not currently covered by other agencies or groups, and provides free community education through workshops on job skills, financial skills and more, including cooking classes.
Whisenand plans to begin offering classes at the new location this year, she said. There’s more space for such efforts, and the new building has a ramp for folks who use a wheelchair, she said.
Volunteers for Love INC are enjoying the new location, they said.
“I like it,” said Tom Krueger, who’s been volunteering for the clearinghouse for some six years. “It’s quite homey and inviting.”
Krueger said the original location for the clearinghouse had a steep stairwell that was difficult to traverse for some volunteers.
Ownership of a visible, accessible site for the Christian organization seemed out of reach as recently as July 2017.
At this time last year, Love INC leaders reached out to the public after realizing donations were down by almost half and a fundraiser brought in less than a fourth of what organizers expected.
In 2016, the organization, which has four paid staff members, brought in about $6,000 monthly from grants, donations and business partnerships, officials said. But in July 2017, donations were coming in at some $3,005 per month.
And lackluster results from 2017 fundraising efforts also concerned Love INC leaders. The third annual Love Thy Neighbor banquet in February, was expected to bring in $13,000, garnered only about $3,200.
To close the funding gap, Love INC’s leaders started a new fundraiser, a 5K race held Sept. 9, and started a letter and email campaign seeking individuals or businesses to pledge monthly donations. A matching campaign led by a local philanthropist, Bob Wortman, who pledged to match $10,000 in donations to the organization of his mother, brought a total of $45,000 to the organization by the year’s close as well.
Those efforts provided Love INC with the healthiest end-of-year finances the organization had seen since its inception in 2003, leaders told the Daily Reporter in January.
Clearinghouse coordinator Michelle Prather said she and other Love INC staffers and volunteers owe a debt of gratitude to dentist Todd Kaminski, who provided the site at 737 W. Green Meadows Drive, Suite 2200, for the first 14 years of the organization’s existence in Hancock County.
“We are so thankful to Dr. Kaminski for letting us be there for so long,” Prather said. “We are like family now, we’ll keep in touch; we’re already looking forward to the Christmas party this year.”
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Love In the name of Christ of Greater Hancock County, or Love INC, plans a capital campaign to help the nonprofit organization pay off the $139,900 for its new location in the next five years.
Donations can be made online at loveinc-ghc.org or sent to Love INC, PO Box 192, Greenfield, IN 46140. For more information, call 317-468-6300.
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Love Runs Deep 5K and church expo
9 a.m. Start — Kids’ Dash 9:15 a.m. — 5k 9:30 a.m.
Greenfield Courthouse Plaza Start/Finish, Greenfield, Indiana 46140