Love INC basks in outpouring of love at annual banquet

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Purdue Extension Homemakers Leisa Harmon, Nancy Alderidge, Debbi Green, Margie Clark, Mandy Gray are seated together at Love INC’s annual banquet. The Purdue Extension Homemakers provided homemade desserts for the event.

GREENFIELD — Debra Weber’s heart was full as she drove home from Love INC of Greater Hancock County’s annual banquet Friday night.

As the executive director of a nonprofit that helps those in the community who need it most, Weber was thrilled to see the outpouring of support at the annual event meant to raise funds as well as awareness. There was plenty of celebrating, too.

“We had great attendance. I think people really enjoyed themselves,” said Weber, who thanked Don Rigo’s Mexican restaurant in Greenfield for donating the food and the local Purdue Extension Homemakers for donating homemade desserts.

Indianapolis magician Jon Mobley provided the evening’s entertainment, but the real magic was in the amount of money raised to continue Love INC’s mission, said Weber.

More than $10,000 was raised at the Love Thy Neighbor banquet, which 170 people attended at Trinity Park United Methodist Church in Greenfield.

It was the first time the banquet had been held since Feb. 2020, since the pandemic canceled the event last year.

It’s been a challenging couple of years for Love INC, which — like most nonprofits — has struggled with reconciling a loss in income due to canceled fundraisers with an increased amount of need.

Weber credits the Hancock County Community Foundation’s Hearts for Hancock Fund for doling out grants to help keep local nonprofits afloat.

While it was great to gather once again at the annual banquet, Weber pointed out that just because the pandemic has started to wane doesn’t mean the level of need in the county has diminished.

“The need for financial assistance in housing is still huge. I see that going up even more, as the cost of groceries and everything is going up. Everything is getting more expensive, which is really impacting all the people in our community,” said Weber.

“Everybody’s grocery bills are probably twice as high, and that’s making a significant impact on those who make $16 an hour. It has been a struggle for awhile and will continue to be,” she said.

Housing is one of the biggest needs Love INC is called upon to help to address. Weber said those in need reach out for help in paying rent and utilities, or to help offset the cost of an expensive purchase like a wheelchair ramp, baby supplies or a bed.

To help those in need learn to be efficient with the money they do have, Love INC is offering two money management classes this month.

“We want to help them make the money they do have go further,” said Weber, adding that spots are still available in both classes.

In May, Love INC will offer more of its “I CAN” classes, which cover a variety of practical lessons in areas like home repairs, cooking and personal wellness.

Weber is excited to see how the rest of 2022 shapes up for the local Love INC affiliate, which is part of a national movement of Love INC agencies across the United States and beyond.

Each one serves as a community clearinghouse, working with local churches to meet people’s needs and to effect change at a grassroots level.

 

Love INC of Hancock County is offering two courses on money management this month, in addition to a series of I CAN classes in May:

May 3 — Overall Wellness

May 10 — Home Repairs 2.0

May 17 — Where is my $$ Going

May 24 — Garden to Table

I CAN classes take place 6-7:30 p.m. at the Hancock County Purdue Extension office, at 972 E. Park Ave. in Greenfield. A light meal and giveaways are provided at each class.

To register for any Love INC class, call 317-468-6300 or email [email protected].

Love INC is:

A strategy to help churches come together to help their neighbors in need

A partnership of local churches, that links Christian volunteers and ministries to people in need

A movement of Christian churches working together to show God’s Love to those in need

A model for implementing Christ-like relational ministries that transforms lives – both those being served and those who serve

A method for mobilizing local church congregations to live out the two great commandments of loving God and loving their neighbor

A network of affiliates supporting and encouraging each other

A collaboration between local churches and their community (agencies, ministries, government, schools) to provide effective help for the disadvantaged

A vehicle that helps churches, collectively and individually, fulfill their biblical mandate to reach out to their community

In 2020, Love INC’s service in Hancock County included:

Number of calls received and processed: 881

Number of adults needs met: 1,036

Number of children’s needs met: 657

Number of needs met by churches: 318

Number of needs met by community partners: 766

Number of volunteers: Over 390

Volunteer hours (estimated): Over 2,300

For more information, visit loveinc-ghc.org.