DANVILLE — A Vermilion County group that wants to help others in the community is re-launching. Love INC has been around for six years, but 2016 was tough for them. So the new executive director wants to turn things around.
The group matches people up with churches that can help them. Executive director Michael Rohall says they want to offer a hand up, instead of just a hand out, but they’ll need help to keep doing that.
Love INC stands for Love In the Name of Christ. Workers coordinate with churches in the community to connect people with services they offer.
“I was just looking for help on the Internet, like for food banks and stuff like that, because I was homeless and I came across Love INC,” said Gretchen Burden, who lives in Danville.
She came to town because her niece lives there, but she needed more than one familiar face to feel at home.
“They helped me get set up in the apartment,” said Burden. “I didn’t have towels or sheets or dishes or anything and they helped me, even like a broom and a dustpan, things you need.”
“We’re trying to mobilize our community so we bring these different resources together and allow people to meet that immediate need and also to help them get beyond that need,” said Rohall.
Rohall says it took people from four churches to help Burden. They put aside their different beliefs to work toward a common goal.
“It’s the churches working together and working as one and actually having some unity in the church that is also important to me,” said Rohall.
Some churches have food pantries and thrift stores, which contributes to their goal. But the group itself has been struggling.
“Volunteers, because of health issues, relocation, couple of staff positions that people relocated, those things all came together at the same time,” said Rohall.
Rohall says they hope to fill their own need and fulfill the needs of others even more in the future. Right now, they can only afford to be open one day a week. But Rohall hopes to change that to three or even seven. He also hopes to have classes where people can learn life lessons, like budgeting.
Love INC is having a fundraising banquet this week. It’s on Thursday at the Bremer Conference Center at DACC. They hope to raise $30,000 and connect with volunteers. Rohall says they’re also looking for a few more board members. To find out more, click here. If you want to go to the event, call 217-442-7311 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.