December 2014

Merry Christmas! Like many of you we've had a busy and wonderful holiday season thus far.
  • In November we gave 129 Love INC households a Thanksgiving meal through programs at two partner churches.
  • We hosted a family group from a partner church in our warehouse to sort kitchen essentials and linens for distribution.
  • We graduated 11 participants through our Transformation Ministry. This semester we offered classes in budgeting, parenting and a bible study called Fresh Start.
  • This month we'll be sending 50 households to shop for Christmas gifts at a Christmas Store.
Of course, all of this is in addition to our normal clearinghouse activity of listening graciously to those who call in and setting up appointments for financial assistance, food & essentials, baby items, gas cards, bus passes, etc.

It's a busy time around here, but so worth it when we get to see followers of Christ from all different churches and backgrounds coming together to meet a variety of different needs in this community. We're glad to be apart of it!

We're partnering with Prairie Lakes Church Waterloo this Christmas and inviting 50 of our clients to attend their Christmas store on Saturday, Dec. 13.

Prairie Lakes Church Waterloo hosts a store - available by invitation only - where gifts for children ages 1-18 can be purchased at 80% off retail price.

Christian Community Developers have found that the opportunity for families and parents to purchase their own gifts at an affordable rate helps provide dignity at Christmastime.

If you or members of your church would like to donate gifts to the store or would like to volunteer, you can:

  1. Purchase and donate new, unwrapped gifts. Drop them off at Prairie Lakes Church Waterloo Campus (118 High Street, Waterloo 50703 - shared building with First Lutheran Church) by Sunday, December 7. Or arrange to drop them off at the Love INC office. List of recommended gifts.
  2. Volunteer to serve at the Christmas Store by emailing

Also, if you know anyone who may benefit from shopping at the Christmas Store this Christmas, please send them to our website to apply.

Orchard Hill Church will be continuing their Christmas in Walnut tradition this year. They also will receive new, unwrapped gifts and volunteers. Check out their website for more information.

Our newest church partner is Immanuel Lutheran Church! We're thrilled to have them on board. They will begin hosting a GAP Ministry at their church in January. Their GAP Ministry will distribute gas cards and bus passes to Love INC clients who need help with transportation to a job interview, their first week of work or to a verified medical appointment.

Cedar Valley Community Church currently distributes gas cards and bus passes. We noticed a greater need in our community than one church could cover and are blessed to have Immanuel Lutheran involved also.

Our current volunteer needs include:

Transportation or Small Item Delivery Volunteers who transport clients to medical appointments, to the food bank or deliver food/essentials to clients on weekdays. Typically needed once a week or once every two weeks.

Intake Volunteers who can asses client needs over the phone in the Clearinghouse on Tuesdays or Thursdays.

Those who are interested can fill out a form on our website.
In November
[compared to Nov 2013]

329 calls [+52]
349 identified needs [+54]
248 met needs [+30]
48 families new to Love INC [-8]
330 volunteer hours logged
197 referrals to partner churches [+15]
This Thanksgiving one of our partner churches, Prairie Lakes Church Waterloo, delivered meals to 150 households. Seventy-one of those households were Love INC clients.

Together we decided to take a risk and offer a second Thanksgiving menu for our clients to choose from. The second option offered a more southern menu which included black-eyed peas, collard greens, sweet potatoes and red velvet cake.

Just as we hoped, it was a hit! Of the 71 households referred by Love INC, 53 of those chose the new menu. Many of our clients expressed their gratitude and excitement to receive a meal that met the desires of their family so well!
Copyright © 2014 Love INC of the Cedar Valley, All rights reserved.

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