Open House kicks off new Love INC drop off site
For Carol Shafer and her team of volunteers, things couldn't be better.
Standing in a large empty room at City Gate Church in Hillsboro, Shafer, executive director of the nonprofit Love INC of Greater Hillsboro, is all smiles.
Love INC works with local churches to serve the less fortunate, offering mattresses, shoes, firewood, cleaning supplies and other necessities to those who can't afford them.
For years, the nonprofit has accepted donations from its small office on Elam Young Parkway, which greatly limited the types of items that could be donated, Shafer said.
"We had a little space behind the counter, but, mostly, we had to say no to things like couches, dressers, and mattresses," Shafer said. "We were praying that we could find a bigger space."
This month, the group opened its first official donation site, accepting everything from toilet paper to dining tables several days a month at City Gate Church, 765 N.E. Darnielle Drive.
"Now, we're able to expand to couches, chairs, dressers and tables and chairs," Shafer said. "People should have something to sit on. They should have something to eat on."
The group is holding an open house at the new location on Saturday, March 16, from 10 a.m. to noon.
Check it out
What: Love INC of Greater Hillsboro
Where: City Gate Church, 765 N.E. Darnielle Drive, Hillsboro
Donations are accepted several days each month:
Tuesdays, 9 a.m. to noon
Thursdays, 1 to 3 p.m.
Second Saturday of each month, 9:30 a.m. to noon.
Love INC works with more than a dozen churches across the Hillsboro area to form "gap ministries." Donations are distributed to churches, which offer niche services to the community. Some run clothing drives, others hand out cleaning supplies.
At its City Gate donation site, Love INC will be able to process the donations of shoes, shirts, mattress and other items people bring. The large pieces of furniture can be picked up directly from City Gate, with an appointment. Deliveries are also available, Shafer said.
The nonprofit obtained a grant from the city of Hillsboroto help raise money for a donation space, Shafer said. Local churches stepped in to offer rent money, too.
"When I started looking at spaces, they cost a lot of money," Shafer said. "We're very, very appreciative."
The City Gate donation center is just what she was looking for, Shafer said.
"We have enough money to be here for two or three years," she said. "Maybe we'll move someday, but we really like this space. And now we're able to expand the furniture we accept and the products people can bring in."
The group is part of a larger organization of nonprofits, Love In the Name of Christ, based in Michigan.
Love INC of Greater Hillsboro works with more than 700 families each year. In addition to its partner church ministries, the nonprofit offers classes on everything from child care to forming healthy relationships.
Donations to Love INC go directly to neighbors in need, said Jolene Snow, Love INC's client services manager.
"We hear from donors a lot who want to make sure they know where their donations are going," she said.
Many of Love INC's clients have nothing, Shafer said. Women from domestic violence situations often have to start fresh with nothing to call their own.
"We can give them dishes and mattresses and a chair to sit on," Shafer said.
Snow said the group has a waitlist of people looking for a bed to call their own.
For some, Shafer said, something as simple as toilet paper can make all the difference in a person's life.
"You really need that, that's something you have to have," Snow said. "We had a woman tell one of our volunteers once that toilet paper was gold."
By Geoff Pursinger
Editor, Hillsboro Tribune
Visit Hillsboro Tribune on Facebook and Twitter
Follow Geoff at @ReporterGeoff
Subscribe to our E-News and get the week's top stories in your inbox