Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Love Inc.

Love Inc.

One of my favorite local charities is called Love Inc. Love Inc. is a terrific non- denominational effort put forth by local churches all over the country.  A good reminder that charity does not discriminate based on religion or lack thereof.  It is a combined effort to provide help for those in need of clothing, basic necessities like cleaning products or diapers, scheduling rides to and from doctor’s appointments or the grocery store for those who cannot otherwise get there as well as providing new duffel bags with soft animals and basic comforts to foster children. 
When my daughter was turning one year old, I looked around my living room and realized that neither of my children wanted for anything.  No, I'm not a wealthy woman, not by a long shot.  Yet, short of a unicorn, my kids have everything they could want or need.  I knew about Love Inc. and the ways they provided for the community.  There is no test with them or forms to fill out.  It is simply on faith.  If you or your family ask, they will help you, even if the only thing they can do is offer prayer and support.
From the minute they could walk, I have tried to impress on my kids that charity is not something we just do at Christmas.  Giving is a year round effort.  To that end, I decided that for my daughters first birthday party, in lieu of gifts, to please bring a donation for Love Inc.  In the invitations I explained how blessed our family was and included a list of things they needed for children.  Diapers, blankets, onesies, stuffed animals and bags for foster children, those were just a few of the items that people brought. 
Bringing in that donation was certainly an emotional experience.  The head of the local chapter cried and then quickly explained how desperate they were for those items.  Their funding is dependent on donations from the public, as are the items they use to stock their pantry.  She gave me a tour and allowed me to see some photographs of lives who had been touched in the past by their efforts.  It was a reminder to me that we can all make a difference in the lives of those people we don't know.  Not only that, but I realized that if I ever found myself in need, that my family would have a place to go to for help. 
In my backyard are a few little blue spruce trees.  I handed out seedlings to everyone who came to my daughter's party, at the time only thinking that it was a cute idea and a nice thing to do for the environment.  I look at those trees now and realize that they mean so much more.  They are living breathing reminders to myself, my husband and my children that we can make a difference.
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