Love In the Name of Christ Boone County is strong and ready to face the future, even though it is losing the major support of the national Love INC headquarters.
Wayne Adams, director of Love INC Boone County, received a letter in Saturday, Jan. 15’s mail from the national office, based in Minneapolis, Minn. It said, “with profound sadness,” that the office is closing due to insufficient funds. The last date of operation will be Jan. 28.
“I was (surprised),” Adams said. “I really hoped they would find the financial means to continue.”
Though the Boone County office will be losing the national support, it will basically be business as usual, Adams said. The local office is supported solely by community donations, so it is not financially impacted by the national headquarters closing. But that support was pretty invaluable.
“If it weren’t for them, we would not be where we are today because of the training they provided,” Adams said. “It would have been really hard for us without that umbilical cord.”
Adams said he believe most local Love INC affiliates will operate independently as Boone County is. But for those younger offices, it will be difficult for them to develop into full-grown organizations without the national headquarters’ help.
Along with training, Love INC Boone County will lose an annual conference and free, high-quality marketing materials that were provided by the national office. Adams said they will try to provide the materials themselves, but it will “definitely” be an extra cost — and a big one if they attempt the same high quality.
The conference is something Adams said he and his staff will really miss. They attended several workshops and were reminded to put their emphasis on the spiritual act of serving. One time, Adams even had to take a week after the conference to go over all the information he had received and think about how to put it into practice.
“We always left there renewed and refreshed, excited,” he said.
But Love INC Boone County, which has been in existence for a little more than two years, continues on. In 2009, the organization helped 800 adults and 800 children. And last year, it helped 998 adults and 748 children.
“And we just see those needs are going to continue to grow,” Adams said. “We’re still very excited about the future.”
Right now, it is in the clearinghouse phase, Adams said, helping people with material needs. But it is working on moving to the next phase — relational ministry — where it will work one-on-one with families, helping them learn life skills and become more independent.
The national office had been around for about 10 years, Adams said, but he believes it will probably reopen in the future. But it will have to make some changes. It will have to charge higher annual fees to its affiliates, he said, which were “quite honestly, way too low,” and charge for the full-color, expensive marketing materials, which it gave away free of cost.
“They didn’t want to put stress on the local affiliates, so as a result, I’m afraid, the national office suffered,” Adams said. “They did it with a good heart, but the result is they’re no longer in existence.”
Some of the office’s financial commitments, which it worked in its budget, fell through, compounding the financial problem.
As for the local office, Adams said they have always been able to pay their bills. They don’t have committed funds, but the bottom line is God has always provided.
“If we tried to sit down and put it on paper, it would never work,” Adams said of their financial situation. “That’s the honest truth — every month it’s just God’s blessing.”
The only limit to their growth right now is the number of volunteers. If more people volunteered, they could extend phone hours which in turn would increase the number of people they could help.
So as the national office prepares to close, Adams reminds the public the local office is nowhere near that point.
“I don’t want to minimize the effect (the closing) will have on our affiliate,” he said. “But I don’t want anybody spreading a rumor that Love INC’s going to close.”