OUR STORY FROM LOVE INC TO BRIDGES OF LOVE
LOVE INC PIERCE COUNTY HISTORY TO BRIDGES OF LOVE NW
Love in the Name of Christ, Love INC of Pierce County exists to unify the Body of Christ, meeting the needs of our neighbors. Since 2002, we have been privileged to serve over 33,000 families in the county, impacting countless more lives. Today, we have 6 staff members, a Clearinghouse, Christian Bookstore, various Gap Ministries, and over 100 local church partners. In 2000, a group of 11 churches came together, wanting to work together to meet the needs of their community. They were tired of working alone, being overwhelmed by the multitude of the need in Pierce County. The first year and half of Love INC was focused on getting the organization off the ground, struggling the whole way. After much hard work, it looked as if Love INC Pierce County was going to close. However, in July 2002, things turned around. Sherry Phinisey came on as the new Executive Director, relaunching the dream of those 11 churches. The new office was a 70 year old mobile home with three desks, one computer, and a fax machine. Building off of a new Clearinghouse manager and various volunteers, the church base grew from 11 churches to over 100 within three years. What started as a Clearinghouse that received 25 calls a month, we have now taken over 500 calls within a month (averaging around 300). Our first year’s budget was $30,000 dollars, today it takes $200,000 a year to run all of our programs. Take a look at our brief timeline:
- 2002 Love INC relaunches in a mobile home.
- 2004 Offices move to a 970 square foot building, adding 3 more work stations to accommodate an increase in volunteers.
- 2005Our Furniture Bank opens, providing beds, dressers, and linens to our clients.
- 2006Staff has grown to 5; We run a Bridges Out of Poverty class for Human Service providers and churches and corresponding program for clients called, Getting Ahead in a Just Getting by World.
- 2009Offices move to Lakewood, adding even more work stations for new volunteers.
- 2010Love’s Treasury opens, launching our Christian Bookstore, Personal CarePantry, Musical Instrument Bank, and Prom Dress Ministry. (Later discontinued Musical Instruments and Prom Dresses 2013)
- 2011 Built a custom Client Management System to better serve our neighbors and partnering churches. Built with a component that enables other non profits to use the database for their organizations and gave this to, an trained over 26 Love INC’s to have their own database.
- 2012 Restructure: Due to budget cuts and the new automated system, we reduced our staff. The system has allowed us to do more work with less people, better serving Pierce County.
- 2012 We kicked off new transformational ministry program called Jobs for Life! 16 week mentor based program. Work in partnership and is hosted by a variety of Churches.
- 2017 Transition to our new name: Bridges of Love NW. We love the Love INC name and ministry, but over the past few years the National Love INC office has closed, reopened and restructured and increased our participating affiliate dues from $250 per year for our first 10 years, and increased it to 3% of our income. This year they wanted $5000 from our Love INC to carry the name, and we got very little for that money that would benefit a mature non profit. We thought it was a better use of our limited financial resources to invest them into our own community, helping us to help our local churches in helping our neighbors in need. In April 2017 The Love INC Board voted to disaffiliate and change our name to Bridges of Love NW. Same mission. Same services to the community. Isaiah 62:2 ” The nations will see your vindication, and all kings your glory; you will be called by a new name that the mouth of the Lord will bestow.”
Entrusted by God to serve His people and our neighbors in need