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America is the wealthiest nation on earth. Yet in our land of plenty, there are millions of people living in poverty, unable to meet their own basic needs. Poverty exists in every state across the country—in urban, suburban, and rural areas—and its reach crosses every barrier— age, race, gender, and family situation. Poverty can be situational (people experiencing a crisis such as illness, divorce, or unemployment) generational (families living in poverty for two or more generations), or relational (isolated people without a support network to turn to). People in poverty experience not only a lack of income or material possessions, but a lack of such things as life choices, physical and emotional security, social participation, and self-esteem. Poverty is teaching millions of Americans that they are not valued, that failure is to be expected, and that hope is futile.

One in four Americans is a child, but more than one in three Americans is a child in poverty. Across our country, boys and girls are experiencing pain, frustration, and unmet needs because they are poor. Consider the eight-year-old girl who can’t concentrate in class on Monday because she hasn’t eaten all weekend. Or the two-year-old toddler who quakes and cries through the night because there’s no heat in the apartment, or the six-year-old asthmatic boy who suffers without relief of medication because his family can’t afford health insurance. How are these children to make sense of the world around them? Poverty has deprived them of both material resources and opportunity while leaving them virtually devoid of hope for a brighter future.

Love INC of Otero County is here to help meet the needs of the poor. These stories may seemed far removed from the situation you are in but unfortunately they are all too real and they exist right here in our community. Everyday our intake workers speak with real people in need of basic assistance such as food, clothing, financial assistance and shelter. We also assist with things such as auto repair, small household repairs, yard clean-up, etc… As we speak with the community we are constantly finding more avenues to reach out to those less fortunate. As the year progresses we will be adding new GAP ministries to assist more people right here in Otero County. In 2011 we met the needs of over 1,700 families and the numbers just keep increasing. As you read through our information please consider how you can help us to continue our mission to reach out those less fortunate…In the Name of Christ!

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