Love INC of Otero County has a food pantry that is available to the public 4 days a week. Clients in need can come visit our pantry once every 30 days and will receive food such as ground hamburger, bread, eggs and staple items. After the third time (and as clients are able) we ask that they volunteer some time at one of our partner ministries. This is a great way to build self esteem as we try to give them that hand up that they so desperately need.
Our pantry is staffed by volunteers who are committed to the work of this ministry. These caring and dedicated individuals spend time with each client, visiting and getting to know them. Finally, because we believe that prayer is the most important way reach someone each client is offered a time of prayer with one of our staff.
Love INC of Otero County has created a clothing pantry that is designed first and foremost to assist those individuals looking for employment. We believe that the best way to help some one is to give them tools they need to succeed. Our clothing pantry is stocked with dress clothes for women and men that may be worn for things such as job interviews. In addition we try to carry items that may be needed once employment is secured, ie: work boots, uniforms, etc…
Clients are allowed to visit our clothing pantry once a month and generally are permitted to take a limit of 8 items per visit. As with our food ministry, clients are offered an opportunity to pray with one of our staff members.
Our furniture ministry provides quality used furniture for those clients that are in need. Requests for items such as sofas, tables and beds can are delivered based on availability. When a client calls, a home visit is generally performed first to assess the legitimacy of the need. Once the information is verified, our ministry team will then deliver the requested items. Along with furniture, a bible is generally offered and as with our other ministries, an offer of prayer is extended.
Back Pack Ministry
In our effort to bring hope to our community, Love INC of Otero County has created a weekend back pack ministry for school age children that have been identified as being in need. These back packs are filled with 2 ½ days of non perishable, easy to eat foods to sustain children for the weekends. Back packs are filled and sent home on Fridays afternoons (or the last day of the week) and then the students will bring them back on Monday’s (or the first day of the week). Our team will then pick them up and refill them and the process will be repeated. In order for a child to be enrolled in the program a recommendation must come from a school teacher, principal, counselor or school nurse (parents cannot make the request themselves). We currently have about 100 children enrolled in the program however on average we fill 70 – 90 back packs each week depending on whether the child has returned the back pack that week. Community support is crucial in maintaining this program and donations are always welcomed.
Love INC is the designated administrator of PNM’s Good Neighbor Fund. This fund is created by the Power Company of New Mexico and all funds are based on community donations and matched by PNM employees and directors. This is a great way to assist our clients who may find them selves needing assistance with their electric bill.
In addition to the Good Neighbor Fund, Love INC also has a benevolence program for other monetary needs as well. Assistance with rent, utilities, prescriptions and gasoline are available on a limited basis and all requests must be able to be verified for accuracy and legitimacy before a decision can be made. Once this is done, a determination can be made as to how much Love INC can assist with. In most cases the client is asked to participate in this process by contributing a portion of the amount needed toward the payment. We feel this is an important part of ensuring that we continue our mission for a hand up rather then a hand out.