Volunteer Stories

Volunteer Focus—Ross Wootan

Ross Wootan has been involved with Love INC close to 4 years. He started volunteering around the time that Love INC moved into the house on Santiam Road in Albany. The house needed a little TLC plus various preparations to transform it from a family home to a ministry center. A large group of volunteers from various churches made this happen and Ross was one of those volunteers.

Ross decided to volunteer more when he saw that Love INC was a ministry that was meeting needs in the communities of Linn County, and it was designed to promote unity in the church. One way he has contributed to the ministry has been as a Love INC Board member. The Love INC Board is made up of individuals from various churches who agree with the statement of faith and the Love INC missions statement. He said that serving on the board is a pleasure because all the members buy into the Love INC mission statement:

The mission of Love In the Name of Christ
is to mobilize local churches to transform lives
and communities In the Name of Christ.

Decisions at the Board level are generally made by consensus due to the buy-in on the mission statement. Buy-in creates unity.

Another area that Ross has been involved in has been the Transformational Ministry Classes offered to our clients, people attending our churches and others in our community. In the Transformational Ministry Classes we seek to help people reach their potential and learn valuable life skills. Ross likes the idea that these classes are giving people a “hand up” rather than just a “hand out”. Ross has been in leadership roles in the Affirming Potential and Faith and Finances Classes.

Ross says he enjoys the family atmosphere of working with the staff and volunteers in this ministry. He also says that for Love INC in general, it is sometimes a challenge being the liaison between Christ’s Body and the clients who need help and promoting unity in the Body of Christ. We need God’s guidance to accomplish His mission.

I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word.
That they may all be one, just as you, Father are in me, and I in you, that they also
may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. The glory that you
have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one. I in them
and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know
that you sent me and loved them even as you love me.
John 17:20-23

Volunteer Focus—Welcoming Our Neighbors

When people come into our Love INC office, frequently the first person they meet is a receptionist. The receptionist welcomes those seeking help, those bringing donations, as well as people who have questions about the ministry. At the Linn County Love INC we have two volunteer receptionists, each working two days a week — Sue Lucas and Diana Cruce.

SUE has been involved at Love INC for about 10 years. She learned about the ministry through a friend, and at first Sue was helping with a project — data entry. After
that she became a phone intake volunteer, and finally a receptionist. She enjoys welcoming people, learning about their situations, and helping problem-solve, but the most gratifying part of her job is being able to pray for people. Somehow God uses that prayer ministry to touch a person’s inner being, so they sense the Lord’s love and they begin to have hope. Sue readily admits that there are a few challenges in the ministry, including times when we don’t have a needed item (like a wheel chair), or we can’t provide a service (like a ride to a doctor) because no volunteers are available. Another challenge is when a client is in their current difficulty due to poor planning or is not taking responsibility for themselves to meet their own needs. However, overall, Sue said, “It is rewarding beyond words to see the wonders that God brings into people’s lives.”

Sue said, “If you have the time to give, there are lots of areas you can be involved in. Just come in and we can put you to work!”

DIANA has volunteered at Love INC for 5 years. After some initial training, she became a receptionist (she had been a church secretary in the past). Diana enjoys the ministry in many of the same ways that Sue does — meeting new people and developing relationships, sharing information about community resources that may help them, communicating respect and care to each person, and offering to pray.

Since Diana came to Love INC, her heart has gone out to people who continue to find themselves in difficult situations because they have not been taught how to navigate life well. Diana learned life skills when she was growing up in a caring family. That isn’t true for everyone. Diana has been involved in the Developmental Ministry aspect of Love INC, where classes are offered to help people understand more about their value to God and where they can learn life skills and biblical principles. Some people are ready to make positive changes in their lives, and it is a joy to see them learning from God and developing healthy friendships. God is blessing this ministry. Love INC offers some hand-outs, but we are also offering a “hand-up”. Praise God!