A national nonprofit that unites churches to meet the needs of the poor has to raise $1 million in funds by year's end or the organization's headquarters will be forced to shut down.
Love In the Name of Christ's mission, as stated on their website, is to "mobilize the Church to transform lives and communities In the Name of Christ." However, the organization may soon halt its mission because of the economy.
"As the economy continues to struggle, there is an entirely new demographic of people who are in poverty. They are the new poor. This growth in demographics has required that Love INC step up to meet more needs," said Robert Odom, president of Love INC, in a recent statement. "We are answering God's call to help the poor; however new affiliates mean a greater need for funding at the headquarters."
Since Odom's start with Love INC – which was spun off from World Vision in 2003 – in 1996, the organization has gotten over 900 hundred churches involved and currently serves 1 million people in need.
He told The Christian Post, "It's a state-of-the-art movement and the most effective ministry that's out there."
Across America, 43.6 million people or 14.3 percent of the population are living in poverty, according to a 2009 Census report. And double the numbers from a decade ago, almost 50 million people skip meals just to make ends meet – the definition of food insecurity. Children account for a fourth of those in poverty and almost oneof every two poor children lives in extreme poverty.
Love INC's headquarters in Minneapolis starts new affiliates and provides affiliate support and training. There are 16 new Love INCs that have started this year alone with six different denominations working together. It relies primarily on individual givers to meet its annual budget of $1.6 million. With the economy in the shape that it is, however, the budget may not be met by the end of this year.
"God has blessed us mightily and we just have run into a hardship like never before," Odom said.
Since his public announcement of the possible shut down of the organization back in September, he said there have been ten times more contributions made. However, they have been small contributions.
"You can't fail in the name of Christ, which is why this is so ironic," Odom said.
Appealing to the public for support, he said, "We are desperate for major donors who believe in the call to bring the church together in communities across America to help those in need.
"When an affiliate has an impact on its community, other nearby communities also want to open an affiliate so that they can bring the church to the center of its community. That is what the church is called to do and that is why we have grown. We need givers who feel called to support this mission."
If contributions do not add up to $1 million by Christmas, Odom said the headquarters will close in January.
On the Web: http://www.loveinc.org/