Each day, Lisa Mathews does what she loves and she does it with dignity.
As executive director of Love in the Name of Christ (Love INC), Mathews helps people in need and makes a difference in the southeast Ottawa County and Grandville communities.
“There’s dignity in this work that we’re doing, that God has asked us to do, and it’s a beautiful opportunity for people to get connected,” she said.
Love INC partners local churches with volunteers and community organizers to help those in need. The national nonprofit organization has over 140 affiliates in 30 states across the country.
Mathews’ journey with Love INC began when she was a pastor at Ridge Point Community Church in Holland.
“I just fell in love with the organization at that time because I saw how they helped me as a pastor, helped my people to really serve and make a difference, and I got the Love INC bug,” she said. Mathews joined Love INC 2 ½ years ago.
Mathews’ affiliate has over 1,000 volunteers, ranging from retired community members to students. The hub of their ministry is the call center, where people who have needs will call and ask for help.
“We get about 5,000 phone calls a year,” Mathews said.
Calls can range from people needing food or clothing to transportation or medical equipment. Love INC also has a resale ministry where the community can donate items. Those items can either be resold or donated to those who need them.
A big area of Love INC is the Life Skills Program, which connects a mentor with a family for a year. Together, they work on budgeting, nutrition, relationships, behavior and parenting.
Many who have been helped return to make a difference in someone else’s life.
“They’re coming back to not only finish the program, but coming back and serving by becoming a mentor themselves,” Mathews said. “To me, that is the ultimate success story.” n