DeKALB – The drive-thru concept will get a dash of philanthropy this weekend in DeKalb.
Love in the Name of Christ of DeKalb/Sycamore, or Love INC, will host a drive-thru donation drop-off at Hillcrest Covenant Church, 1515 N. First St., DeKalb, from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday. The organization is asking for useable household items that are in good condition, odorless and not stained or ripped.
“We want to encourage and bring help to those in need,” executive director Nathan Scott said. “We are taking appliances, furniture or anything so we can help people as soon as possible.”
Love INC partners with 32 area churches and other area agencies to help connect people to charitable resources those organizations provide such as clothing, furniture, bikes, household items and financial assistance.
Since coming to the DeKalb area in 2009, Love INC has helped 8,794 people. In the first half of 2014 alone, 194 people have called Love INC looking for some help.
Sycamore resident David Peek and his family of five first received "indispensible" help from Love INC about a year ago. He's been underemployed for about three years and needed help with his utility bills.
"It's pretty important to have heat and running water," Peek said.
The agency thoroughly vets requests. After a person calls Love INC's clearinghouse and before they are referred to another church or agency for help, Scott said, the organization verifies the information the person provides on his or her employment, other agencies they work with and expenses.
Once Love INC volunteers verify the information, they refer the person to an area church that offers the appropriate resources.
Lauri Hillman, an intake coordinator who has been with Love INC for five years, deals with handfuls of requests daily. She had about six files containing new requests in front of her within 30 minutes of accepting phone calls Wednesday morning.
The organization holds two drive-thru donation efforts a year, but this will be the first time Hillcrest will host one.
Hillcrest Pastor Steve Larson has been involved in Love INC since it launched five years ago. His church refers about 10 people to Love INC a month, while five are referred to them for their kitchen ministry and 15 come for $10 gas cards.
“We are a church that's all about mission and we think this is a great opportunity to help people help people,” Larson said.
He said the verification process allows the agency and partner churches to delve into the best ways to help.
“One of the things I've loved about Love INC is they don't just look to meet the needs people are calling about,” Larson said. “We can really dig into people's lives and see what they need.”
Clients have requested furniture, financial assistance, gas cards, beds and lamps the most this year, Scott said. Diapers and bikes also are in high demand, Scott said.
Furniture topped the list with 255 items requested, making things such as couches, beds and dining tables most desired.
“That way people can eat at a table instead of on the floor,” Scott said. “They can sleep on a bed instead of the floor.”
If you go
What: Love in the Name of Christ of DeKalb/Sycamore drive-thru donation drop-off
When: 9 a.m. to noon Saturday
Where: Hillcrest Covenant Church, 1515 N. First St., DeKalb