Love INC in Whatcom County
In 1988 Whatcom Love INC began serving the needs of struggling families, coordinating with local churches and agencies. For several years prior to this time, a group of churches occasionally joined together for service projects. They eventually saw the need for more consistent service and expansion of participation by church volunteers, and became affiliated with the national Love INC organization.
Initially housed in donated space on Northwest Avenue, the Love INC operations moved to their current location in the Bellingham Irongate area thanks to the generosity of Bellingar Storage. Besides providing for multiple work stations, this location allowed the Love INC furniture ministry to expand into a continuous warehousing and delivery program.
Starting with just half a dozen founding churches the organization grew to about 30 members in the first 10 years and added another 5 churches by 2010. Early pioneers in the ministry, including board leaders, were Harley Hiller, Kathy and Curtis Atnaeson, Barbara Holmes, and long-time Executive Director Colleen Miller.
Under Miller’s supervision, a part-time Clearinghouse Coordinator was employed and a strong team of phone volunteers assembled. Ginger Hansey was a long-time, faithful Coordinator demonstrating great resourcefulness. Other Executive Directors and Board leaders from recent years included Kae Unrein, Greg DePaul, Don Galloway, and John Thomas.
With daily prayer and evidence of God’s hand at every juncture, the Whatcom Love INC Christian church partnership has helped thousands of at-risk or broken families and individuals threatened by homelessness with financial coaching, referrals, and help with basic needs.
By God’s grace, Whatcom Love INC is celebrating 29 years of service in Whatcom County.