Love In the Name of Christ – Love INC of the Black Hills

Volunteer Orientation

Welcome Love INC Volunteers!

Thank you…

John Ligtenberg
Executive Director

On behalf of the board and staff at Love INC, I welcome you and thank you for joining our organization and volunteer team!  We hope your time with us will be worthwhile and rewarding to you.

We’re very grateful for each person who offers to step forward to volunteer services and join us in doing the very best job we can to show the Love of Christ to our community.

No matter what team you’re serving on, rest assured that your position is important to the people we serve.  Your help is truly appreciated.

In order to help you get acquainted with Love INC, we are providing you with this online orientation. Perhaps you’ve volunteered with Love INC for years, it’s important that you understand the whole ministry you’ve invested in. Please take some time to go through this carefully and if you have any questions, or need clarification be sure to ask.

So, welcome aboard, and let’s get started…



Let’s start by watching this video and getting to know the Love INC staff. (Update: On May 1, 2012 Jane Killinger retired. Also Janae has agreed to stay on with VISTA at Love INC until August 2013.)

Enter the password “love” to activate this video.


Next CLIKC HERE to hop over to the ABOUT page to meet our staff, board and volunteer leaders.

Love INC History


Love INC, Love In the Name of Christ, was founded in 1977 in Holland, Michigan as a way to encourage churches to become more engaged with the poor and to inspire a greater number of Christians to put their faith in action.

As the Love INC ministry grew, so did the need for national leadership and support. In 1988, Love INC became an operating department of World Vision U.S., an international Christian relief and development organization, where it remained for the next 15 years. Under World Vision, Love INC continued to grow throughout the 1990s, and in 2003 Love INC separated from World Vision and again became its own national nonprofit organization.

Today Love INC has over 150 affiliates in 30 states, representing a network of more than 9,000 churches, 7,000 community agencies, and nearly 300,000 volunteers meeting more than 1 million needs each year.


Love INC of the Black Hills opened in September 2001 to bring church volunteers alongside people in their place of need. That may mean fixing a loose handrail, yard work, companionship, etc. Our goal is that people would see God’s unconditional love demonstrated through acts of service.

What makes Love INC special are the lives that are impacted. Sometimes it is the smallest things that make the biggest difference in people’s lives. And the people helping are often blessed as much as the ones who are being helped. Though it may sound overly simple, people need love. Love INC gives people opportunities to love their neighbors.

Love INC of the Black Hills started with 10 area churches and today has grown to include over 50 local churches and a strong working relationship with area service providers.  While Love INC primarily serves the greater Rapid City area, the Love INC Cases for Kids program serves throughout the Black Hills region.

Love INC's Mission

Love INC’s Mission drives everything we do:

The mission of love INC is to mobilize local churches to transform lives and communities in the name of Christ.                                                                                    

1. Mobilizing Churches means that we are here to help Christians put their faith to work in serving their neighbors in need. It also means that Love INC is largely volunteer led, with the paid staff supporting the volunteers.

2. Transforming Lives means that our ultimate desire is seeing someone’s life turned around by the grace of Jesus Christ. In all our ministries we are hoping to help people move one step closer in their journey with God. That means we are looking for relational connections between volunteers and those being served. From a pleasant smile, a serving hand and a listening ear, to a prayer, teaching, mentoring and friendship: we are wanting to point people to the Love of Christ.

Transforming Lives also means that we are not trying to sustain people in a place of need, but rather to move them out of a place of need.


Love INC’s Structure

The make-up of Love INC also supports this mission. As a 501(c)3 South Dakota non-profit we have a volunteer board of directors and various volunteer teams that guide and support our ministries. You can see more of our make-up in by clicking on our organizational chart below.

Love INC’s Core Values:

Love INC’s Core Values further support our mission of mobilizing churches and transforming lives.

1. Loving God and demonstrating His love to others.

2. Praying expectantly.

3. Trusting God and being faithful to His calling.

4. Building relational connections.

5. Esteeming the poor and needy.

6. Supporting people in their journey to wholeness.

7. Serving God and others in love, joy and the power of His Spirit.


Love INC’s Beliefs:

Clearly, Love In the Name of Christ, is a Christian organization. We use the truths stated in the Apostles Creed as a foundation for the beliefs that we hold in common.

I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth. I believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord. He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended to the dead. On the third day He rose again. He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.

The Love INC Clearinghouse


The Love INC Clearinghouse is at the center of the Love INC’s activity.Taking Requests for Help
  • Church volunteers take request for help over the phone at the Love INC office. People are usually calling about an immediate felt need: bills, transportation, food, housing. The volunteer takes the time to help the caller feel heard, looks at the dynamics of their situation and their resources (1. Can they help themselves?, 2. Can their family help? 3. Can their church help? 4. Are there existing community resources that can meet this need?)
  • Love INC is also not a crisis or emergency center. The Clearinghouse also doesn’t provide direct or indirect monetary services like paying rent or utilities.
  • Our Intake Volunteers are able to inform people of many applicable resources from area agencies.
  • Part of the initial call is helping the caller think through solutions. Always there is more to the story. Usually the immediate need is a symptom of deeper needs.
  • The vast majority of the time the volunteers have an opportunity to pray with the callers about their needs. It is not unusual for these prayers to make a big impact in the lives of callers.

Processing Requests for Help

If a caller’s request can be met by a Love INC ministry or through an area church it goes on to the Love INC Clearinghouse Coordinator (paid staff). The Clearinghouse Coordinator is responsible to oversee and train the intake callers, oversee outreach ministries within the Clearinghouse and process the requests. When processing the requests the Clearinghouse Coordinator is looking for the following:

  • Is this request legitimate? We make phone calls to case workers, employers, landlords, family member to ensure the legitimacy of the request. Not only are they telling the truth, but will we be helping move this person out of a place of long-term need. If they have a case worker elsewhere, we want to make sure we are on the same page.
  • Is this request manageable? Even if it is legitimate, it may be beyond the scope of church volunteers to meet.

Ministries through the Clearinghouse

  • Furniture: this outreach is our number one call. The Furniture Ministry Team does home visits, deliveries and follow up. The goal is not just furniture, but connecting with people and pointing them toward Christ. The furniture ministry is housed at Saint Therese Church.
  • Household items: this is an outreach of Black Hills Church of Christ
  • Linens: this is an outreach of First United Methodist
  • Toiletries: this is an outreach of Saint Andrews Episcopal. The toiletries are mostly used through the Life INC program.
  • Home Repairs: The Home Repair Team helps elderly and disabled home owners with basic home repairs to help them maintain their independence. About the largest repair they do is the construction of wheelchair ramps.


Clothe-A-Kid provides back to school clothing for area children. Take a minute to explore Clothe-A-Kid by clicking here.

There are over 2,400 children in the Rapid City School District living below the poverty level where a family of four makes less than $20,650 a year. But poverty goes beyond just lack of income. Dr. James Garbarino, Director of the Center for the Rights of Children, says the problem of poverty is comparative, a measure of inequalities; poverty is about shame and departure from what is normal.

Our Cloth-a-Kid program is going through alot of changes this year.  We have decided that for each child, they will invest $10 and recieve $70 worth of clothing in return. We want to empower our partisipants to have a part in recieving their clothes. People enrolled in the Life INC program have the $10 cost waived.

For the elemantry aged children, their informaion is given to volunteers in local churches and they shop for the clothes.  Then we have a small fair for the kids to come pick up their clothes and have some fun.

For the middle schoolers, we have 1 day set aside at Kohls. We pair each child/family up with a volunteer and they go shopping together.  We have a list of items they can choose to purchase. Things like socks, underwear, lightweight jacket, pants and T-shirt.  Again, the middle school will invest $10 for for $70 worth of clothes.

Cases for Kids

Started in 2006 as a project of Jefferson Academy students, Cases for Kids provides backpacks of clothing and supplies to children in crisis. Many of these children are served through WAVI, Cornerstone Rescue Mission, the Black Hills Children’s Home and similar organizations.  Take a minute to explore Cases-for-Kids by clicking here.

Cases for Kids was a program initiated by students at Jefferson Academy. A handful of dedicated Love INC volunteers took over this program in 2008. While Cases for Kids volunteers don’t often see the children they serve, several times we have been contacted by foster parents expressing gratitude for and stressing the importance of these simple cases for children going through a very traumatic time.

Unfortunately many children in our area find themselves in difficult straits with nothing but the clothes on their backs. Cases for Kids allows the helping agency to retrieve an age and gender appropriate case from their store room and provide these children with something to call their own.

The supplies for Cases for Kids are stored at Big Brothers Big Sisters and assembled at Yes Realty on Deadwood Ave. In 2011, around 300 cases were delivered to area agencies. In 2012, clothing closets were set up at a few area schools.

Life INC

Life INC is a life skills mentoring and education program. Take a minute to explore Life INC by clicking here.

Life INC is a safe, supportive place for people to learn, grow and do the work that is needed to set a new course for life. Classes are offered in money management, employment skills, life skills, nutrition and parenting. In 2011, 210 adults and 191 children participated.

There are no economic requirements to participate in Life INC, but some classes are targeted specifically at the unemployed and chronically poor. Nearly all students are struggling financially, some have adequate incomes, but because of life event crises such as unexpected medical expenses, divorce, loss of employment or mismanagement of their resource find themselves in need of assistance. Life INC also partners with several area agencies in serving their clientele including: Habitat for Humanity, Cornerstone Rescue Mission, Catholic Social Services, Lutheran Social Services, and the Extension Service.

Volunteer Handbook

We are currently working on a Volunteer Handbook as a resource tool that volunteers can access if they have questions. Until that is developed, here are links to Love INC’s policies and procedures. You don’t need to read them, just be aware that they are here if you need them.



Love INC Philosophy of Ministry

When we look at the hows and whys of what Love INC does, we prayerfully turn to God and His Word for wisdom and direction. It is not easy to love people. Not everyone needs the same thing. Sometimes what people want is the opposite of what they need. God’s Word calls us to be merciful and just, generous and wise stewards,  discerning and yet not judgmental. Philippians 1:9 says, “And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment.” The Strong’s Concordance defines discernment here as cutting “through hazy ethical (moral) matters to really size things up.” Often loving people really can seem like cutting through an ethical haze.

There are some books lately that have helped us define how we help people in need, “When Helping Hurts” by Corbett and Fikkert. “Toxic Charity” by Robert Lupton. “Bridges out of Poverty” by Ruby Payne.

We are now offering a class on the lessons we’ve learned through experience and reading, and we still have much to learn, but here are some points we cover:

  • It’s about relationships. Relationship is the conduit that love flows through. You can’t love someone without it.
  • Trust is the foundation of all relationships. It takes time. It takes honesty, openness and transparency — from both parties. A relationship where you cannot trust is dysfunctional.
  • Think People and Processes not Products and Projects.
  • Dignity: give people a choice and let them own the consequences.
  • Avoid Paternalism: don’t do more for someone than they are willing to do for themselves.
  • Boundaries: know how to say yes and no. Know what is your responsibility and when it is time for them to step up and take responsibility for their situation.
  • Motive: Why are you serving? What is in it for you?
  • Prayer: We can’t change people. That is between them and God. We can pray. We can love. People are often more open to being prayed for than you would think.
  • The Body of Christ: To the highest degree possible we want our volunteers to own this ministry and have opportunity to be the hands and feet of Christ.
  • Planting a seed: You have to start somewhere and meet people where they are at. Some of our ministries are ways to get our foot in the door. So we plant a seed, hopefully as part of a process that is leading them one step closer to Christ.
  • Person of Peace: In Luke 10 Jesus sends the 70 disciples out. He says not everyone is going to receive the peace you offer. That’s OK. Move on. But if someone is receptive, stay with them. Build relationship with them. Even if they are not who you would have picked.
  • Help without hurting: Think through the unintended consequences of your charity. Does if rob dignity? Is it about the you or them? Does it help them be more self-sufficient?
  • Redefine Success: Success is being faithful to what God has called you to. Our culture likes to focus on numbers and growth: externals. God looks at the heart.
  • Skin in the Game: A handout is demeaning. People need to have investment in what they receive. What can they bring to the table to work WITH you, as an integral player?
  • Treating the symptom: Many people in poverty live in a constant state of crisis. Providing relief to the crisis of the moment will probably only make the underlying problem worse.

“And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment.” Philippians 1:9[JL1] 

At first blush it looks like Paul is wanting our love to abound more and more. But really he is saying he wants our love to abound more and more in knowledge and discernment. What does that mean?

Knowledge used here is experiential knowledge through direct relationship: recognize it, intuitive. This love HAS to be RELATIONAL. Products and projects won’t cut it.

Discernment (judgement): discernment which “cuts through” hazy ethical (moral) matters to really “size things up” (used only in Phil 1:9)

This is not a gooey or fluffy love. This is tough love.


Volunteer Opportunities

As a Love INC volunteer you are one of our greatest recruiters. We try to send out weekly updates about needs, prayer requests and other opportunities we have. Please help us spread the word and work to involve more people in this outreach either as volunteers or recipients.

There are numerous ways to help out at Love INC. Take a moment to explore our Give Help page by clicking here.

Supporting Love INC

Love INC is supported by the Rapid City community. In 2011, our income and expenses were about $207,000 and $210,000 respectively. In 2011, income came from the following sources:

15%  Churches
44%  Individuals
11%  Businesses
30%  Grants and community organizations

That is a little more grant heavy than normal.

One of our biggest fundraisers of the year is our Fall Banquet held on the Monday before Thanksgiving. Around 500 people come and we have an awesome dessert auction and celebrate all God has done through Love INC that year. Learn more about the banquet under the MORE tab of our website.

Other FUNdraising events include One Voice, a Good Friday evening contemporary worship service, and a benefit dinner held at Murphy’s Pub and Grill.

We’d also invite you to become a regular financial supporter of Love INC. You can donate online at the “Give Help” tab.

Volunteer Support


Proper volunteer placement is important. It is like dating and finding a good match for both parties; and sometimes it takes time to find the right fit. Many of our volunteers have worn different hats at Love INC. As you look at where you are placed, both of us will be looking to see if this is a good match and that you are able to use your gifts and strengths joyfully.


Volunteer Training

Depending on the volunteer position, there may be additional formal training and/or job shadowing required before and during the time you fill your role. We’ll let you know.


Follow Up

We are implementing regular evaluations with our volunteers to see how things are going. During this time we are looking for training and support needs, program needs, ideas, concerns and especially satisfaction. This can serve as a natural time for you to recommit, step down or give notice of future plans.

Wrap Up

As we wrap up the orientation, we ask you to answer just a few questions for us about how your orientation experience was.  We appreciate any and all feedback as we continue to try make this orientation better for everyone.  We hope you enjoyed.



You can find us here

Love INC of the Black Hills
Mail: PO Box 3255, Rapid City, SD 57709
Office: 140 North St, Rapid City, SD 57701
Hours: 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM, Mon-Thu; 8:30 AM - 12:00 PM, Fri
Phone: (605) 718-5683
Fax: (605) 716-4963

Upcoming Events


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