Volunteering from the Heart

Enjoy this interview with Julie Timm, Loads of Love Coordinator at Westbrook Community Church.

What exactly do you do as a volunteer with Love INC?Julie Timm, Loads of Love Coordinator

Julie: At Westbrook Church, we have taken on the laundry and dish soap GAP ministry “Loads of Love”. We provide laundry detergent, dryer sheets, dish detergent and dish soap to families in need from our community. We get to help an average of 8-10 families each week, so it takes a LOT of donations to sustain this ministry. I also coordinate the volunteer drivers that are willing to deliver to families during the week. That’s an easy way for people to jump in and be the hands and feet of Christ, without requiring a huge commitment.

Why did you decide to get involved with this ministry?

Julie: Well, there was a time in my life when I was on the receiving end. In my early 20’s, I hadn’t been to church in about 6 years and didn’t really have any intentions of returning. Then my husband suddenly passed away and I found myself a single mother of a two year old, with no money and not a lot of resources. I was feeling really desperate and lost. The church I had grown up in heard about
my situation and jumped in to help. They provided some basic needs for me and my son that would not have been met otherwise. They also took time to pray with me and for me, and told me that they would continue to do so. It took me several years to return to church after that, but the seed was planted. I could never let go of the fact that they just stepped in and helped me with NO expectations. I knew it was more than charity – I knew there was a bigger purpose. It gave me hope and deepened my faith in God. And even now, 20 years later, I see it as a defining factor of why my faith is so strong. That’s really the reason I chose to volunteer for Love INC. I think if we, as a church family, can be a part of that to somebody – it can make a big impact.

What kind of a difference do you think you are making?

Julie: When volunteers deliver the items, there is an opportunity to talk and pray with the recipients. Because there are several churches dropping off at the same house and praying with them, it shows that their community cares about them and their circumstances. And because we are doing it In the Name of Christ, it shows them that God really does love them and will provide for them in their time of need. I think we have a really unique opportunity with this ministry to meet people where they are and we just never know how God will use it in their lives. In fact, the mission of Love INC is to mobilize the church to transform lives and our community in the name of Christ. What can be better than that?