On Saturday evening, Love In the Name of Christ (INC) held a drive-through “Souper Supper,” serving 200 bowls of soup in exchange for donations.
Soups were provided by Sweet Inspirations, the Market Street Bakery and Judy’s Country Kitchen.
All it took was one bowl of delicious soup for donors to know they had given to a good cause.
Love INC is a nonprofit organization with chapters across the U.S. The mission is simple: help people in need. Their ministry is operated through existing community churches of all denominations.
“Over 40 churches across Lewis County sponsor us and support us,” said Brian Carlton, executive director of Love INC of Lewis County. “Some are more directly involved (by) sending us money for operations. And then we have a number of churches that designate funds for these different programs.”
Carlton has been with Love INC for a little over a year and says that there’s never a dull day.
The organization takes 200 to 300 calls per month from local individuals and families in need. Grant-funded nonprofit organizations can run into roadblocks when projects have not been specifically outlined in their funding, but Love INC avoids this problem by being donation-based.
This allows them great flexibility to help with their callers’ versatile situations.
“We can meet the need based on our assessment,” Carlton said. “From helping someone get a copy of their divorce certificate so they can move forward on another paperwork process at the courthouse — and that might be $15 — to paying someone’s rent so that they can sleep at night.”
When the state eviction moratorium lifts, Love INC expects the need for their rent assistance program will increase.
“We’ve actually seen a few dips in calls with the (stimulus) money. It comes in waves,” Carlton said.
However, that hasn’t stopped people from donating. Not even a pandemic could do that.
Love INC reported that on Saturday, total donations increased by $300 from their previous supper.
In the past, Souper Suppers have been held in person at the Nazarene church in Centralia. The drive-through version on Saturday had slightly fewer participants than past years, but several dozen families were served.
In 2020, when the pandemic was just starting, a supper with hundreds of guests wasn’t such a popular idea.
Still, the community showed up — through online donations.
Over the weeks following the originally scheduled dinner, people donated to Love INC through its website, and in the end, the total number of dollars raised was record-breaking.
To donate, go to loveinclewiscounty.maxgiving.com