Love Life Ministry
Love Life is an ecumenical outreach service supporting low income families with infants and toddlers up to three years of age in the greater Green Bay area. We provide diapers, layettes, recycled baby furniture and toys, gently used clothing, and powdered and bottled baby food. We also provide help with pack and plays and car seats.
Do you have a few hours to help Love Life? Due to a few of our volunteers having to reduce or eliminate their hours due to health concerns, Love Life is in need of a volunteer or two to help sorting children’s (1 yr. to 3 yrs. of age) clothes. The day/hours will be one or more of the first four Thursdays of the month from 12:30 till ??? If you can spare this small amount of time to help those children from impoverished families, please call Mary Ann Haakonson at 437-9678, or Dave Dionne at 336-3082.
The program began in 1993 with a small group of volunteers at St. Joseph Parish in Green Bay, who saw a need and responded to it. As community organizations serving low income families became aware of Love Life, the program began experiencing growth. Referrals were received from the local hospitals, Brown County area Social Service Agencies, Churches and St Vincent De Paul. By 2004, the demand for our services resulted in an expansion to a second location at Peace United Methodist Church on Green Bay’s East side. This location opened on Thursday, October 7, 2004. The client list continued to grow with a corresponding growth in the volunteer base. Love Life continues to be a 100% volunteer organization.
By 2018, Peace United Methodist Church, along with the entire nation, was greatly concerned with the high number of school shootings. Because of our program, their doors could not be locked on Thursday afternoons. As a result, Love Life was asked to find a new location by Sept. 1, 2018. With many prayers and searching, we found a new home thru the generosity of Central Church, just a few blocks away from our previous location, and on September 6, we began our program there.
The program is open on Thursday afternoons (except the fifth Thursday of the month) from 1:00 P.M. to 4:00 P.M. for families who meet the WIC program guidelines. Clients can come twice a month to supplement their children’s diaper needs. In addition, we provide baby food, gently used clothing, baby furniture, and toys as available. New clients can register on their first visit and mothers approaching their due date (or mothers who have recently had their baby) can receive a layette containing clothing and supplies for new-born babies. Over fifty volunteers a month work to put together layettes, repackaging diapers, sorting and washing clothing, registering clients giving out diapers, keeping records and seeking donations of program supplies and funds for diapers. Volunteers, sew blankets, bibs, knit hats and mittens and many other items for babies. Love Life works closely with many other community organizations such as St. Vincent De Paul, WIC, the hospitals, churches, Family Services, Brown County Agencies, etc.
LOVE LIFE OBJECTIVES
Our purpose is to reduce the strain on low income families struggling to meet the needs of their infants and toddlers. We also provide our most vulnerable young children with basic necessities for their well-being. Studies have shown that good care-giving during the first year of life is critical to healthy development. The program also gives the opportunity for volunteers to observe and respond to real needs, building a sense of understanding and community. Many clients respond by returning items once they are outgrown.
The Love Life Leadership Teams meet monthly to review operations and make changes as/if needed. Indicators of success are: Increase in volunteers, increase in the number of referrals and positive feedback from referral agencies and the continuing increase in the number of clients.
In the summer of 2014, Love Life Ministries welcomed the Hurray for 3 project. This pilot project provided quality resources for parents with children three years of age enrolled in Love Life. After a successful trial year, the project, now known as Love Learning, expanded to offer early literacy materials to children during the month of their first, second and third birthdays. Materials include a take-home kit with a new book, resources for parents, and age-appropriate items that encourage parent-child interaction and promote early literacy. Building on Love Life’s existing relationship with young families, Love Learning offers parents additional support as their children celebrate these milestones in their lives by connecting them to community resources such as the Brown County Library, Health Department and UW Extension. Special book purchases are made for Hispanic, Somali, and Hmong families to encourage parents to read aloud with their children.
THE ENCOMPASS PARTNERSHIP
In late 2014, with a grant and volunteers from Resurrection parish, Love Life partnered with Encompass Child Care to pilot a program to provide diapers to eligible and most needy working families, who were unable to pick up the diapers during our regular program hours. The first distribution of diapers began in February of 2015 with 19 children. By December of 2015, Love Life was serving 28 Encompass children, and made the program part of our regular service. As of June 30, 2018, we were serving 40 Encompass children. This number changes monthly, depending on the Encompass qualifying children.
Each month diapers are supplied and packaged by Love Life volunteers, picked up and delivered by Encompass staff to their centers to supplement the supply provided by the children's parents.
If you are interested in learning more about Love Life please complete the contact form below.