Love INC of Mason County’s secretary of the board and office volunteer Margie LePique goes beyond the ordinary to make sure Mason County children in need don’t have to go without clothing or school supplies. She helps to make this possible through a partnership between Love INC’s “Clothing Gap Ministry”, and Northwest Children’s Outreach.
Love INC works in conjunction with 20-plus local churches and social service agencies to help meet the physical needs of low income Mason County residents with a hand-up. LePique is a retired special education teacher whose love for helping children prompted her to become involved with Love INC.
“I like to help people who really need help, and now I’m doing that as a volunteer. For the past four years I have been involved with the clothing and diaper ministry along with serving on the board. I’m in one of the happiest places in my life because I get to help so many people,” she said.
LePique’s role has expanded over the years to also include volunteering in the Love INC Clearinghouse, where clients are interviewed and needs are identified. In addition, she sometimes drives clients to appointments and delivers clothing and backpacks to children’s homes, which often means driving as many as a hundred miles in one day. “One benefit of being a Love INC volunteer is you can donate as many hours as you want, “ said Leanna Shipp, Clearinghouse Manager. “We are blessed that Margie chooses to spend as many hours as she does.”
Love INC teams with Northwest Children’s Outreach (NCO), an agency that collects and sorts clothing donations for children up to age 18. Each week, LePique sends orders for children’s clothing received from Love INC to NCO’s Belfair warehouse. LePique then drives to Belfair to collect the filled orders and delivers them to clients’ homes. “NCO also provides backpacks filled with school supplies for children whose families can’t afford the expense,” she said.
Another ongoing need is for disposable diapers. “Washing cloth diapers at a laundromat is costly, so disposable diapers are more affordable for families without laundry facilities,” said LePique. “However, even these are expensive for lower income families.” Love INC helps meet this need through donations from the community, and from NCO.
“I think my favorite thing about volunteering at Love INC is being able to talk with people in person, or on the phone. Most are hurting, so I take the opportunity to ask if I can pray with them. I’ve never had anyone say no. Having someone pray for you helps one feel that things are going to get better. That’s the part I like best,” she said.
Donations and volunteers are always needed at Love INC. To learn more, contact Clearinghouse Manager Leanna Shipp at (360) 462-5684.