Since Christians don't believe in alchemy (turning straw into gold), how did several Love INC Lake County SW partner churches turn a bunch of stickers into an expression of love? From September 2010 through January 2011, Jewel Foods ran a pot and pan promotion, giving shoppers special stickers with their Jewel purchases (1 sticker for every $10 spent). Customers saved the stickers and redeemed them, along with a single penny, for a variety of cookware items, such as roasting pans, skillets and dutch ovens.
One member of Love INC Lake County SW's Board of Directors, along with volunteers from several of our partner churches decided to launch a campaign of their own. They put the word out that they were collecting stamps to be redeemed for pots and pans to be given to people in need through the ministry of Love INC. People from many of our partner churches joined the sticker collecting effort. We maintain a small furniture warehouse at our Wauconda clearinghouse, through which we are able to provide items people may urgently need (beds, dressers, kitchen tables and chairs, etc). In addition, we provide a limited amount of kitchen items to individuals and families who have none.
Over the 5 months of the drive, our supporters gathered an amazing 6,230 stickers, which they redeemed for more than 80 brand new, beautiful pots and pans! At $10 spent per sticker, that means the people who donated to our cause spent an incredible $62,300 at Jewel Foods to get all those stickers! We have been equipping some of our clients' kitchens with the cookware for several months, and we'll continue until we've given found good homes for every one. That's how supporters of Love INC Lake County Southwest used simple stickers as a way to share the loving touch of Jesus Christ and His Church with people who desperately need it!