Maybe you saw the article in the Livingston Daily on February 19th, 2015 about Livingston County being the wealthiest county in Michigan. To many it was not surprising, but to many people they were like --- “really, where is that wealth??!” It was interesting to read the research from 24/7 Wall Street, a website that publishes financial news and opinion content. They looked at the estimated median annual household income over five years, and Livingston County was found to be the wealthiest in Michigan. We have a median household income of $72,359. We also have 4.8% of households over $200,000 in income.
Comments on the article were amusing. Some were very proud of the label “Wealthiest County in Michigan”. Some were a little upset that Livingston County was found to be the wealthiest county in Michigan, they even started refuting the data and discussing whether it was per capita since their county has a much greater population.
Here’s the problem with all of this. As soon as you label Livingston County as the Wealthiest County in Michigan many people turn their head off as it relates to giving. Does the wealthiest county really have people that need help? Someone must already be taking care of them, right?
Pastor Brian Tweedie, of Cornerstone EPC, sees “lots of hidden poverty based on the number of people Cornerstone helps, and those that come for help.” And Pastor Don Weatherup, of Arise Church, routinely sees “that there are plenty of circumstances that can quickly turn the tide of an individual’s financial security. Some examples include divorce, job loss, prolonged illness, (and) death of a wage earner, just to name a few.”
Lots of people need help for a variety of reasons, and Love in the Name of Christ of the Greater Livingston Area (Love INC) helps in a special way. We work with more than 60 partner churches to provide basic needs. Our dedicated volunteers help people struggling in Livingston County by verifying needs, building relationships, and determining how resources are distributed, as well as offering prayer. In fact in 2014 Love INC, through our partner churches, met 3,122 needs utilizing 6,790 volunteers who donated 16,851 hours.
If you find yourself wanting to help you can do that in a number of ways. Money always helps, so you can donate via our website. You can also volunteer; on the phones with those who need help, in the office assisting with administrative work, or as a dedicated prayer person. Contact us and we can give you an orientation tour to see if this is a good fit for you. We provide all the training.
“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress…” James 1:27
Katherine B. Janego
Love in the Name of Christ of
the Greater Livingston Area