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New Director at Love INC

Mary Wood
-Photo: Submitted

By Tami Stevenson

There has been a new Executive Director named at Love In The Name of Christ recently. After former Executive Director Lisa Kriehn resigned earlier this year, Martha Wood was asked by the board if she would take over the position. It became official May 17, 2018.

Board member Pam Hendrick said Wood did a wonderful job and was actually fulfilling the duties of the director after Kriehn resigned. Hendrick said Wood was so good at it, the board wanted to offer her the position and they are glad she accepted.

Four years ago, Wood came to Love INC, a faith-based non-profit organization in Live Oak. She wanted to see if her son, a home schooled high schooler, could serve as a volunteer to fulfill his hours of volunteering for school credit. Wood volunteered along with her son two days per week. Martha Wood is the wife of Pastor Wilbur Wood of Mt Gilead Baptist Church in Live Oak. Being a Pastor’s wife, it has always been her heart to help people in any way she could.

“Once I was here I absolutely loved it,” Wood said. She loved volunteering so much she wound up there five days per week although her son only came for two of those days. She volunteered for two years before becoming the Clearing House Coordinator, which put her on the payroll at that point.
One of the very first things Wood remembers that broke her heart and helped her realize she was glad to be in this organization to help, began with a phone call from the school about a student in need.

The little boy was about nine years old. She took him a bag of socks and shoes. When the boy went to try his shoes on, she pulled out the socks and the boy said,
“I get socks?”

She said he had never in his life had a pair of socks. Also before she left the boy wanted to know when he had to bring them back. She told him he doesn’t have to bring them back, they were his to keep. The boy exclaimed but they have tags on them. He had never owned anything new with tags before and had never owned a pair of socks. Wood removed the tags and reassured him he did not have to bring anything back, everything was his to keep.

“It’s a little thing, but it’s huge,” Wood stated. We in America think the hungry and the needy are in a third world country somewhere but when you see some of these kids in the school system you see that the need is here too.

Currently they are helping Hamilton County as well. They have agreed to do the paperwork for the neighboring county. Anyone in need is asked to call the office at the number listed below.

Today she works with a staff made up of approximately twenty amazing volunteers. She would like to say a special “Thank You” to all of them.

“To be able to depend on them and know they will show up and do what they say they will is amazing to me,” she said.

Love INC is always in need of volunteers. They especially need people in the clerical area and working with clients directly when they come in.

Hendrick and Wood said to watch Love INC’s Facebook page and stay tuned for how to help for Christmas. “We would like for this to be the best Christmas yet for the children in Suwannee County.”

Love INC is located at 120 Ohio Ave N, Live Oak, Florida 32064. Anyone in need, wanting to volunteer or make a donation is asked to call 386-364-4673 or stop by the office.