Dordt College News

Lora Petitt and Her Work at Love Inc.

May 25, 2007

by Mariah Oliver, staff writer
Reprinted w/permission from NW Iowa Review

Lora Petitt, a 2000 graduate of Dordt College, has always wanted to help people. That's why she majored in psychology and sociology in college, but it wasn't until she paired her strong Christian beliefs with that desire did she find a solid match. Petitt spent two years working with the disabled in a facility in Davenport, Iowa similar to Village Northwest Unlimited in Sheldon, Iowa but it didn't take too long for her to realize that it wasn't satisfying to help people without bringing God into the situation. Today, she is the executive director of Love In The Name of Christ of Greater Sheldon.

"I loved working with people with a disability, but I struggled with the fact I couldn't incorporate Christianity," she said. "When we moved back and this opportunity came up it seemed like a perfect match to help people in an obviously Christian way."

Petitt started in the position when the Love INC office opened in Sheldon in 2003. The first couple years she spent a lot of time sharing the message of Love INC, creating partnerships with area churches. Members of the area churches help people who are referred to the organization that serves as a clearinghouse- connecting people to agencies and helping fill in the gaps like providing furniture, transportation to appointments and teaching life skills such as budgeting.

"I love it all, I feel so blessed to have a job where I can help people, work with churches and volunteers and great Christians from churches throughout the area," Petitt said.

A big part of Love INC's goals is to build relationships with trained Christians with people in need of budget skills, parenting skills and even Bible study. "We match them up budget mentors and it is an opportunity to teach people the skills they'll use for the rest of their life," Petitt said. "It's a very exciting ministry and the heart of what Love INC is."

One enjoyable aspect of the job is brainstorming new ways to connect people in need with gifted Christians in and around the Sheldon area. "Sheldon is a great community to be in," Petitt said. "I'm impressed at how people donate items, their time, baby items and furniture to make what we do at Love INC happen. It all takes time, and people are willing to give it."

Name: Lora Petitt
Position: Executive director for Love In the Name of Christ of Greater Sheldon
Education: Graduated from Western Christian High School in Hull in 1996; graduated from Dordt College in Sioux Center with a bachelor's degree in psychology and sociology in 2000.
Experience: Worked with disabled in Davenport 2000-2002; returned to N'West Iowa and worked at Hope Haven in Rock Valley; started at Love INC of Greater Sheldon in 2003.

Media Access: Download Word Version