Love INC is committed to mobilizing local churches to change lives and positively impact the community. One of the ways this is accomplished is through the IMPACT program. Consistent prayer, coaching, training, and affirmation help participants develop life skills and grow into the person God intended them to be. But it could never happen without the volunteer life coaches that are at the heart of the program.
“I went to The Harvest Event (annual fundraiser) two years ago,” said Debbie Melkonian, “and was impressed with IMPACT when I watched the informational video. I saw IMPACT was being held at my church and that people I knew were volunteers. I became interested and decided to take the Orientation class. Since January a year and a half ago I have been volunteering and plan to continue.”
Debbie’s first volunteer job was to be the IMPACT Campus coordinator for her church–helping with the welcome desk and the set up and tear down. As she worked, she found she really enjoyed talking to the volunteers and the participants.
Then Debbie took the Affirming Potential class. Here she learned how her gifts could make a huge difference in someone’s life. She received the training necessary and became a discussion group leader and then a facilitator. She facilitated two classes, teaming with a Love INC staff member the first time. As a facilitator, she set up the video, introduced it, opened with a prayer, watched the video with everyone, then led the discussion. The facilitators and the discussion leaders take the course themselves before they lead a class, and therefore are already familiar with the information.
“It is very rewarding to walk alongside believers from other churches and see the work of Christ in the community you live in,” Debbie emphasized. “The IMPACT team has been great and as we have grown and learned ourselves, it is only getting better.”
“When I was leading classes two or three of the participants who came were desperate and without hope but as they participated in the classes their lives were changed,” Debbie said. “They were able to evaluate budgets, improve their relationships and make serious headway in making their lives better. They might have a false start and fall back along the way, but with the 12-week class they had time to get back on track and finish.” Debbie was privileged to be a witness to God’s transformational work in these lives. She feels the most important thing she offers the participants is her faith and the belief that God has something planned for them.
For people interested or just curious about volunteering, she suggests, “Take Affirmative Potential and see what door God opens for you.” Debbie even commented that after she took classes, she set new goals for herself that she has since reached!
Helping a person or family build a new life for themselves, seeing them be willing to take a chance, to believe in themselves and make a commitment, is incredibly rewarding. Walking beside someone as they set a whole new course in life by getting out of the debt cycles, learning to budget, and learning more about themselves, impacts the coach nearly as much as the participant. Debbie recommends committing to the IMPACT classes for 12 weeks and see what happens. God may just be calling you to change a life.
To learn more about how you can have this kind of impact on lives in the community, sign up for more information here.
Debbie Melkonian is a Colorado native, attended Biola University, and CSU, graduating from CSU. She has been married to John Melkonian for 30 years, they have 3 adult children who are all married to wonderful spouses. Debbie did a combination of staying at home with kids, and part-time jobs, including Alternatives Pregnancy Center, substitute teaching, and Nothing Bundt Cakes. She is currently the Office Manager for Footprints Floors. They are members of Skyview Presbyterian Church. She’s has been volunteering with Impact since Jan 2018.