The Live Love Serve Foundation is lucky to have a passionate group of individuals on its Board of Directors who are dedicated to serving their fellow neighbors and local communities.
This month our Live Love Serve Board of Directors Spotlight features Christine Longo who told us more about why she and her husband, David Longo, founded the organization and have made it a priority in their lives to give back to others. Read more about what drives her to Live, Love and Serve below.
Q: You and your husband founded the Live Love Serve Foundation together. Tell us more about what inspired the idea and about how the Foundation came to life.
Christine: The mission of the Live Love Serve Foundation is to live a God-centered life focused on love; and from a very young age David and I were taught to love others and place God at the center of our lives. As children, we were both brought up with the understanding that giving back and taking care of others was important. We kept those ideals a priority in our married life and instilled the same values in our own children as we raised our family.
We founded the Live Love Serve Foundation in 2018 as an extension of CBI, and it is a vehicle that allows us to support non-profit organizations in our local community, offer assistance to CBI Associates who need it and provide a hand-up to individuals that we encounter who are facing hardships at specific moments in their lives. Since forming CBI in 1993, David always had a vision of creating a separate branch of the business that teaches people how to be Jesus’ hands and feet on Earth, and I would say that the Live Love Serve Foundation does just that.
Over the last four years the Live Love Serve Foundation has provided support to numerous organizations and individuals. It is truly amazing to see the reach the Foundation has had and to hear success stories from those we’ve supported.
Q: It sounds like the Live Love Serve Foundation is the result of a life of service for both you and David. Tell us a little bit more about the types of outreach you were involved in before founding the Live Love Serve Foundation.
Christine: I have been volunteering with various organizations since I was a teenager. In fact, David and I met as young adults when we were working as counselors at Camp Fatima in New Jersey, which is a non-profit organization that provides free summer camp programs for children and adults with special needs. Working with these special needs individuals was such a gratifying experience for me, and it truly inspired me to continue giving my time and skills to other organizations throughout my life.
When we moved to Charlotte in 1993, I became very involved in ministries at our church, St Matthew’s Catholic Parish. One of the ministries I joined was the RAIN Support Team where I volunteered my time taking care of AIDS patients who did not have family support. In the early 90’s, the treatments for HIV and AIDS were much different than today, and there was far less information out there about the disease. Many patients didn’t have people in their lives to help them through their illness, which is why the RAIN Support Team was so important. I helped care for two individuals diagnosed with the disease and did everything from driving them to doctors appointments, helping with meals, providing comfort and prayer and even taking care of them in hospice. Working on the RAIN Support Team was a completely humbling experience, and I continue to pray for those individuals I cared for even now.
Today, I am still very involved at our church in different areas, and the Live Love Serve Foundation also keeps me busy.
Q: What would you say is your primary role on the Board at the Live Love Serve Foundation?
Christine: I have oversight for a few different areas of the Live Love Serve Foundation. First and foremost, David and I work together to create and implement the strategy for the Foundation. When we started Live Love Serve, we created a strategic 4-year plan outlining goals and objectives and detailing the types of organizations we wanted to support. That plan is coming to an end, and we are now working on developing a new plan to take us into the next 4 to 5 years as an organization.
I am also on the committee that reviews and approves donations, grant and scholarship requests. Anytime an organization or an individual requests support from the Live Love Serve Foundation they are asked to fill out an application stating their need and providing a little bit more information about themselves. The Board reviews the requests on a regular basis and decides on the amount of money we can provide financially.
Finally, I work very closely with David to determine and approve a budget for the Foundation. I also help vet large organizations that we contribute to financially.
Q: It sounds like you have a lot of responsibility on the Board. What really drives your passion for helping others?
Christine: I would say I really learned about giving back to others and volunteerism from my parents. They did not have a lot of money to give back financially, so instead they gave their time to family members in need. Before I was born, my Mom and Dad opened their home to my small cousins when their parents were ill and couldn’t take care of them. It is examples like these that instilled my passion for helping others, and these are also the types of examples that I try to set for my kids.
The Live Love Serve Foundation is a family-built Foundation, and it’s been wonderful to see my kids as adults with the same passion and desire to give back to our community and our neighbors in need.
Q: Wonderful! For our last question, tell us what you do with your time when you aren’t giving back to the community.
Christine: I have three amazing kids and two wonderful grandchildren. When I’m not working for the Live Love Serve Foundation or with my church, I am playing Nana to Margaret who is 3-years old and James who is 6-months. David and I also love to travel and enjoy visiting our son Tommy in Bend, OR, planning summer beach trips and getting up to the North Carolina mountains when we can.
If you are interested in learning more about the Live Love Serve Foundation and how it partners to support local communities, please visit www.llsfoundation.com