Love Has No Limits combines the super giving power of the two most giving groups
Millions of individuals across America want to help people in poverty.
This nonprofit has a plan to unite them all.
How are 38 million people in the wealthiest nation in history in poverty? This question inspired Dominic Russo and Jedidiah Thurner to bring nonprofits, faith leaders, and volunteers together to tackle one of America’s toughest problems.
Their nonprofit, Love Has No Limits, connects faith communities and volunteer organizations to address a number of pressing issues, such as homelessness, foster care, and reentry from prison back into society.
Many nonprofits operate in the same communities yet are unaware of one another. Collectively, there’s an army of volunteers that want to make a difference, but often don’t know where to begin. Love Has No Limits serves as a connector for these communities and provides a playbook for getting things done.
“There are incredible human beings in all these cities trying to make a difference,” says Thurner. “They’ve been doing it alone and isolated. If we can unite the power of collective might, what’s really possible?”
How can faith-based nonprofits help transform their communities?
The United States has spent over $16 trillion in the last 60 years on anti-poverty programs and has seen almost no results. Social mobility is also on the decline – meaning that kids born into poverty are increasingly less likely to escape it.
Russo and Thurner believe part of the problem is how most anti-poverty programs are designed.
“People closest to the problem are best positioned to solve it,” says Thurner. “Unfortunately, the top-down government is just so disconnected. There are so many relational layers missing that it can never solve the problem.”
This is where faith-based nonprofits are able to really shine, says Thurner. “The core of the faith community is to love thy neighbor or to activate generosity at scale.”
The challenge is harnessing the collective power of their individual efforts and those of 235 million people who comprise America’s faith community.
That’s where Love Has No Limits comes in.
Faith communities and nonprofits get results
In 2019, Russo and Thurner met with nonprofits throughout the city of Los Angeles to see if their ambitious vision could actually work. Together they identified poverty, child welfare, and city restoration as the most pressing issues. Then they asked faith leaders to use their houses of worship as service centers. Many agreed.
Beginning on July 24 2021, 100 faith communities and 20,000 volunteers came together for 1DayLA, a week of service that included neighborhood clean-up projects, free medical clinics, and after-school programs, and culminated in a concert featuring Justin Beiber and Chance the Rapper.
“People in LA that were a block away from each other yet didn’t know each other,” says Thurner. “Now they’re working together in their communities, where they can make the greatest difference together.”
1DayLA raised $47 million and directly helped more than 100,000 families experiencing poverty. Now the organization is scaling its operations in other metropolitan areas across the country. In April 2023, 50,000 volunteers joined forces in Houston to distribute tens of millions of dollars of aid and services. And they’re just getting started.
“No matter how audacious, how pioneering, and how unprecedented the vision is, if it’s crystal clear and bold, it’s extraordinary how people, resources, and capabilities naturally attract to it,” says Russo.
Love Has No Limits is focused on long-term solutions
There were no Love Has No Limits banners at 1DayLA in Los Angeles. The lack of branding is part of the playbook. Russo and Thurner don’t want the spotlight on them. Communities and the people who are part of them are the focus.
“If you want to build a brand, make it about you,” says Thurner. “If you want to build a movement, make it about the mission.”
“The people driving the initiatives are going to be there 5, 10, 15 years from now,” added Russo. “As people work collaboratively and intelligently, and address the challenges facing our communities, there will be impact. And we haven’t even scratched the surface of what’s possible.”
Love Has No Limits is supported by Stand Together Foundation, which partners with the nation’s most transformative nonprofits to break the cycle of poverty.