“Love means giving and sharing, not just speaking hollow words,” these words were spoken by Louise Hunter, who has 21 children, 61 grandchildren and 55 great grandchildren and who still finds time to minister to her community.
Louise married James Hunter and had her first child when she was 18. The couple lived in Racine, Wisconsin, where over the next two and a half decades she had one child a year. Two of the children were stillborn. Louise who is now 74 says, “Sometimes it was confusing when they were growing up, but our house was always filled with love.”
James and Louise raised their children in a two-bedroom house until someone turned them into authorities. The family was evicted and in the early 1960’s found themselves homeless. That is when God performed a miracle. A woman came to the couple and told them they could move into her 18-bedroom house, but there was one condition. They had to buy the house from her for $1. The couple gladly paid the fee and moved their family into the spacious house. Louise was so overcome with God’s goodness that she prayed and asked God, “What will you have me to do for you?” The Lord responded with a vision for the Love and Charity Homeless Mission.
Louise began by opening the Love and Charity Club in 1970. The group distributed food and gospel tracks. The Widow’s Closet was the next ministry Louise founded. This group ministered to people when their Social Security money ran out. They raked yards, cut grass, brought food and did whatever was needed for the senior adults. She began to open their home to latchkey kids, and then she started The Love and Charity Mission in the late 1970’s that ministered to those who found themselves destitute. In the 80’s she opened the House of Hope, a senior citizens mission, and in 1990 she opened Love and Charity II in Memphis, Tennessee.
Over and over, Louise and James expressed thanks to God by serving others.
Louise’s life was not without tragedy. Her 7-year-old son James died when their home burned down. Many neighbors who had seen Louise minister to so many others stepped in and helped to find a home for the family.
At the age of 42, James died in an automobile accident leaving Louise to raise the 18 children alone. God granted her what she needed to take care of her family. Louise continued to help others. She said, “Even though we did not have much, we always had enough.”
Louise is quite a remarkable woman who is a motivational speaker now, encouraging others to use what they have to make a difference in the lives of others. In her words, “It’s about reaching out and touching people’s lives. People don’t realize how much you get from giving.”