Interfaith Outreach and Community Partners is an organization Plymouth has been familiar with for years, so it should come as no surprise that this month, IOCP is celebrating its 35th year of bringing community together to support families. Originally based in Wayzata, IOCP started making a name for itself in 1979 supporting churches like St. Bartholemew Catholic in Wayzata. Executive Director LaDonna Hoy was a major player in founding the partnership of local church representatives, and an attorney in Long Lake. IOCP originated as a collaboration among local churches, exploring the ways faith communities could address basic human needs—usually of their own neighbors.
“We contacted all the congregations in the Interfaith area, and nine representatives came, and that’s how we became something,” Hoy recalls, referencing the north and eastern ends of Lake Minnetonka.
By 1986, IOCP was expanding its partnership to include school districts, the YMCA and groups that were linked with similar human needs.
“We learned that there were a bunch of services that were underused, and that there were many gaps in the community that we needed to fill for the sake of families that needed help,” Hoy says.
Since then, more than 1,700 volunteers have gotten involved, and now 27 full-time paid positions in service are offered through IOCP. Some of this success is attributed to the new building that was built in Plymouth, as well as the events that are carried out through volunteer work:
“The ReSale shop is an example of something more than 200 volunteers helped with,” Hoy says. “Last year we raised more than $285,000 for our programs,” Hoy says.
As exciting a milestone as 35 years is for the movers and shakers at IOCP, there are still goals to be reached. “A new frontier for us is education; we have a new initiative right now that is called Great Expectations, and the goal is that all kids from early childhood and any other age along the way can get schooling and education to help them be as successful as they can be,” Hoy says.
IOCP, 1605 County Road 101