Erin Maxwell leads the 4th and 5th grade PEAK gifted and talented program at Ray Bjork Learning Center. This past fall her class decided to dedicate their time and energy to helping their community with a project called “Create a Caring Community”.
Good Samaritan Ministries was one of the community organizations that wanted to help. The project included learning about the ministry, some on-sight volunteering and finally, designing and creating a project to benefit our thrift store. First the kids came in for tour of the store and assistance offices, and learned about all the ways Good Samaritan helps the community and those in need in Helena. All the students listened attentively and had incredibly insightful questions. After the tour and presentation they gave their time helping our toy department sort items to sell. When they left that day they had a good idea what their project would be.
The kids, with some help from local business donors and the Helena High school wood shop, built new shelving for the thrift store and created an inventive scarf holder. Both items proved incredibly useful and are excellently made! We are so grateful for them and the PEAK program for teaching the future generation to be conscientious and caring community members.
You can read more about this project here. http://www.ktvh.com/2017/01/class-act-elementary-students-build-a-better-community
(left) Student present their scarf holder made of a bicycle tire. (right) the finished shelving unit is now being put to good use in our craft department.
Did you know Good Samaritan has a store within the store?
This “secret store” is called the Placer Pantry- and it is actually a pantry stocked with NEW hygiene and personal care products. It is available at no cost to individuals in need.
(The donation box at the registers reads)
It goes on to explain that every donation of change or rounding up of a purchase goes directly into our assistance fund that helps those in crisis*
A mother came up to the cash register to purchase some clothing for her young daughter who was with her. The parent, taking the clothing one by one, double checked the prices and watched the total being extra careful, it seemed, not to go over the amount she had. It was clear they were on a budget.
The total was under $20, which seemed to relieve the mom. As I chatted with the mom and bagged the clothing, the young girl’s attention was on our sign by the donation box.
“You can be a Hero”
Turning to her mother she exclaimed, “Mom, I want to be a Hero!”
The mother smiled and handed her the change from the purchase. The mother explained to me that Good Samaritan makes shopping possible for her and her daughter and she made sure she donated every time she was here as much or as little as she had. Our charity once helped her in her time of need and she was so grateful. She wanted to help another family as she was helped by Good Samaritan.
The daughter dropped all the change in the donation box and with a proud voice proclaimed:
"I'm a Hero today!”
She looked at the customer next in line and asked: “You can be a Hero too?”
The customer read the sign and he donated, stating he was unaware of all the help we provide the people of Helena.
That young girl had started a chain reaction, as customer after customer in line kept donating!
The next day the same young lady bounded through the door, in her fist a five dollar bill. She made a beeline straight for the same donation box and dropped her five dollar bill in the box.
She beamed “I'm a Hero again today!”
The customer checking out who witnessed this act smiled as the girl said to her: “You can be a Hero too!”
And again she started a chain of continuous donations!
It was so awesome to see that girl again - the pure joy she received from giving all she had was contagious
Generosity is infectious, one good deed begets another, and seeing that in action is truly one of the biggest blessings of being in this line of work.
A special thank you to that young hero, and to all those unseen heroes of Good Samaritan Ministries!
Sunday Afternoon- A young man comes into the store looking for some clothing. A local business owner dropped him off here and told him "Good Samaritan was the best place to come for some assistance."
He was a younger guy, just looking for some protection to get out of the rain (in addition to some dry clothing.)
The store supervisor got him some shoes (his were very worn out,) two shirts, a jacket, two pair of jeans and two pair of sock and a hat.
He said he was passing through town,she offered him a tent but he declined, saying he had a tarp and that would be enough.
This is what we are here for- to help whenever that help is necessary. Thank you for your support!
"Thank you so much! You are a lifesaver and as soon as I am back on my feet, I will donate- I want to repay you guys for helping me during this emergency"
I hear these words a lot during assistance appointments. Those in need of help know they will not be in crisis forever and are usually already thinking of what they will do for others once they are able.
I always reassure them they are not required to pay us back-the ministry is a gift, not a loan. But if the opportunity arises for them to pay it forward they certainly should. And most, if not all, do! In fact, many charities are started by individuals who were once down on their luck and were shown charity which inspired them to pay it forward.
The act of paying it forward isn't necessarily paying back those who showed you kindness, but consequently showing the same kindness to those whom are put in your path. You then hopefully inspire those people to in turn show kindness to others. That is what is so great about the sentiment- it creates a chain of good doing.
Good Samaritan receives love and support from you and that is why we pay it forward to the Helena Community. Thank you for causing a chain reaction!
GSM Mission Moments
Success stories from our Mission. You can be a help us build our roots by supporting Good Samaritan and those in need in Helena .
All Carroll College Class Catholic Social Teaching Christmas Blessings Emergency Response Fashion Show 2017 Food Pantry Free Tax Help Good Sam Employee Helena Community Hunthausen Fund Mission Moment Personal Story Placer Pantry St. Francis Dinner 2017 Testimony Thanksgiving Volunteerism