Pictured above: Our Assistance Coordinator, Corbin, prepares a small food box for a family from our food pantry.
Did you know Good Samaritan Assistance Office has a small food pantry- it comes in handy on lots of occasions for the clientele who visit our office.
This young lady had come in for help to avoid an eviction. After hearing how she had lost her job a few months ago, and was struggling to find a new one in the midst of caring for her two children by herself, since her husband also left her, we were able to write a voucher for her rent that month. Before she left, I asked if she needed anything else- coats? diapers? maybe a food box?
At the mention of a food box her eyes welled up with tears. She explained she was so worried about making ends meet and feeding her children was her biggest priority. She applied for SNAP but was currently in the waiting period for the benefits to start. How to feed her family was weighing on her mind, and she didn't know we had food- it was a godsend!
I collected the items for her, and also some information about Helena Food Share. Before she left she gave me a hug. "Thank you, you've helped me so much today!"
Many times, our office will be the first place people come when they are in crisis,and like the story shared above, it often comes up in the visit that they are in need of food as well.The food box is only meant to last a few days and we provide referrals to other food sources such as Helena Food Share or the Office of Public Assistance for SNAP benefits when we distribute the boxes. Often we aren't the only place a client visits on their road to self sufficiency. A small box of food items helps fortify them and give them the strength to go on.
Good Samaritan Ministries is not just a thrift store and social service office, but also serves as a vocational training facility. Our store employs approximately 30 full time employees, including employees with developmental disabilities, those coming out of the pre-release or state prison, and those with poor job histories needing a second chance.
Our Mission is based on Catholic social teaching which believes one should uphold the dignity and rights of the worker, a crucial part of which is access to healthcare. We are lucky to provide a great benefit package through the Diocese of Helena, Reta Trust.
All full time employees have full health care coverage with vision and dental. Many of our employees have never had the opportunity to have such benefits. Our insurance is structured to ensure each person get the best possible opportunities to improve their individual health care.
With our insurance comes a Wellness incentive program. The program gives rewards for healthier habits. Every year employees have the option of getting a health screening and follow-up health coaching calls, with advice on eating, exercise, and healthy patterns. Through this program we have seen dramatic changes with wellness and lifestyle changes. Let me share just one example:
Thursday I was driving back from training and called the office to check in on a project with an employee. When he picked up the phone, I quickly asked how the project was going?
"Oh, it's fine but guess what? I got my health screen back today and my cholesterol has dropped 40 points! It was very high before”
I congratulated her and she informed me she hadn’t known it was high before the screening. I then asked what she did to make the change.
“I ate healthy fats like avocado and nuts like my health coach advised"
Just one story of changing for the better. We are so glad to support our employees on their journey to better health!
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 .