We are so thankful for a community that is so responsive and helpful in local emergencies. This fire season is a bad one, but we can always count on those around us to step up and help!
Last week when the rain and snowy weather started, an organization called National Incident Management came to Good Samaritan Ministries with a request.
This organization coordinates the national mobilization of resources for those fighting wild land fires. There was a group of Job Corps Volunteers working on containing the Alice Creek wildfire fifteen miles northeast of Lincoln. This group was severely lacking in proper gear that suited the cold weather.
Good Samartian Assistance Ministry had all new coats, hats, socks, and sweatshirts on hand thanks to a donation from the Zumiez Foundation. We gave National Incident Management 50 of each coats, hats ,socks and sweatshirts for the brave fire fighters to help with their situation.
It takes a community effort like this to help in emergencies. That is Good Samaritan's Mission to be there to help. Thank you for your support of us and our Community. God Bless the fire fighters and all those helping on the home front!
This past semester Good Samaritan Ministries benefitted from the work of a Carroll College integrative learning course called “Documentary Photography and Catholic Social Teaching” taught by Chris Fuller & Jeff Van Tine.
The purpose of the class was two-fold: To learn fundamental camera skills and how to apply them to the field of documentary photograph, and to learn about Catholic Social Teaching and its core themes.
In order to synthesize these two fields together the students were assigned to Helena-area service agencies and put their camera skills to work! Each student prepared a portfolio of photographs “employing the techniques of documentary photography to illustrate the story of their assigned agency as an expression of at least one core theme of Catholic Social Teaching.” (Chris Fuller, course description)
Good Samaritan Ministries worked with Carroll student Bridget Bloesch. Bridget learned all about the different programs we have to help the Helena community including the operation of our thrift store. She would come in a few times a week to capture photographs of the different aspects of our Mission.
Upon completion of the project, Bridget’s portfolio of high quality edited photos were then presented to our agency for our use. She took some great ones and we cannot wait to show you! Here are just a few examples.
Bridget had this to say about her work here at Good Sam:
I learned that GSM is so much more than a thrift store. I never realized how many amazing people are behind the scenes working hard to make GSM the organization that it is. Everyone has their own back-story and it does not matter what yours is, everyone is still welcoming and willing to help you out. I see hands on social teaching in a different way because it is not necessarily the work that you are doing, but the connections and the one on one time with the people you are working with that matter most. Connecting with others and having honest conversations is what I have taken away from it. Everyone is fighting their own battle but when you can put your own problems aside and listen to others, that is what makes it special and meaningful.
Be on the lookout in our other promotional materials for more of Bridget’s photos. Bridget is already a budding talented photographer, you can check out more of her independent work here.
We are so grateful to Carroll College for their bright talented students, so eager to give their talents in service to the Helena community. Good Samaritan in exchange hopes we can impart on the students our Mission of Social Justice for the most vulnerable community members. Together we accomplish so much!
As I started my car last Thursday I had no idea that I was headed for the blessing of a 'Mission Moment'. I really should have had some inkling because I was headed for "Business After Hours" at the Good Samaritan Ministries. After a tour of the store two of us were inadvertently standing in front of the cash register as we shared times in our lives when we had witnessed someone being especially kind to someone else and the warm, inspiring feeling it created.
As we talked, a woman came along pushing a shopping cart. She stopped and said, “I LOVE Good Samaritan!! I raised my four children on my own. And I was on disability. Good Samaritan was with me every step of the way. I couldn’t have done it without them! I just love Good Samaritan! And now, look at these shoes. They’re brand new! Thank you!” Off she went leaving us smiling with misty eyes. Good Samaritan is a gift to her and she was a gift to us. So much good happens at Good Samaritan!
It was a special moment, fun to share! Thanks for all of the good you do,
(Sandi Ashley is a member of our all volunteer board. Thank you Sandi for sharing your story! We are so thankful for all our board members do!)
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.
(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!
A Humble Thank You
You are the reason Good Samaritan Mission thrives!
When a disheartened, desperate, hardworking mother can't keep up with the rent,
You are what keeps her children housed.
When a overwhelmed, unemployed, young adult needs glasses
You give him that gift of sight and hope for making it in the world.
Thank you for caring for your neighbors in these and many other ways
Thank you for stepping up to the plate and donating during Give Local Helena!
When our neighbor is beaten and out of hope, all they need is a hand out of the ditch.
Thank you for being that helping hand!
Thank you for being a Good Samaritan
The following story was originally published in our Mission Moments e-newsletter, January 20th 2016
The nature of our work is to be there for an individual or family when something goes wrong. We at GSM get all sorts of different situations, be it a working single mother whose car is in dire need of repairs or a family saddled with debt due to unexpected medical bills. All the situations have one thing in common; the unexpected happens and the person is out of places to turn. Hearing these situations day after day one may expect it to be depressing, but surprisingly it is not for two reasons:
First, we are in a position to help better the situation
Second, there is a resiliency and a grace in the human spirit that is shown more clearly when one is facing tragedy.
I have met and talked with people who have had the unthinkable happen to them, such as the death of their child, and have been astounded with their strength and ability to not only survive but to thrive in spite of this heartbreak. That is not to suggest these events didn’t mean anything to them or that they put on some superficial appearance of happiness, but instead that facing a misfortune brings growth. Clients have related to me some positive effects of their trials such as learning what is important in life and growing closer to their loved ones.
The fact that Good Samaritan has the capabilities to help them along, at least materially, through this process fills me with gratitude and joy. So many clients have thanked us and let us know what a blessing we’ve been in their life but it is a two-way street, for the blessing they give us is learning to rely on each other and face tragedy with grace.
Thank you for your support, it is because of you our most vulnerable community members get the help they need!
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