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Jane

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Samaritan Ministry of Greater Washington
November 30, 2010

I've volunteered for almost three years as a member of Samaritan Ministry's Parish Council. In that capacity I attend meetings every other month to find out more Samaritan Ministry's work and how my fellow parishioners at the Episcopal parish I represent can support the organization. Our parish participates every year in a fall Mini Walk, which raises money for Samaritan Ministry's work and helps it qualify for bonus funds from Fannie Mae's Help-the-Homeless Program. In November, we put up a Christmas Giving Tree in the church lobby and collect toys, clothes, gift cards and other presents for the children and adults Samaritan Ministry serves so well. My parish has also hosted two Next Step experiences as part of our ongoing education program. Next Step brings to our church Samaritan Ministry staff, a volunteer and, most important, one of the people whose life has been turned around because of Samaritan ministry. The stories of these folks are remarkable and inspiring. I've heard several over the years and am always moved. I make sure that every article I write for our monthly parish newsletter contains at least one of these stories. I know that other parishioners find them as powerful as I do. They're an important reason we register for the Mini Walk, buy gifts for the people Samaritan Ministry serves and come to the Next Step (Fund Raising) Breakfast every spring. Samaritan Ministry works with people who have nothing. Some of them were born that way. Others lost what they had to addiction, crime, illness or plain old bad luck. Samaritan Ministry is there to help them all. Its program of setting goals and giving people the tools they need to achieve them works. The organization and the people it helps deserve every bit of support we can offer.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

There are many homeless people in suburban Washington, DC, where I live. They stand at crowded intersections, begging for money from people stopped in their cars waiting for the traffic light to turn green. I used to turn away from the homeless. Now, I give them a card that explains Samaritan Ministry's services along with a dollar or two and a power bar. We talk about the program. I look in their eyes. It's a gift.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I'd expand Samaritan Ministry so that it could bring its program to Montgomery County, MD. There's a large and growing population of homeless who could benefit from its services.

MY ROLE:
Volunteer & I'm the Samaritan Ministry cheerleader at my parish, reminding folks to get on boad and support its good works.