We are in need of volunteers!! What a great and easy way to help out your neighbor. We still have (6) 3-hour shifts: Mondays from 9 am until noon and 5:00 pm until 8:00 pm; and Thursdays from 9 am until noon, noon until 3:00 pm and 3:00 pm until 6:00 pm. Please contact Pat Kaider at 382-1213 if you are interested.
If you are looking for some bargains, the Samaritan Holy Ground Thrift Shop is the place to go. Come and see our selection of decorations, crafts, household items, bedding, linens, and good quality clothing of all sizes from infants to adults. The thrift shop is open to anyone and everyone who enjoys finding a good buy. Our hours of operation are on Mondays from 9:00 am until noon and 5:30 pm until 7:30 pm and on Thursdays from 9:00 am until 6 pm. Donations are always welcome. For more information, please call 382-4487.
The annual Samaritan Gifts for Kids program for children in the Conneaut School District was a huge success once again due to the efforts of many local churches, organizations, schools and individuals. Those that donated bags of gifts for individual children were members of Conneaut Lake Presbyterian Church, High Street Community Church, Our Lady Queen of the Americas Church, Fallowfield United Methodist Church, North Shenango Presbyterian Church, as well as staff members of PA Department of Environmental Protection, Crawford County Office of Assistance, Meadville Medical Center, and Red Lobster. Many items including blankets, toys, books, hats, gloves, mittens, socks and food were donated by Trinity United Methodist Church, Hartstown Presbyterian Church, Conneaut Lake Middle School, Conneaut Lake Elementary School, Conneaut Valley Middle School, Conneaut Valley Elementary School, Our Lady Queen of the Americas elementary school’s religious education program, OLQA’s Altar Rosary Society, RSVP and Dr. Tom Kellogg. Many individuals, organizations and churches contributed financially as well. A total of 380 children in 159 families benefited from this program this year. Our church provided gifts for 216 of these children – more than ever before. We also provided almost all of the volunteers who made this project such a success. Volunteers sorted bags of gifts; organized the toys, hats, gloves, scarves & blankets; made cookies and served them along with coffee, milk & juice and kept everything running smoothly on the day the parents picked up the gifts. A special thank you goes to Rebecca Novosel and her family for helping in so many ways, not the least of which was to shop for nearly 30 children. May everyone who participated in this program have a truly wonderful and blessed new year!
The Samaritans would like to express their appreciation for all the donations we have received over the past year. Donations to the thrift shop and monetary donations came in all year long, for which we are very grateful. Our fiscal year ended on October 31st and for those last 12 months, we spent over $44,000 for financial aid to clients in the form of food, rent, utilities, Gifts for Kids and miscellaneous expenses. This month, we provided food for 144 families, which included 28 new families. Without the continued donations of items for the thrift shop, food for the food pantry and money to help with financial aid, we would not have been able to provide assistance to those in the community who are in need. We thank each and every one of you for your continued generosity.
Sis Lane, one of our parishioners, has been collecting socks for children for many years and donating them to various organizations in the county. The past few years these socks have gone to the Samaritan Gifts for Kids program. Many parents in this program specifically ask for socks for their children. At each door of the church, you will see boxes labeled, “Socks for Kids.” Donations of any sizes of socks will be greatly appreciated.
HAPPY 30th BIRTHDAY SAM! . . A timeline of the Samaritans of the Conneaut Lake area.
The year is 1982, a child dies of malnutrition in Conneaut Lake Area. Seem hard to imagine? A group of Our Lady Queen of Americas women’s bible study group thought so. Thirty years ago they fore-fronted an effort to provide the residence of Conneaut Lake with the basic human rights food, clothing and shelter.
Supported by the ministerium of CL, in conjunction with the Erie County Food Bank, Second Harvest and the Center for Family Services, qualified families could receive food on a monthly basis. In the early years, 80-90 families received food from the kitchen of OLQA and clothing seasonally from The Trinity United Methodist Church. A Clothing and Furniture Warehouse in East Fallowfield Township Building thrived for 15 years starting in 1986 with the proceeds used for assistance in rent and utilities to those in need. Greenwood Elementary later become home to the thrift store until 2008.
With only the spirit of the Samaritans surviving, it took 2 years, 1 priest, a monetary donation and a thriving community of support to open THE HOLY GROUND THRIFT on Sept 23, 2010. A permanent home to the Samaritan’s vision of the women 30 years ago and the men and women who volunteer to keep it thriving today is located behind Our Lady Queen of America’s church in Conneaut Lake. Within a year, the current officers and a newly appointed Board of Direct (represented by four area churches), created bylaws, incorporated the organization, became sales and real estate tax exempt and the name “Holy Ground Thrift Shop” was registered with the commonwealth allowing Samaritans to be legally compliant with all governmental agencies.
Currently in operation, the Holy Ground Thrift store generated $15,710.00 in annual revenue with the assistance of its dedicated crew of 50 volunteers alternating twice a week to maintain weekly hours of operations. 133 sources donate regularly helping 106 households in the local area with a large percent of revenue being paid for delinquent utility bills. This need continues to grow annually. NINTY families benefit from the food pantry on a bi-weekly scheduled thanks to the eight loyal volunteers working 50 hours a month.
Paralleling the Samaritans, The Gift for Kids branch of the Samaritan organization began around the same time, 1986. A program depends on a community of good Samaritans to bring the Christmas spirit to kids 13 years and under in the Conneaut School district -still in operation and still growing. This year gift sponsors and 30 volunteers made it possible for 260 children to receive the spirit of Christmas under their tree.
The Samaritans of Conneaut Lake Inc. served more clients this past year with more money, incurred over $10,000.00 in operating expenses and ended the fiscal year with almost exactly the same amount started with. God does provide.
A reason to celebrate? WE think so! Happy 30th Sam! Come help us celebrate the organization and the dedicated community of volunteers of the last 30 years on JUNE 9th. Bring your food, clothing and household donations, enjoy a cupcake & beverage and shop our specially priced Holy Ground Thrift Store items. Your bargain purchase continues to help your neighbor. Help your neighbor . . . Shop Samaritans.
• JUNE 9th, 2012
• 9:30 to Noon
• Holy Ground Thrift Store located behind Our Lady Queen of America’s Church on Rt 285 & 6.