A Little Change Goes a Long Way!

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There’s still time to make your 2014 year-end tax deductible gift! Start the New Year right by helping neighbors in your community who are less fortunate.

It’s never too late for a charitable contribution to the work of Samaritan House!

In fact, right up through midnight on December 31st you can make a stock or cash donation in any form that would qualify for tax deductions. We can use your help right now, because thousands of families NEED our help right now.  Donate today!

So spread a little of that holiday cheer and feel really great that you have started the 2015 New Year right!

2014 Holiday Program Highlights

With the help of our generous volunteers & donors we were able to create a brighter holiday for the 1,750 children who received new toys, coats and books, and over 1,200 households that received food.

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Food Distributions: Our special food distributions during November & December provided groceries – such as fresh fruits & veggies, canned goods, hams and turkeys to over 1,200 families.

 

 

 

 

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Toy Shoppe:  1,750 very happy children and their parents picked out three to five toys for each child, a book and a coat. Toys included things like Legos, dolls, games, educational toys, gift cards and sporting equipment. Extra special thanks for the donated books from Barnes and Noble! Books also were donated from school groups, service clubs, and individual donors from around the community.

 

 

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Family Sharing Program: 110 families more than 30 seniors were supported this year through our Family Sharing Program (FSP). FSP allows donors to give in a more personal way by selecting a specific family to sponsor. Donors included individuals, families, church and civic groups, businesses and schools.

 

 

 

12-8-2014 Wee Care CraftingWee Care Program: Over twenty  elementary and middle schools participated in our Wee Care Program. Parents, teachers and volunteers teach students about the needs of the community. They create cheerful decorations and organize food, clothing and toys drives that are eventually distributed to the Samaritan House clients.

 

 

 

 

All of this was made possible with the caring and sharing of so many donors in our community and the 1,000 volunteers who came together to hand out toys, food, and help clients pick warm coats. Thank you to all those who support our holiday program every year!

 

A-Lot to be Thankful For

As part of our Holiday Program, this year Samaritan House celebrated Thanksgiving at the King Center with a delicious, traditional holiday meal and a cheerful place for people to go.  Staff and a plethora of volunteers spent the day serving dinners to over 300 members of the San Mateo community and handing out an additional 100 takeout meals.  Even more, Samaritan House served Thanksgiving dinner for 40 at St. Matthew’s Hotel, a subsidized hotel for low income and disabled folks.

Volunteers spent the morning decorating tables with seasonal flowers donated by local markets and they festooned the walls with posters and paper turkeys made by school children. Then, people sat down to a hot meal of turkey, ham, potatoes, sweet potatoes, corn, stuffing, rolls and pie.

Samaritan House’s Dining Room Manager,  Mario Cousenses spoke with one family of five at the Thanksgiving dinner who had just arrived from Mexico about a month ago. “They don’t have a steady home or steady jobs yet but they found out about the free Thanksgiving Dinner through the Worker Resource Center (WRC). They were very grateful to have a happy place to go,” says Cousenses. The WRC is another Samaritan House program that offers a safe location for temporary laborers and employers to meet for work.

After the community dinner wrapped, Ruby Kaho-the Kitchen Manager at Samaritan House, personally delivered meals to her church and to the homes of people who couldn’t make it out to the event. The bustling Samaritan House Kitchen provides over 145,000 meals every year and they feed well over 3,000 hungry people every month, many of whom are children. Our kitchen, pantry and dining services fill the gap between the need for nutrition and the ability people need to thrive and move forward.

San Jose Mercury News – Wishbook 2014

We are very honored and excited to be a featured nonprofit in the San Jose Mercury News Wish Book this year!

Read the full article below:

JORGE CASTILLO FUNEZ

SAN MATEO — By the time Jorge Castillo Funez was diagnosed with diabetes this past December, his condition was severe. Without twice-daily injections of insulin, he would soon die.

However, an obstacle blocked the young man’s path to recovery: an intense fear of needles that Funez traces back to a childhood trauma in El Salvador.

Unable to perform the injections himself, Funez relied on the staff of the Free Clinic of San Mateo, a health center run by nonprofit Samaritan House that provides care for people who lack adequate insurance. He visited the clinic every day for more than a month so medical assistant Yesenia Hernandez could administer the insulin, then teach Funez’s girlfriend how to do it.

“I have never been treated the way they treated me here,” said Funez, who works as a hotel housekeeper. “They saved my life.”

Funez, 32, is one of roughly 1,200 low-income people who visit the clinic every year. Many have slipped through the cracks in state and federal health insurance plans, failing to qualify for Medi-Cal or the Obama administration’s new insurance mandate. Others have insurance but still struggle to pay for medication.

“We’re the safety net for the safety net,” said Sharon Petersen, director of operations for Samaritan House, which runs a second Free Clinic in Redwood City. The clinics benefit not only the clients, she said, but the broader health care system: When people with chronic conditions get preventive care, they make fewer trips to the emergency room.

The clinics provide a wide range of services, from basic care to neurology and orthopedics, despite having fewer than a dozen full-time staff members. Most of the clinics’ several dozen doctors and dentists volunteer their time.

Samaritan House, which gets most of its funding from private donors, will spend roughly $820,000 this year to operate the clinics. But there is still a critical need for medical supplies and pharmaceuticals, including the insulin provided to Funez and other diabetic patients. Wish Book readers can help by donating $6,000, which covers a month’s supply for both facilities.

Diabetes is the most common chronic illness among patients at the San Mateo clinic, Hernandez said, though most of the patients are not insulin-dependent. Many of the clinic patients are Latino, a group with higher rates of diabetes than the general population. Clients don’t have enough money to buy fresh, healthful food — fast food is much less expensive — and often face linguistic or cultural barriers.

Funez’s father was a diabetic, but his family didn’t know that until after he died. Doctors determined that his fatal heart attack in 2004 was brought about by untreated diabetes.

The information shocked and scared Funez, who came to America when he was 20 and speaks halting English, but he still didn’t understand much about the disease — or that he was genetically predisposed to it.

He continued eating fast food and drinking soda — “mas Coke,” he recalled with a sheepish smile. In October 2013, he developed a suite of diabetic symptoms: blurry vision, thirst, frequent urination and unintended weight loss.

Now, a year later, he is looking and feeling much better. He eats less fried food and more salads, and has eliminated his soda habit. Besides regular checkups with an endocrinologist, Funez has visited clinic nutritionists, optometrists and dentists.

But he’s still afraid of needles. Insulin shots make him cringe, and he faints every time his blood is drawn. Funez said he developed the phobia after he witnessed a needle break off in a classmate’s arm during a round of vaccinations at his elementary school. The boy’s arm later had to be amputated, Funez said.

To keep his diabetes under control, Funez will need to master his fear. Hernandez said she worries about what would happen if his girlfriend weren’t around. But she’s determined.

“My goal,” Hernandez said, “is to one day see him inject himself.”

FOR MORE INFORMATION

To learn more about Samaritan House’s free dental and medical clinics, go to http://samaritanhousesanmateo.org and click on “What We Do.”

Your donation to Samaritan House helps individuals like Jorge  receive the medical treatment needed to live a full and healthy life. Read his story in the Wish Book and please consider a donation to help patients like Jorge. Click here to make a donation.

Holiday Program Highlights – 2013

2013 Holiday Highlights

With the help of our volunteers & donors, we were able to help over 1035 families have a brighter holiday season!

Some highlights to come out of the holiday program this past year:

FoodFood Distribution: special food distributions during November & December provided groceries – like fresh fruits & veggies, canned goods, hams and turkeys- to 3,894 individuals

 

 

 

 

 

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Toy Shoppe: 1,422 children picked out stuffed animals, games, educational toy, and books that were donated from groups, service clubs, and individual donors from around the community

 

 

 

 

 

FamilyFamily Sharing Program: 110 family sharing program donors – including individuals, families, church and civic groups, businesses, Scout  and after school programs – provided food and gifts for 193 families and seniors

 

 

 

 

All of this was made possible with the caring and sharing of so many donors in our community and the 1,179 volunteers who came together to hand out toys, food, and help clients pick warm coats. Thank you to all those who support our holiday program every year!

Serra High School Padres Bring Christmas Cheer through the Adopt-a-Family Program

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Every year, Samaritan House’s Adopt-a-Family program connects individuals, corporations, and community groups with local, low-income families for the holiday season. This year we were pleased to work with students and teachers at Junipero Serra High School in San Mateo, connecting the group with 10 client families for the holidays as they purchases needed clothing, food, and toys for them.

Thank you to by Antonia Ehlers, Communications Manager at Serra High School, for sharing the following blog post with us!

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Every December, twinkling lights transform neighborhoods, halls are decked and Christmas trees are adorned with ornaments. Excitement fills the air, as children and adults look forward to the traditional comforts of the Christmas season. However, not all families are able to enjoy the busy weeks leading up to Christmas. Money is tight. Parents are between jobs. Presents are few.

That’s why the Samaritan House Adopt-a-Family Program is so important – it supports families in need while showing them that the local community cares. This week, Serra students brought Christmas cheer to 10 San Mateo families.

“The entire school was involved,” noted Campus Ministry Christian Service Director Jackie Schroeder. “Upper division student government students collected gift cards, and lower division student government students collected cans. Campus Ministry organized the Kmart shopping trip, and many other students helped with food sorting and deliveries. It was a school-wide event.”

This year, Samaritan House’s Adopt-a-Family Program provided gifts, food and clothing to 190 local families during the holidays.

“We are so glad that the Serra boys partner with us to provide this wonderful holiday experience for the less fortunate in our community,” said Samaritan House Client Services Manager Robin Fischer.

Each year, Samaritan House assists more than 12,000 low-income residents in San Mateo County. The organization provides food, clothing, shelter, healthcare, worker resources and counseling services – all free of charge. In addition, Samaritan House volunteers deliver more than 145,000 nutritious meals and 14,000 bags of groceries to people in need.

“All the Serra guys who came together for Adopt-a-Family were really fun to work with,” said senior Alex Adamis. “This was my first year getting involved – it would have been great to start freshman year!”

Senior Ben Kusber agreed, “Adopt-a-Family provides an excellent opportunity to give. Being able to give gifts to those who are underprivileged is a great thing.”

In San Mateo County, one in 10 receives food assistance, and one in six is “food dependent,” meaning that he or she sometimes receives help.

“Adopt-a-Family is a fantastic way to get the entire school involved in a charitable act of giving at Christmastime,” Schroeder said. “The students really have fun with it, especially knowing that they are volunteering their time to families in need. The work involved with making this happen reminds us of the power of giving, and how the ripple effects can be felt by everyone.”

Holiday Donation Information

toy-webSome information for those interested in donating food or toys this month:

Beginning the week of December 9th, our donation center located in the parking lot of our main office will be open from 9am-6pm on Mon/Tues/Fri & 9am-8pm on Wed & Thur. A donation attendant will be available to accept donation items and issue a receipt.

 

In addition, we are in urgent need of toy to help us start out the holiday season. We are still in need of new, unwrapped toys for children from 0-13 years old along with gift cards for teens.

More of a cyber-shopper? Check out our Holiday Wishlist on Amazon and have your donations shipped directly: http://bit.ly/SH_Holiday2013

With your help, we will be making the holiday a little brighter for over 2,000 of clients’ children!

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