Samaritan House Staff Member, Carol Laughlin
Since coming to Samaritan House four months ago, I have been constantly surprised and amazed by the generosity and the depth of involvement of our community. Volunteers come to us from every sector of the county moved by a deep urge to help, to give back, to share their own good fortune, to have a sense of purpose.
Coming from a volunteer director job in San Francisco, I feel like I have traveled back in time to a kinder, gentler era in our history, when the community pulled together to help others. My days of getting together with other volunteer directors to bemoan the difficulty of finding and retaining volunteers are over. Rather, every day, requests to volunteer, to donate, pour in. Finding new ways to involve everyone is the challenge, now.
From the earliest days of Samaritan House, many of our staunchest supporters have been faith-based organizations.
For 40 years, Samaritan House has acted out that ancient story of selfless caring for another, helping all who have a need without regard to religion or ethnicity and our faith-based partners have been right there with us, giving and giving.
Here are just a few of the many things faith-based groups do at Samaritan House:
- For six years, the Tzu-Chi Foundation has been purchasing delicious Asian Food and serving it toall of our Safe Harbor Shelter residents on the fourth Wednesday of every month.
- Our neighbors at San Mateo Congregational Church are donating refurbished bicycles, helmets and locks to the Worker Resource Center, giving the people a means of transportation.
- The Peninsula Interfaith Council served breakfast for more than fifty people at the worker resource center to honor the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. They also ran a clothing drive, and cooked and served a BBQ at the Safe Harbor (SH)Shelter.
- Every Thursday a team of dedicated Latter Day Saints youth volunteer in our kitchen, helping stock food, clean, and cook.
- St. Bartholomew Church has been actively helping for many years, in the kitchen and at the SH shelter. St. Timothy Catholic Church and Crystal Springs United Methodist Church have been serving at the SH shelter for years, as well.
- On the last Saturday of every month, Sri Sathya Sai Baba Center of San Bruno cooks and serves a delicious vegetarian meal at the SH shelter.
- And Temple Beth El in San Mateo has been making and delivering sandwiches for our clients to eat over the weekends.
If I have left out your group, please forgive me. These are just the groups I have seen and spoken with in the past month. As I am here longer, I hope to meet all of our incredible partners.