After a lot of discussions and prayer, our Catalyst Group decided to reach out to the Samaritan Resource Center. The Samaritan Resource Center works to break the cycle of homelessness and poverty by meeting the physical and spiritual needs of those who are homeless or at the risk of homelessness.

During our preliminary tour we asked a lot questions and found out that men’s clothing was desperately needed. Donna Franks-Lemcke was in charge of the St. Luke’s Lutheran Haven Flea Market this year and was able to insure that all unsold men’s clothing from the flea market was boxed up for the resource center. Eight large boxes of clothing were taken to the Samaritan Resource Center!

When I arrived to drop off the donations, a client at the resource center helped me unload the boxes. He asked what was inside of the boxes and immediately became so excited when I said “men’s clothing”. He let me know that men’s clothing was very limited and this was a true blessing. Before I left the center, I overheard how a homeless man’s camp had been ransacked and all his clothing was stolen. It was amazing to see how God gave us those donations that were desperately needed that exact day!

The Resource Center is only open Monday-Friday. On the weekends the homeless clients have to find their own food and water. In addition to the clothing, we decided to help minimize their search for food and water for one weekend and came up with the idea of “weekend bags”. Each bag would have food and water placed inside of it. Betti Irsch thought the group deserved nice bags, instead of disposable plastic bags. One hundred colorful bags were ordered to make carrying their goods easier. Our group also wanted to meet their spiritual needs as well. Mary Ellen Branneky ordered devotion booklets to put inside of the bags.

One hundred colorful bags were assembled at the St. Luke’s Lutheran School Conference Room. The bags included nuts, protein bars, pop tarts, vienna sausages, and instant noodles, as well as water and the devotion booklets. Rod Jackson led a prayer over the bags. The next day, we distributed 56 bags to the homeless community. The leftover bags will be given out to new clients needing food.

Throughout this service project, our intent was to bless others. Instead they blessed us through their smiles, kind words and constant appreciation! Our group is going to continue working with The Samaritan Resource Center and plans to partner with another Catalyst Group to host a BBQ dinner in the fall.

Catalyst Group Members
Rod Jackson
Jackie Mashburn
Mary Ellen Branneky
Lana Baldwin
Betti Irsch
Ellie Musgrave
Donna Franks-Lemcke
Ed Pohland
Ann Chandler