“Lord when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?”
And the King will answer them. “Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.” Matthew 25: 37-40
The mission of the Samaritan Ministry is to provide assistance to those people coming to our doors seeking help with food, bus transportation and financial assistance for life's basic needs such as utility bills, rent or medications. Contact Merrilie Crafts for more information or if you are interested in volunteering with this ministry.
One cannot be at St. Paul's for very long without being present when someone in need is knocking on our door for assistance. The city of Wilmington does not have a central crisis ministry supported by the churches to help those in need. Those in crisis go from church to church, agency to agency trying to cobble together enough funds to stop their particular crisis. Until the time comes when there is a collective ministry in one location for those in need, St. Paul's recognized a need to have a more organized approach to dispense and be good stewards of our funds.
This ministry began on May 21 2014 and currently is available each Wednesday from 10-11 am. There is a brief application process through which it is determined how best to assist. Assistance comes in the form of food cards not to exceed $20, up to 10 bus passes, and a check to a verified payee (utility company or similar) for up to $35. Checks are not made payable to the client. Clients are also offered information sheets, Bargain Bucks for clothing from the Bargain Box, snack bags, suggestions, encouragement, tissues, and a shoulder to cry on.
The word is getting out around Wilmington that we can help. Through the end of September there have been 76 requests with the following assistance provided:
- 58 instances of assistance provided for rent, water bills and electricity
- 120 bus tickets
- 53-$10 food cards
We are fortunate to be one of the recipients of funds generated from the Coastal Carolina Christmas 2014.