The Bunnell charity that helps those in transition hopes to open permanent headquarters soon.
Samaritan Ministries, the Bunnell charitable organization that helps others find permanent homes, has been trying to establish its own full-time home for more than five years.
The non-profit, founded in 2001, originally had a facility where it could house women and children who needed shelter but lost it in 2011, after the economy tanked and donations dried up.
Now, Samaritan Ministries is closing in on its goal of $120,000 to purchase a property in Bunnell thanks to a $75,000 donation the group received from a local resident who wishes to remain anonymous. That puts the organization at about $93,000 toward reaching its benchmark.
"This donation is truly a huge stepping stone for our ministry’s goal of purchasing a home," said Lorraine Vickery, founder and executive director of Samaritan Ministries. "We are unbelievably blessed!”
And with several upcoming fundraisers contributing proceeds toward Samaritan Ministries' building fund, meeting that goal could happen sooner rather than later, according to Vickery.
One event, on Saturday, March 26, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., is being hosted by another area charity, Trades of Hope, which was begun by two Palm Coast women and their daughters in 2010 and works with women artisans in impoverished countries to sell their jewelry worldwide through a home party business model. The fundraiser, to be held at Shepherd of the Coast Lutheran Church, 101 Pine Lakes Pkwy South, includes lunch as well as the opportunity to win door prizes. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased in advance only. They are available at Aimee's Hallmark, Island Walk Shopping Center, 250 Palm Coast Pkwy NE.
Samaritan Ministries was begun 16 years ago to serve Flagler County’s single mothers and women in transition. The organization provides advocacy, training, mentoring, support groups, budget counseling, car care, food, free seminars and social gatherings for its clients. Since the organization does not accept government funds, its operating budget relies solely on individual contributions and the help of church groups.
Samaritan Ministries provides not only temporary housing for its clients at hotels or host homes, but also necessary services for women trying to improve their standard of living, offering help toward education and job placement. The organization is run by Vickery, four other volunteers and a board of directors.
"There are no judgements here, just acceptance and encouragement," said Vickery, adding that her own experience as a struggling single mother inspired her to begin her work with Samaritan Ministries. "I know a lot of the pitfalls you can run into when you're trying to make things work."
For information on contributing to Samaritan Ministries’ new facility, call 437- 4372, or go online to www.samaritanministriesflagler.org.