On August 18, 2015, the Magnolia Area Society of Samaritans (S.O.S.) talked to the Magnolia Rotary Club membership about what their group does to help people in our community and also talked about their upcoming "Third Annual Charity Golf Tournament" to be held on 9/21/2015 at the High Meadow Ranch Golf Club. Pictured from left to right are S.O.S. President Ray Weed and S.O.S. Main Contact for the Golf Tournament, Shirley Jenson. Photo by Rotarian Carl Gerhardt.
Shirley Jenson told everyone that the Society of Samaritans was incorporated in the year 1986. It is a coalition of church congregations and service organizations, which act together to operate a nondenominational center to help meet the basic human needs of the community. SOS is a nonprofit, tax-free organization with an Internal Revenue designation of 501(c)3. It is dependent for resources and operating funds upon donations from local churches, community, Montgomery County Community Development Block Grant Funds, civic organizations, school drives, and grants. SOS is a non-discriminatory organization. It is concerned with assisting its clients through the provision of food, clothes, utilities, rent/mortgage, gasoline, prescription medication and other basic life survival requirements. The Board of Directors is responsible for the overall administration and operation of the organization and its programs.

The S.O.S. area of service includes the Magnolia ISD, Constable & J.P. precinct #5, and zip codes 77353, 77354, 77355 (includes the city of Magnolia) 77362 (only city of Pinehurst), 77316, part of 77356, part of 77447, 77484 (only the MISD attendance area of these zip codes). The office and pantry are located in the West Montgomery County Development Center provided by the Montgomery County Community Development Block Grant Funds. Their food distribution includes U.S.D.A. commodities. Office hours are Monday, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM and Tuesdays and Thursdays 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM. A Distribution Center is located at 603 Little Twig and open Saturday only 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM.

Shirley also told everyone that in 2014, the S.O.S. helped 4400 families (around 15,000 people) and that the Golf Tournament last year raised $14,500 to be used in the community. This year, they will also be selling raffle tickets at $5.00 each to win one of three great prizes; a new TV, a golf day for two, and a hunting gun. Shirley then introduced Ray Weed, the current President of the Magnolia Area S.O.S.

Ray Weed told the group that the first year he volunteered for S.O.S., almost 12.5 years ago our own Charlie Thacker was the President of the S.O.S. Ray told us that the S.O.S. does more to help folks in the community than a combination of other bigger organizations. However, they never give anything to anyone who is not deserving of it. If a person can work, they assume that person can get a job and help themselves. They help the poor and elderly who sometimes can not even afford their rent by giving them food and clothing as well as furniture and paying for household bills such as electricity and other utility bills as needed. They will also help with life saving medications and provide appliances such as stoves, washers and dryers, and AC window units that people donate to S.O.S.

Ray said when he started with S.O.S. over 12 years ago, they were helping 4-5 families a day. Now in 2015, they are helping 20-40 families a day. He also told everyone that the Magnolia area S.O.S. is the only 501(c)3 organization in the area that is run totally by volunteers as there are no paid individuals in the organization. Ray said they can always use more volunteers as well as donations of money or items that needy families can use. Ray also told everyone that they have very little storage space and that it is unusable when it gets too hot as it is not air conditioned. Help with this problem would also be greatly appreciated.

Shown below is the flyer for the 9/21/2015 Golf Tournament. For more info about the Magnolia area S.O.S., visit www.societyofsamaritanstx.org.