On Tuesday, 03/09/2021, Becky Benham (Executive Director of Society of Samaritans (SOS)), spoke to the members of the Magnolia Rotary Club about SOS and what is does. Pictured above from left to right are Becky Benham and Hope Moye (President of the Magnolia Rotary Club).
 
Becky spoke a little bit about who SOS is and its history. The mission statement of SOS reads as follows:
  • Meeting the needs of community with respect and compassion.
  • We share the love of Jesus Christ by providing food, clothing, emergency financial assistance, job services, and disaster recovery relief to residents of the Greater Magnolia area.‚Äč This is a community effort. The Society of Samaritans is simply an extension of the community in action, working together to assist people who are either disabled, disadvantaged, or unable to meet all  of their needs.
  • SOS partners with churches, government, and civic organizations to make this happen.
The vision of SOS is as follows:
  • To communicate and model the love of Jesus Christ through committed partnerships to address the physical, financial, social, emotional, and spiritual needs of our community.
Since 1986, SOS has served Montgomery County with services to meet the needs of the disadvantaged in our community. They offer the following services through both staff and volunteer efforts.
 
1. Family Services
  • Financial Assistance - Offers payment assistance with rent, mortgage and utilities.
  • Prescription Drug Assistance - Funding for life dependent prescription medications.
  • Gasoline Assistance - Vouchers for fuel.
  • Food Assistance - Fresh produce, meat, and dry goods from our Client Choice Food Pantry.
  • Clothing & Household Goods - Vouchers to shop for clothing, household furnishings, furniture and appliances at The Giving Center located at 603 Little Twig, Magnolia, TX.
  • Holiday Giving - Holiday meal specific food baskets and vouchers for families.
  • Summer Survival Snack Sacks - 7 days' worth of nutritional breakfast and lunch food items to school age children for 9 weeks.
  • Prayer Partners- available everyday to provide spiritual hope and encouragement.
2. Food Pantry
  • Groceries - This is where those who are in need come to get groceries. SOS does not discriminate based upon religion, sexual preference, age, ethnicity or race. Their mission is to serve all the community.
3. Job Services
  • Employment: A monthly workshop designed to help people find employment by providing personal coaches to assist with resumes, preparing for job interviews, dressing for success, and much more.
  • Job Fairs: SOS holds two job fairs during the course of the year. One is held in February and the other in conjunction with our Annual Care Fest in Sept/Oct. Many of those attending the job fairs are able to find employment.
4. A Resale Shop
  • Shopping: The SOS Resale Shop & Boutique is one of the leading resale shops in Magnolia. It offers a variety of merchandise including gently-used, quality clothing, jewelry, household goods, home decor, furniture, shoes, purses, paintings, and much more.
  • Volunteers: Volunteers make the SOS Resale Shop work. Their commitment, energy, and genius contribute to the overall success of SOS.

5. Giving Services
  • Monetary Donations: SOS provides vouchers for our neighbors in need for just about anything needed in a home from clothing and housewares to furniture and appliances. All items are also available for a suggested donation.
  • Purchases: The Giving Center also accepts customers who can purchase these items for a donation to SOS.
  • Clothing Donations: Gently used donations accepted during regular hours. Their Drop Box is available 24/7.
Becky explained that they are funded by Grants, Donations, fund raisers and individual donations (including purchases at the Resale Shop). She explained that God seems to always supply exactly what is needed. In almost every case, the funds they raise just cover the needs of the community.
 
Becky also provided the following statistics from 2019:

SOS impacted the lives of 18,128 neighbors.

  • 5,685 individuals benefited from crisis assistance, including help with rent, utilities, prescriptions & gas vouchers
  • 355 job seekers received training, mentoring, and resources
  • 1,718 students served Summer Survival Snack Sacks
  • 4,811 vouchers given for clothing & household furnishings from The Giving Center
  • 930 holiday food baskets distributed for Christmas & Thanksgiving
  • 5,685 grocery carts filled by the food pantry with over 300 tons of food
However, 2020 saw a significant increase in needs over 2019 (77,709 Neighbors) and they expect 2021 to be no different. However, they trust in God to provide and so far, he has never failed them.
 
Becky also pointed out that almost half of those in need are students within MISD attending our schools! Although most of those in need seem to fall into students and the elderly, they also get people who are out of work through no fault of their own.
 
 
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