Good Samaritan Ministry receives challenge grant

Good Samaritan Ministry Board Chair Kay Henry (left) and executive director Shirley Tripp look over the architectural plans for an 800-square-foot addition to the Good Samaritan Ministry food pantry. Recently, the Tulsa-based Mabee Foundation issued an $18,000 challenge in support of the food pantry’s $100,000 capital campaign to fund its building expansion.

A challenge grant of $18,000 has been issued to a Claremore-based food and clothing pantry by the J.E. and L.E. Mabee Foundation during the October 10 meeting of the foundation’s board of directors in Tulsa.

The Good Samaritan Ministry, Inc., food pantry launched the Partners in Growth Campaign in April to raise $100,000 to expand food storage and distribution space and to enhance service to financially vulnerable families.

“The Mabee Foundation challenge grant will provide a very positive impetus as we approach donors to raise the additional $18,000 needed to match the Mabee grant and meet our campaign goal,” said Kay Henry, Good Samaritan Ministry (GSM) board chair and campaign director.

Claremore area business and community leaders have provided gifts during the past five months which have brought the campaign’s current totals to the two-thirds mark toward the $100,000 goal, according to Henry.

The campaign will fund an 800 square-foot expansion for food storage and will provide commercial refrigeration and freezer units at the existing 4,000 square-foot food and clothing pantry location at 715 S. Highway 88, Henry said.

The Mabee Foundation, a private charitable foundation, was formed in 1948 by John E. Mabee and his wife, Lottie E. Mabee. Grants awarded by the foundation over the past 69 years have totaled in excess of $1.1 billion and have assisted various community activities such as food banks; children’s homes; organizations which care for handicapped, abused, and neglected children and adults; Boy Scouts; Girl Scouts; Red Cross; Salvation Army; YMCA; and YWCA.

Grants also have benefited private, independent non-tax supported colleges; seminaries; campus ministries; and Christian camps and centers-as well as scientific, health, and medical activities.

In 2012 the Mabee Foundation also provided a matching grant to the Good Samaritan Ministry during its capital campaign at that time to raise funds to purchase its present facility, a converted church building.

“Because of the generosity of the Mabee Foundation in the past and present-as well as the ongoing funding from numerous other donors, GSM continues to help families in need throughout Rogers County,” Henry said.

In almost 9,000 client visits last year at GSM, individuals were assisted with food, clothing, or limited financial help for utility bills, according to Shirley Tripp, GSM executive director, who supervises the more than 40 volunteers who contributed 6,858 hours of service last year.

“Established more than 21 years ago by Claremore’s Faith Baptist Church, GSM is now a 501(c)(3) charitable organization which is supported by a number of other area churches, businesses, and individuals,” Tripp said. “Donations are GSM’s primary source of funding.

“We serve individuals of all beliefs, ethnicities, and backgrounds,” Tripp stated. “We are a faith-based charity,” she said, “and we also offer individuals the opportunity for prayer and spiritual encouragement if they choose to talk with a volunteer assistant.”

An emergency food pantry, GSM is a client organization of the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma and receives some USDA food assistance.

Food donations also are received from local retail grocery stores, food drives, and individuals.

Hours of operation are on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. For more information about helping GSM with financial assistance or food and clothing donations, contact 918-343-4357 or director@gsmclaremore.com.

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