Stark County Good Samaritan Fund

PO Box 233
Toulon, IL 61483

Who Are We?

The Stark County Good Samaritan Fund (SCGSF) is a 501(c)(3) organization. We came into being in late 1995 early 1996.

Concern arose among several individuals and clergy in the county that there were some hard working people who were slipping through the cracks. These families were working and didn't qualify for most State or Federal programs. We felt that these people should not suffer unduly simply because they were working and in between earning too much for welfare and too little to adequately prepare for the inevitable financial reversals that we all encounter.

Thus with the help of Stark County area clergy and a small but dedicated group of individuals we created a not-for-profit cooperation under the laws of the State of Illinois. We called it the Stark County Good Samaritan Fund.

 

Where Do We Get Our Funds?

We have used various ways to raise money, but ultimately we are funded by the generous people of Stark County.

We conduct fund rasing activities such as gospel sings, ice cream socials, the sale of Christmas cards designed by local area children, and this year we are working with the John Deer Classic program Birdies for Charity to raise funds.

Each year we need to raise a little over $10,000 for relief of the working poor. We have run out of funds in the past, but the folks of Stark County have always been generous.

 

How Does it Work?

Applications are taken mostly by local clergy from working families in the area that have needs beyond their means to pay. We provide stop gap assistance to get them back on their feet. We pay for a variety of services. About one third of all funds will be used to pay utility bills. Another one third will pay for housing, rent or mortgage payments. The final third will end up going for everything from medical services, to car mufflers. Our aim is to keep the people in their present homes, to keep their car working so they can get to work and to get them needed medical attention so that they can work.

We have a board that determines who qualifies for help and how much help we can give them. The board also governs all other aspects of the organization.

We help working families. How do we define working families? At least one person in the family must be gainfully employed. We require pay stubs as proof.

Our definition also includes families where the sole wage earner has been injured and is unable to work, as long as they are not receiving SSI payments. We will continue to help these families unless they qualify for permanent government assistance. If there is another person in the family who is also gainfully employed, then they would still qualify.

Our definition also includes families where the wage earner has lost their job if they had a steady work record previous to their unemployment. People not making an effort to find work do not qualify.

Our definition also includes families where the wage earner has retired.

 

We Refer

As best we can we refer people to other organizations for assistance. We work with the Illinois Energy Assistance Program administered by Tri-County Opportunities Council.

We send those who qualify to their township supervisor or the Resource House or the Salvation Army.

Since most of our board members are pastors, many churches in the county also assist clients rather than using SCGSF monies.

Some of our board members are also a part of other organizations such as Lion's Club, Resource House, Tri-County Opportunities Council and the Salvation Army.

 

We Have Limits

We are limited to the gifts we receive. We can never give out more than we receive. We have a maximum help amount set by the board. When our balance drops, the maximum help we can give for an emergency also drops.

We generally help people only twice in a twelve month period. There are some exceptions depending on the amount of money given to the client over the past year. We explain to the client this rule. We also reserve the right to refuse people who are regular repeaters over long periods.

We try to be good stewards of the gifts we receive and yet be compassionate to people in need.

When Jesus had finished the story of the Good Samaritan, He told the people, "Go and do the same." The Good Samaritan Fund is trying to do that. We have been touched by the love and compassion of our Savior Jesus Christ. We have a desire to continue His work in this world. Many good Samaritans in Stark County help us be the hands and feet of Jesus as we minister to the needs of the working poor in our county. We hope you will help. And if you need help, just contact a pastor in Stark County. We will take the information and hopefully we will be able to be Jesus to you.

Send donations to:

Stark County Good Samaritan Fund
PO Box 233
Toulon, IL 61483

 

Jesus Tells of the Good Samaritan

"A Jewish man was traveling on a trip from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he was attacked by bandits. They stripped him of his clothes and money, beat him up, and left him half dead beside the road.

"By chance a Jewish priest came along; but when he saw the man lying there, he crossed to the other side of the road and passed him by. A Temple assistant walked over and looked at him lying there, but he also passed by on the other side.

"Then a despised Samaritan came along, and when he saw the man, he felt deep pity. Kneeling beside him, the Samaritan soothed his wounds with medicine and bandaged them. Then he put the man on his own donkey and took him to an inn, where he took care of him. The next day he handed the innkeeper two pieces of silver and told him to take care of the man. 'If his bill runs higher than that,' he said, 'I'll pay the difference the next time I am here.'

"Now which of these three would you say was a neighbor to the man who was attacked by bandits?" Jesus asked.

The man replied, "The one who showed him mercy."

Then Jesus said, "Yes, now go and do the same."

Luke 10:30-37 NLT

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