We Rise By Lifting Others
We are a faith based, nonprofit mission
Who We Are
We are the only faith-based, nonprofit mission serving adults and children in Montour County and surrounding areas.
The Mission’s foundation is built on a solid Board of Directors. Our Board members are qualified leaders in the community. These board members work directly with the financially disadvantaged individuals in our area. This allows on-hand experience and guidance on how to deal with this population of individuals and their families.
The Good Samaritan Mission is run primarily by volunteers who give countless hours of their time to keep our programs running. The GSM has one paid full-time employee, an Executive Director, who is responsible for The Good Samaritan Mission Vision, Mission and Statement of Faith.
The original idea for The Good Samaritan Mission (GSM) is credited to Mrs. Sandy O’Rourke who, in her daily charitable work, saw a need to fill in gaps of services in the area and to provide spiritual support.
In the spring of 1995, she approached the Danville-Riverside Area Christian Ministries (DRACM) with the idea. They immediately agreed with the need and wanted to move forward with a few clients. In 1996, The Good Samaritan Crisis Fund (GSCF) was started under the auspices of DRACM with a once a year fund drive by the local churches. This resulted in many private financial donations forthcoming, which continue to this day. With Mrs. O’Rourke leading the effort, and Sister Gorettti of Maria Joseph Manor acting as Treasurer, the GSCF was up and running.
One of the many goals of The GSM was to assist economically disadvantaged individuals and families in the Montour County and the Danville Area School District in times of crisis, and to enhance their ability to become self-sufficient. The GSM is a “faith based” organization, and in times of crisis, prayer and spiritual aid are very comforting. Recognizing that most individuals seeking financial assistance also need to acknowledge their need for God, spiritual support and prayer was to be offered to those who request help. The intake volunteer and the clients always participate in common prayer and the clients are encouraged to attend a church of their choice on a regular basis.
Since 1996, the GSCF has helped hundreds of families each year. In 1996, we only provided monetary support from the Crisis Fund. In a short time, GSM realized that there were many other needs not being addressed in our local area. Clothing was a frequent request of “clients.” Furniture requests soon followed.
In 1999, The GSM started accepting donations of clothing and furniture, and was then on a new additional mission and path. In October 1999 the “Wardrobe for Work Closet” was started. The clothing was stored in Mahoning Presbyterian Church, Covenant Clinic, and in other storage places in town. Then with the help of Commissioner Tom Herman, it was located in the second floor of the Armory. The Armory was not handicap accessible and soon was not of sufficient area to display what was available. The furniture storage started in the YMCA on Ferry Street, then the State Hospital, then in the Cole’s Hardware warehouse on Church Street. These last locations were temporary loans from the borough and Cole’s, but never intended to be on a permanent basis. Over time, it became apparent that a central, convenient, and permanent place to serve the needy was in the future. The effort was fractured by the many locations, and it was difficult to staff multiple locations and create any reliable and fixed hours of operation. A suitable, single location was required to handle the volume of client’s requests, and to screen and control the client list required to disperse the goods and services of the mission.
In May 2002, a GSM task force was created to establish such a facility. In September 2003, the vision materialized by renting a central facility at 327 Ferry Street, the former location of the Danville Stationery Store. Initial opening of this facility was September 29, 2003.
For many years, The GSM continued operating under their clothing, furniture & crisis missions. In due time, more needs were being recognized, and The GSM began to expand again.
In January 2012, The GSM ventured into a new relationship with the Danville Area School District by welcoming the Many Hands Helping Other (MHHO) program. MHHO was originally designed to be a program that sent home food bags with participating students to help supplement their diet over the weekend. In mid-2015, MHHO became more than just food bags, and began to include all support for students. This is represented in giveaways, nurse/counselor clothing support, financial support for student need, etc… MHHO now represents the entire relationship between GSM & the DASD.
In 2015, GSM offered its first “Getting Ahead in Just Getting’ By World” training class. This is a 12 week mentoring class run by a qualified/trained individual who facilitates the program. It is a class that is designed for the facilitator to help the investigator (the individuals that sign up for the program) figure out ways to move from just getting-by to actually getting-ahead. The Getting Ahead program is part of a larger concept called Bridges out of Poverty, which continues to grow under The GSM umbrella.
In 2017, the Good Samaritan Mission teamed up with the Danville-Riverside Foodbank and the Danville Area School District to continue the WNEP Feed a Friend program for the Danville area. The program is offered to all Montour County people/families. Volunteers in each of the 3 groups take ownership of different facets of the Feed a Friend program, and come together on a date in mid-November to prepare & distribute Thanksgiving food to the families that sign up each year.
The GSM finds it very important to begin programs when a need is recognized. In April 2018, volunteers recognized a huge need for hygiene items, and so began the Hygiene
In August 2019, due to losing our storage warehouse, the furniture mission was discontinued.
In September 2019, The GSM hired its first paid employee, an executive director. After many years of discussing the need of this role, it was put into place. The GSM is on its way to enhancing its current programs and expanding its relationships & services.
In the winter of 2019, additional space became available to expand our clothing store.
Over the years, The GSM has strengthened relationships with many local service agencies: Diaper Bank, Agape, United Way, Danville-Riverside Foodbank, Danville Area School District, the Ministerium & local churches, Montour County Human Services Coalition…
To be continued…
Statement of Faith in Action
The Good Samaritan Mission is a Christian Ministry. We originated as an outreach of the Danville Riverside Area Christian Ministries (DRACM) to Montour County and the Danville Area School District, and have expanded our scope of services and service area over time. We continue to rely on the prayers and support of the churches in our community, plus other organizations and individuals, and report to them on a regular basis.
The Good Samaritan Mission endeavors to follow, and derives its name from, the teaching of Christ’s parable of the Good Samaritan. Our focus is service to our economically disadvantaged neighbors, We seek to meet their material needs by offering a “cup of cold water” in Christ’s name through the provision of free clothing, appliances, hygiene items, winter boots, socks and underwear, meals, uniforms, and financial assistance in crisis situations. We likewise seek to meet their spiritual needs through prayer, informal counseling, and verbal and written explanations of the Gospel of Christ.
We are open to and readily serve persons of all faiths, including those who have no faith. We do not discriminate on any basis, including race, creed, or social background. We value and seek to preserve the dignity, freedom, and oral respect of each individual. We endeavor to be good stewards of the financial and material resources entrusted to our care. We seek no earthly rewards.
The Good Samaritan Mission is a faith-based organization created to meet the needs of the economically disadvantaged individuals in Montour County and Danville Area School District. The needs are varied and change as additional needs are recognized. The Good Samaritan Mission provides all services free of charge.
We strive to be open to meeting the financial and spiritual needs of low income individuals. We hope to help break the cycle of poverty in the Danville Community.
We are an organization dedicated to providing free services to those in need living in the Danville community and surrounding areas.