Thankful resident helps Samaritan Outreach Services
Jeff Gilliland/The Times-Gazette

The area behind Samaritan Outreach Services that was given attention by John and Tracy Abrams is pictured.

When he was receiving some help recently from Samaritan Outreach Services, John Abrams noticed that the Hillsboro food pantry’s yard needed attention. So Wednesday and Thursday he and his wife, Tracy, grabbed a mower and weedeater and went to work.

The area is rough and usually goes unkept, according to Samaritan Outreach Director Wade Hamilton.

“Honestly, it’s steep and we don’t have the money to pay to have it mowed, or the lawn equipment, so we rely solely on volunteers,” Hamilton said, noting that Samaritan Outreach is serving 300 percent more people than it did in recent years. “Since we’re so stretched, we’ve cut the budget on some things like that. We save every possible dollar we can for purchasing food. That’s why we were so excited when John stopped by. It was just a nice surprise.”

Abrams said he’s been off work for a while after an ankle surgery and that the assistance his family received from Samaritan Outreach made a big difference.

“That’s the least we could do since they helped us out,” the 47-year-old New Market resident said. “They gave us food and if they hadn’t done that we would have been hurtin’. People should try to give back, help a little if they can. It doesn’t have to be a lot, just do something. Pay it forward.”
Abrams said that before the yard work was completely done his weedeater quit working. But he said that when he gets another one, he plans to go back and help Samaritan Outreach again.

“They’re great people down there,” Abrams said.

According to Hamilton, Samaritan Outreach is currently serving approximately 950 families a month. He said that means that roughly one in five families is receiving help in some form or another from the food pantry.

Hamilton said serving that many people leaves few funds for maintenance, so the area Abrams cleaned up was really overgrown.

“If we had more John Abramses around here it would make a huge difference,” Hamilton said.

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SOS holding craft fair
Inaugural event is June 22

A local non-profit organization is holding its first craft sale soon to raise funds needed to continue helping local families in need.

Samaritan Outreach Services inaugural Craft Fair & Sale is scheduled for Saturday, June 22 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at its offices located at 537 N. East St. in Hillsboro.

The event will help raise some much-needed funds to continue providing emergency food supplies to the more than 900 Highland County households it serves each month, according to board member and event co-organizer Eleanor Cumberland.

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Samaritan Outreach Services, a local organization striving to help meet hunger needs in Highland County, has just finished its largest year since the organization began in 1989, according to client intake and outreach counselor Bob Lambert.

Lambert said the organization is serving nearly 1,000 more families than it was a year ago.

“We are in business 12 months a year and serve needs year round,” Lambert said.

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The Highland County Board of Realtors presented a $1,000 check to Samaritan Outreach Services Wednesday, Oct. 10 2012.

The funds, generated through the Realtors’ summer fundraising bowling event at Highland Lanes, will be used to purchase personal hygiene items, household cleaning products and fresh produce for area families in need of assistance.

Samaritan Outreach is located at North East Street and Collins Avenue in Hillsboro. Those wanting to make food donations may do so from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. For more information, call 393-2220.

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