Angelia Bostick and Misty Bowers have a vision, and they want everyone to catch it.
This holiday season, Bostick, executive director of Good Samaritan’s Ministries, and Bowers, the organization’s communications director, said the need was great but the effort of volunteers made the operation hum along and serve those who need a hand at Christmas.
“They are amazing,” Bostick said about the individuals and groups that come in and do various tasks for the organization. “Their talent, their gifts, their wisdom – I have been truly blessed. I think I have become a better person, I have become a better leader because I have encountered them. We have such diverse experiences. Where else do you get that?”
And Bostick says those backgrounds give perspective to the task at hand of helping others in a respectful manner.
“I’ve had NASA scientist volunteers, teachers, principals, and more,” she said. “Just to hear all their different life experiences and what they have encountered in their lives. It is enriching and it is encouraging.
“It is important that other people catch the vision of what we are doing here.”
And in the weeks leading up to Christmas, that vision from the volunteers is what Bostick said help GSM keep pace.
“It’s been busy,” she said.” The first two weeks were really w. During that time we saw more than 1,000 families.
“Our volunteers really soldiered on, and kept up with the pace interviewing and filling the bags and pushing buggies out to the car. They were just amazing. Volunteers were coming in. People who hadn’t volunteered for us in the past would come in and fill boxes in the evenings.”
“There is no way with the amount of people we have been seeing that we could do what we have been able to do without our volunteers,” she said. “A lot of volunteers have been here since we started, so sometimes the increased work has been really hard.
“We need some new volunteers to stand alongside them to help share that weight.”
Bostick said recruiting new volunteers to the cause will keep the positive momentum going.
“We are doing more with less money, but we are also are doing more work with fewer volunteers, because our older ones because of age and health, we are losing some of those people that have seen the vision and had the willingness to get in the harness with us,” she said. “We just need to be able to cast that vision to a new generation of folks.”
And that vision that Bostick and Bowers comes from a desire for everyone to ease the burden of some in the area.
“We want the Walt Disney version of Christmas – the Hallmark Channel version of Christmas,” Bostick said. “And that just isn’t the reality for a lot of our families. They are living on the edge financially and some folks even emotionally and psychologically. And then you get the pressure of the season.
“We want to be able to provide for our families and our friends and our neighbors and to not be able to do that is hard for them.”
So GSM tries to help with the help of its volunteer force.
“Its been a great to watch the cooperation and all those different pieces come together,” Bostick said. “It has gone like clockwork.”