News flash: The Good Samaritan Ministries Abundant Living-Simple Giving Men’s Breakfast isn’t just for men. Women are allowed to attend and contribute as well.

“Women are welcome,” said Stacy Walker, volunteer coordinator at GSM. “Last year, without asking, women came and donated money in honor of or in memory of the men in their lives -- their husbands, fathers, brothers and sons.”

This year’s Abundant Living-Simple Giving Men’s Breakfast is scheduled for 7 a.m. Wednesday, July 10 in the Food Warehouse at Good Samaritan Ministries (GSM), 305 Clark St. in Brownwood. The event is a come-and-go breakfast of eggs, sausage, biscuits and gravy, along with fruit, but GSM officials hope the attendees will stay and fellowship. The second-year event is a new idea aimed at raising $10,000 for the GSM Christmas food boxes that will be distributed to families in need in December.

The idea originated as getting 100 local and area men to attend and donate $100 each.

“If you can’t donate that amount, we still want you to come and be a part of the fellowship with other men and donate what you can,” Walker said. “We believe that any donation is given from the heart.”

The men’s breakfast is part of the GSM larger Christmas in July program. GSM puts together a Christmas food box for distribution in December so each family can prepare a traditional Christmas dinner. Each box includes a baking hen with stuffing, chicken broth, green beans, sweet potatoes, black-eyed peas, pumpkin, cranberry sauce and canned fruit. The boxes also include eggs, flour and sugar to bake a cake for dessert.

All donations from the July 10 men’s breakfast will go specifically toward purchasing the baking hens, eggs, flour and sugar.

The first men’s breakfast last summer raised $8,000, which pleased GSM officials since it was a first-time event. This year’s goal is $10,000.

The idea for a men’s breakfast was borrowed and modified from a men’s group in Abilene that meets 3-4 times a year to share a meal and donate to different charities.

“Most men don’t like doing fundraisers, but they do like being involved with group causes. They’ll show up for group causes,” said Leesa Stephens, GSM executive director. “This is an opportunity for men to stop and meet and fellowship with other men who want to be part of a common cause.”

Walker said, “You don’t get the same feeling of fellowship or being part of a group by simply mailing in a check. That’s why we do the breakfast.”

Men are encouraged to invite their neighbors, co-workers, golf partners, sons and grandsons.

Donations may be made by cash, check or even credit card, Stephens said.

Walker said the concept of Simple Giving is based on a seemingly simple individual donation adding up to a great collective gift.

“We have so many men who can give $100 and that’s not a large amount for them. It’s a very simple donation,” Walker said. “But when combined with 99 other men, it adds up to a great contribution.”