Good Samaritan Ministries had reached 90 percent of its $10,000 goal by the end of Wednesday, and event organizer Stacy Walker said donations would be accepted through the end of July.
“We had $9,000 as of Wednesday evening so we’re hoping to reach 100 percent of our goal,” Walker said of the second annual Abundant Living-Simple Giving Men’s Breakfast held Wednesday morning in the GSM Food Warehouse. “We had several people come by Wednesday afternoon and say they missed the breakfast but wanted to donate. Some have called and said they intend to donate.”
The second-year breakfast drew 65 local men and women who signed in -- an increase over the 40-plus who attended last year’s inaugural event that raised $8,000.
“Everybody has now heard about it, and they’re more familiar with the Abundant Living-Simple Giving concept. We feel like it was a great success,” said Walker, volunteer coordinator at GSM.
The concept is based on getting 100 local and area men to attend and donate $100 each for a total of $10,000. The idea is that $100 is not a huge amount individually, but if 100 men participate, it can add up to a significant amount. All donations go toward Christmas food boxes GSM distributes in December.
A big reason GSM is nearing its goal is because of a $1,440 donation by a group of 14 people from North Lake Community Church in May.
“We were here last year, and we made a commitment to come back this year and give 10 percent toward their goal. We’re giving 14 percent,” said Ron Keener, pastor at North Lake. “We believe in what Good Samaritan Ministries is doing. We believe we are the hands and feet of Jesus, and when we hear them (GSM) calling for help, we’re coming.
“We believe their ministry is one of integrity. If we’re not doing this, we’re not an extension of what Jesus called us to do. It’s not just about the money. It’s about involvement, participation and volunteerism.”
North Lake Community Church is involved with multiple GSM projects, including the mobile food ministry in May.
All donations from Wednesday’s breakfast go specifically toward purchasing baking hens, eggs, flour and sugar for Christmas food boxes GSM distributes in December so each family can prepare a traditional Christmas dinner. Each food box also includes stuffing, chicken broth, green beans, sweet potatoes, black-eyed peas, pumpkin, cranberry sauce and canned fruit.
“We distribute an enormous amount of food boxes at Christmas each year. We gave 950 last year,” said Troy Evans, who prepared Wednesday’s come-and-go breakfast of eggs, sausage, bacon, hash browns, biscuits, gravy, and fruit.
Evans, a retired software and missile engineer for the United States government, has cooked for Coggin Avenue Baptist Church and other special events in town for 20 years. “It’s the gift God gave me,” said Evans, who also became involved with GSM about 20 years ago.
“I was already on the (GSM) board, and I was walking through the clothing store one day. The woman who was accepting clothes said, ‘If you don’t get me some help, I’m going to quit.’ I’ve been here every Wednesday to help for the last 18 years,” Evans said.
A newer GSM volunteer who attended Wednesday’s breakfast is John Robinson, a native Texan and retired Delta Airlines pilot who relocated from Atlanta with his retired teacher wife to Brownwood a year ago.
“We wanted to volunteer so we came here (GSM) and took a tour and saw their ministry,” Robinson said. “It has been a blessing to us to be able to give back. We’ve been blessed beyond measure. It’s the bright spot in our day to help those who need help.”
Roger Geise, an area rancher and retired Howard Payne football coach, is on the GSM board of directors, but he said that’s not why he attended Wednesday’s breakfast.
“A lot of communities have people in need, but they have no place to go. In Brown County, they have a place to go because of Good Samaritan,” Geise said. “What they do for the citizens of Brownwood is absolutely amazing.”