By Karen Blackledge
The Danville News
DANVILLE — The Good Samaritan Mission Center expects to serve more than 7,000 people this year.
The center, at 327A Ferry St., gave clothing to more than 6,000 people. More than 100 people received uniforms. More than 300 winter coats were distributed. Other items given away include: 134 hygiene bags to adults, 38 pairs of boots to children and 65 backpacks with school supplies to Danville Area School District students.
More than 200 people received bedding. More than 80 families obtained crisis funds for housing, heat and electricity expenses.
The number of people helped this year is expected to be about the same as the previous year, according to Sandy O’Rourke, board member and founder of the program.
Sixty-plus volunteers worked throughout the year. They manned the desk, sorted clothes, handled crisis calls and picked up furniture.
The nonprofit center’s furniture program resumed in April.
Anyone with furniture or appliances to donate should call 275-2500 from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday. Someone will arrange for a pick-up time.
The center needs people to help lift furniture.
More than 1,000 people gave clothing donations to the center along with financial support for programs run by the center.
“It’s remarkable we get that many donations,” she said of clothing contributions this year which numbered about the same as in 2011.
The mission idea was the brainchild 16 years ago of O’Rourke, who saw a need to fill gaps in services in the Danville area. In 1996, the mission crisis fund was started with assistance from the Danville-Riverside Ministerium private donations. Since then, it has helped hundreds of people with money to pay heating, housing, electricity and car repair expenses.
In 1999, the center started accepting donations of clothing and furniture with volunteers realizing there were many needs not being addressed in the local area.
The mission moved in 2003 to its present location. Remodeling was done in 2009.
The mission conducts annual giveaways to those in need in the Danville Area School District. They include hygiene items, uniforms, winter coats, socks and underwear, backpacks and boots.
The mission also supports the Many Hands Helping Others Program which provides bags of food to Danville district students for the weekend. More than 5,000 bags of food were handed out to students this year.
Donations accepted at the center are clothing for men, women and children, uniforms, sheets, blankets, towels, hygiene items and gently used furniture and appliances.
Monetary contributions can be mailed to Good Samaritan Mission, P.O. Box 114, Danville.
Serving on the board of the center besides O’Rourke are Walter Shultz, Jesse Reibson, Dale Erb, Cynthia Gearhart, Diana Reabuck, Jane Kettlewell, Lee Reibsome, Beverly Prall, Nancy Fritz, Donna Cush, Cleo Weader, Ken Ackerman and Scott Hasenbalg.