The Modern Samaritan as DAVENPORT employees see it

The Modern Samaritan as DAVENPORT employees see it
April 14
00:00 2016
Photos provided by DAVENPORT
(L-R) Mary Giunca gives the DAVENPORT team a tour of the new facilities: Brittany Hairston, Dionne Brown, John Davenport, Nathan Baskett, Mary Giunca, Grandin Howell, Tyesha Smoot (behind) and Tia Smith (not pictured).



All too often does it feel like it gets increasingly difficult to dedicate time to help those in need when we still can’t get everything done that we want to do?  In today’s world, we may not always have the ability to dismount our donkey and tend to the injured, as is often pictured historically.

Nor may it be feasible to quit our jobs and go on a lifelong journey into the depths of a foreign land to heal the sick, as is often envisioned vocationally.  Even with our lives being pulled in every direction these days, there must be a way we can maintain the fabric of society while helping those in our own community.

DAVENPORT employees did that very thing by setting out to discover what a modern-day Samaritan might look like and how would one remain effective as a Samaritan given this modern time-crunching landscape.

DAVENPORT employees had the opportunity to volunteer at Samaritan Ministries in Winston-Salem late last month.  The handful of volunteers were paired alongside a group of existing volunteer “regulars” and within minutes they were receiving directions to and fro with orders like that of a military drill sergeant. There was no messing around, especially for those who were in the kitchen.

If you have ever worked in a kitchen environment, you may be well acquainted with the pressures of short deadlines, quick turnarounds, and fast but efficient movements.  This soup kitchen was no exception.  The regulars knew the pace at which people and processes needed to move in order to get food out and our volunteers needed to move at that pace or get out of the way!

The whole experience was just like that.  Straight to the point with no funny business.  And it was refreshing to see. That’s not to say there was no levity or laughing involved, because there was certainly plenty of that.  But for an organization like that to run in any other way would be perilous, both in the way they house the 80-plus residents each night or when it comes to feeding as many people as possible that may come through their doors.

Samaritan Ministries resides in a brand new building that is only two years old, but as Mary Giunca, Marketing Director at Samaritan Ministries of Forsyth County, explained, “This is a big step up from our old location.”  What we saw in this new place was a sense of dedication and energy.  As well as a sense of urgency.   An immediacy that people’s lives were being transformed one plate and one stay at a time and there was no time to waste.

During our time at Samaritan Ministries, we got to meet a few people that exuded the modern sense of the word Samaritan.  Such as that of the story of Brian, who works for a technology company here in Winston-Salem.  His company often volunteers on the third Thursday of the month.  However, with the need being so great, on the following Thursday he chooses to come by himself to volunteer, and again when there happens to be five Thursdays in that month.  He’s a man who runs a viable business, but also has a heart for the people of his city and makes time to ensure that its people are taken care of.

And just like that we saw the epitome of what a modern Samaritan looked like. And it wasn’t anything specific to Brian or Gayle, or any of the other volunteers or staff we met that day. It became immensely clear that being a Samaritan was more than just random, occasional acts of kindness; it really was a lifestyle.

In our time at Samaritan Ministries, we were able to see by example the drive that the modern day Samaritan needs to possess in order to remain relevant.

There were two driving factors that made these everyday people effective Samaritans: 1. Effective Samaritans make time for the things that matter; and 2. Effective Samaritans stay consistent regardless of personal or professional pressures.  Just as we saw in the mission of Samaritan Ministries, people should consistently be given the dignity and respect they deserve while being fostered to grow holistically in a consistent and sustainable manner.

We are excited to see there are others out there who are also striving toward that same goal as seen in the devotion of Brian, his company, and in the continuing work at Samaritan Ministries.  We look forward to working with Samaritan Ministries in the future and encourage anyone looking for a place to volunteer to contact Samaritan Ministries. They will gladly enlist you.

Grandin Howell is marketing coordinator for engineering consultant DAVENPORT in Winston-Salem.

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