The heartbreak of homelessness is a very stark reality in today’s world. In virtually every community ins this great nation of ours, there are people who have fallen on hard times – many of them through no fault of their own – and cannot afford to buy or rent the most basic of human provisions….a place to call home.
As a Collin County Realtor who takes seriously the commitment of enhancing quality of life in our community, I have become significantly involved with several non-profit organizations in Collin County. In particular, The Samaritan Inn of McKinney tugs at my heartstrings because it provides professional resources to help those who were once homeless become self-sufficient members of our society once again.
The Samaritan Inn provides hope and opportunity for those who have been left behind by society, or who have no family or friends on which they can rely for support or resources. To use a baseball analogy, homeless people have struggled to foul off the curveballs of life, but they still desire another turn in the batter’s box. This gracious non-profit has played a key role in helping to turn around lives by sheltering and empowering once-powerless people to once again become responsible and productive.
I have personally witnessed the redemptive, rebuilding powers of Samaritan Inn on numerous occasions. For instance, when I witness a new family’s arrivals and the way they are warmly welcomed by the staff and volunteers, I see their eyes illuminate with a trace of hope as they hear about the non-profit’s plan to house and help parents and children get back on their feet. Or, when I see a family leaving the facility, it is unmistakable given their body language and the smiles of determination on their faces that the future has been brightened by a job and a place to stay as a result of The Samaritan Inn’s outreach initiatives.
The Samaritan Inn also has created a new Pet Project that enables homeless people to bring their four-legged family members – their dogs or cats, lifelong friends all – into the shelter. This program was created so that homeless people would not decline the organization’s services in favor of their four-legged friends. Or, as the leaders at The Samaritan Inn like to put it, “being homeless doesn’t mean you have to lose everything.”
Needless to say, all of this is pretty humbling. But not as humbling as the notification that I was recently nominated by the staff at The Samaritan Inn for Volunteer McKinney’s Kim Hoffman Volunteer of the Year award. To say that I do not feel worthy of this award is an understatement. I am truly humbled by this moving award that is presented to one adult who exemplifies the true spirit of volunteerism through (working) with numerous organizations in or around McKinney and demonstrates a passion for identifying and meeting the community’s needs.
You see, I merely serve as a volunteer for various projects, including food drives, meal sponsorships, fund raising events, and collecting clothing donations for the organization’s resale and thrift store.
I am just one of literally hundreds of citizens who enthusiastically give of our time, talent and efforts in a variety of crucial roles to help those who are less fortunate. And we’re extremely happy to do so.
As a result of this nomination, I am one of 50 nominees for eight awards that will be announced during Volunteer McKinney’s Awards Dinner on Thursday, September 24 from 6:30-9 p.m. at the Sheraton Hotel of McKinney at 1900 Gateway. This will be a night to remember, and to salute all of the volunteers at various non profit organizations that combine to serve people, thereby making McKinney such a wonderful city.
The Samaritan Inn is just one of the locales where I enjoy serving our communities. I also am privileged to:
- Provide assistance as a Board Member for the Carson’s Crusaders Foundation that raises awareness about childhood cancer,
- help as a food pantry volunteer along with other outstanding folks for Allen Community Outreach, and
- assist as a new housing volunteer for low-income families who are aided by Habitat for Humanity North Collin County.
I also previously served as a volunteer mentor who helped young males students as part of Big Brothers Big Sisters.