While increasing numbers of folks are getting vaccinated (more than 20% of the population in the District at the time of this writing!) the pandemic is far from over. It remains a harrowing time for our participants as they continue to be disproportionately affected by the pandemic, in addition to being disproportionately affected by our nation’s ongoing struggle with systemic racism and gun violence.
So, as we begin to think of summer, we call on YOU – our Samaritan Partners – to join us in this year’s campaign to Empower our Neighbors in Need – ENN, which officially launches on Saturday, May 1! The campaign is designed for Partner Churches & Schools to create their own event/activity so that the work of Samaritan Ministry becomes more visible and better known in their community. This year we are launching ENN on May 1 and landing it on Sept. 30. Last year, we had engagements with nearly half of our Partners – that was a lot, but there are more of you now. . . so this year we are challenging ALL Samaritan Ministry partners to engage with us!
Before you do anything, check with your Partner Reps who are presently figuring this out in consultation with Samaritan staff and others. Here are just a few ideas on how you can engage with us!
● Virtual Samaritan Sundays featuring a participant-speaker introduced by ED Rev. David B. Wolf via Zoom. Learn how our participants are coping and how you can collaborate in the crisis.
● In-Person Samaritan Sundays should the opportunity arise for in-person worship services at your church, we would welcome the opportunity to engage with you on-site and in-person.
● Sunday Forums or Weekday Forums on the challenges and journeys of SMGW participants, especially in this crisis time as the COVID pandemic has further laid bare the many socioeconomic disparities of our region.
● Ticket(s) to Ride from ALL Partners. As COVID conditions ease up, our participants are anxious to resume their lives just as we are, and a primary need is transportation. We’re looking for donations of Metro SmarTrip cards or UBER gift cards in denominations of $25 that can be used for transportation to and from work, or to complete essential errands.
● Grocery Gift Cards Drive from ALL Partners. This drive includes everything our participants need now. A list of all currently needed items is available elsewhere in this newsletter and on the SMGW website.
● Partner’s Choice! Feel free to create your own ENN event – we’re here to work with you