Marlow Samaritans to hold Open House on June 7

by Cricket Holland

Volunteers of the Marlow Samaritans and the Board of Directors would like to invite residents of Marlow and the surrounding communities to an Open House on Wednesday, June 7th, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

What began in 1981, as a non-profit agency to help families with emergency needs has grown into not only paying utility bills but also providing assistance for medical prescriptions, gasoline for traveling to doctors, hospitals and job interviews, purchasing special items for diabetics, and food products.

Clothing was also provided until January of 2023.

Following an in-depth study of past clients, the difficult decision was made to close the clothing portion of the agency after realizing how few families were actually taking advantage of the free clothing. It was decided by the Board of Directors the greater service was to provide more nutritional food items to families who struggle to meet the needs of putting food on their tables.

With a grant from the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma, space was doubled for the pantry. Adding a new refrigerator and fresh produce section enabled the addition of many more choices for families to make when selecting perishable foods. The shelving area became a “grocery store atmosphere” for clients to shop and choose the canned goods and dry foods their families would eat. This shopping process was something the Regional Food Bank was encouraging the food pantries who purchase products from them to begin incorporating into their local pantry.

Marlow Samaritans began this service one month ago and deem it very successful.

When COVID invaded, the Samaritans went to a drive-through method of picking up groceries. Volunteers, dawned in their masks and gloves, put together boxes of different food items, including frozen, and clients would drive up to the back entrance of the building, give their name, and then other volunteers would load the boxes in their vehicles. No personal contact was made which enabled the Marlow Samaritans to continue their food pantry distribution all during the COVID outbreak. Now that the disease has lessened greatly, people can choose to shop or continue to drive up.

Functioning for the past 42 years on the generosity of people who live and work in our community, businesses and churches, it is that support which “Help Us, Help Others.”

There is no greater place to live and raise our children than in a town and rural community who love to help others by giving their hard-earned money and time to be a part of the Marlow Samarians. Yes, you are all Marlow Samaritans!

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