Purpose of the Good Samaritan Fund
The Good Samaritan Fund helps parishioners and others community members who are facing financial hardships due to unforeseen circumstances. The Fund is intended as a source of last resort, to be used only after requesting assistance has explored all other possibilities of help from family, friends, savings or investments. This Fund is intended to be a temporary help during a time of crisis.
Funding of the Good Samaritan Fund
The fund is exists primarily through contributions from fellow parish members. In order to comply with IRS regulations concerning charitable contributions, all contributions to The Good Samaritan Fund must be unconditional and without personal benefit to the donor.
Biblical Basis for the Good Samaritan Fund
We seek to honor the word of the Lord in Matthew 25:40, “Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers or sisters of mine, you did it for me.” We also recall St. Paul’s encouragement in Galatians 6:9-10, “Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary. So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the family of believers.” And also in 1 John 3:17-18, “If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongues but with actions and in truth.”
Members of our congregation are the main recipients of assistance from the Good Samaritan Fund. The Committee may determine to award funds to those outside of our church in keeping with the general directive of our Lord to show love to all people.
If you know of anyone in the parish who has an urgent need for financial assistance, please let them know that the fund exists for just this purpose. They need only contact the Pastor to start the request process.
General Disbursement Guidelines
Disbursements from the Good Samaritan Fund may not be made in the form of a loan. Under no circumstances is a disbursement from The Good Samaritan Fund to be considered a loan. No disbursement may be repaid, either in part or in full, in money or in labor. However, if the recipient desires to give to the congregation at a later time, the recipient is encouraged to give directly to the general fund of the church. At the discretion of the Pastor, the individual may be informed that the Good Samaritan Fund accepts designated giving, but only if the Pastor discerns that the congregation member / recipient understands this is not a payback of what originally was given.
While not a requirement for every situation, a member requesting assistance may be referred to a financial counselor. The Parish may deny help to anyone who, in its estimation, will have negative or irresponsible behavior reinforced by such financial help.
A member requesting help must be willing to give the parish permission to follow up on any of the information provided. The parish will be sensitive to confidential issues.
Good Samaritan Fund Need Categories
The stated purpose of the Good Samaritan Fund is to meet people’s basic needs. This section lists some of the most basic needs, or circumstances, under which financial assistance may be disbursed from the Fund:
- Mortgages & Rents
- Utilities (lights, gas, water) – cell phones*, pagers & cable TY are not eligible expenses. (*Phones may be considered on a case by case basis)
- Medical treatment (including prescription drugs medically necessary for treatment of an injury or illness)
- Transportation to or from a place of employment
- Assistance with funeral expenses may be considered for members, the spouses & children of members and for individuals for whom the member was “caretaker”
- Financial assistance for counseling will be considered if it is perceived that counseling would directly enable the individual to address a current financial situation
- Any other kind of financial aid, especially directed to members of the congregation, will be determined by the Pastor
Although not all inclusive, here is a list of some needs that may not be met by the Good Samaritan Fund:
- School expenses (i.e. tuition or fees)
- Business investments, or anything that brings financial profit to the individual or household applying
- Pay-off credit cards – Exceptions can be made when an individual has had to use a credit card in a crisis or emergency (e.g., hospitalization, death, etc.)
- Needs of individuals who are wanted by the law or for paying fines as a result of breaking the law
- Legal fees
- Penalties related to late payments or irresponsible action
Requests for help / disbursement