Just a stone’s throw away from Rowan University sits the Samaritan Center, a shining pillar of light in the community. Rowan Blog contributor Bianca Gray shares: “As a Rowan student, many of us are volunteering in many different places around the state, but maybe we should take the time to learn more about how we can volunteer our time to the community we all call home.”
The Samaritan Center, also known as the Glassboro Food Bank, is a nonprofit organization located on 123A East High Street. For years, they have been dedicated to providing food and clothes for the low income residents of Glassboro, and Rowan students are starting to get involved in a major way. The Samaritan Center is happy to accept help and donations from any Rowan student looking to make a difference; here are some ways that you can get involved.
Volunteering is a must for any Rowan student. It’s a great way to get involved around the community and help a good cause at the same time. Students looking to volunteer with the organization could be given a couple of different tasks. They could help with distributing and packaging food, organizing food and clothing within the center, or help to maintain the center’s garden. Senior Writing Arts and Marketing major Melanie Kosick volunteered with the organization during the fall Thanksgiving Turkey Drive.
“We mainly just packaged bags with cranberry sauce, stuffing mix and other Thanksgiving foods for families, handing out a turkey and a gallon of milk with each bag,” Melanie tells us. “Honestly, I really enjoyed the entire experience. Not only did I enjoy working with the staff, but it was a nice way to give back for the holidays.”
Melanie’s not the only Prof lending a helping hand though. The organization’s president, Ingres Simpson, is an adjunct professor at Rowan in the Elementary Education program. Simpson first joined the organization back into 2014 after retiring from her previous job as a Supervisor of Instruction at a local public school. She works alongside other retirees to help achieve the Samaritan Center’s primary goal: providing food and clothing to Glassboro residents in need.
“I am totally committed to our work at the Samaritan Center,” Simpson shares. “It is especially rewarding to be able to help people within my community who struggle to feed themselves and their families.”
Along with helping those in need feed their families, the Samaritan Center also provides clothing through their Clothing Closet. The clothing is priced anywhere from 25 cents to $3.00. As stated earlier, volunteers could be asked to help organize the clothing, but for those who don’t have the time to spare and would still like to give back, the organization is always accepting clothing donations.
The Samaritan Center is open from Monday – Thursday from 12 p.m. – 3 p.m. On Mondays and Wednesdays, volunteers may help with distributing government-issued food to families and individuals who meet the federal guidelines for low income status. From 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays, the Center provides gently used clothing for men, women, and children, which is especially necessary this time of year.
Anyone interested in working with the Samaritan Center should visit the Center’s website where they can not only express their interest in volunteering with the organization but donate anything they have to offer.
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Bianca Gray, senior English major
Stephanie Batista, junior music industry major