Q&A with Debbie Rambo with Samaritan Community Center for 1 Million Meals

Friday, April 28 at 05:35 AM
Category: Arvest Community News

The Samaritan Community Center* has been serving Northwest Arkansas since 1989 where it started out as a clothing ministry and quickly turned into a food pantry instead. We’re grateful to be joining together to fight hunger in our 1 Million Meals initiative.

Debbie Rambo was happy to do a Q&A with us, so we could learn more about the Samaritan Community Center’s efforts to help our neighbors in need.

What’s your involvement with Samaritan Community Center, and how did you get started?
While I initially began as a volunteer when the organization was an outreach of my church, I have been the executive director for the Samaritan Community Center since it became an independent nonprofit organization in 2002. 

I have always had a desire to serve others which is something that my parents modeled for me as a child as they continually served other persons in need. Leading the organization since it became a nonprofit has also allowed me to develop a leadership team that is passionate about our mission, an amazing group of dedicated volunteers, and an organizational culture that strives to care for the whole person in a loving, grace-filled environment. 

What’s a compelling experience you’ve had during your time with Samaritan Community Center?
There was a gentleman named Mark that we regularly served over the years who was homeless and mentally ill. We helped to get him into permanent housing multiple times, but his illness just made an apartment too confining for him. Through the years, we just kept an eye out for him helping him with groceries on a regular basis or the occasional hotel room during extreme weather. He loved coffee, was particular about what he would or would not eat, and had the most amazing blue eyes. 

Last year, Mark passed away, and we had the opportunity to meet his extended family. I learned that he had been an aviation mechanic and had a son in the military. His brothers had those same blue eyes and they were filled with tears to know that we had loved Mark just the way he was. There is not a single day that goes by that I don’t think of Mark and wish I could just buy him a cup of coffee or take him some fresh fruit and granola bars.

How can people get involved with Samaritan Community Center?
There are a variety of ways in which people can get involved. We are a volunteer-driven organization with people doing everything from stocking the food shelves in our market to serving meals in our café to weeding or planting in our garden to sorting clothes in our thrift store. We can work with groups to do special projects on-site and food or personal care item drives off-site. Donations of quality clothing, household items and furniture to thrift stores are important too as one-third of our support comes from the stores. Financial support is easy and can be done online through our website* or by texting to give (text SCC to 555-888). 

We’d love to have you involved in our 1 Million Meals initiative to help the Samaritan Community Center* and our other food partners.  

Four Easy Ways to Donate:
  • Donate via Phone – Customers can make a $1 (or more) donation by calling (866) 952-9523. Funds will be drawn directly from your Arvest account.
  • Donate via Mail – Mail a check to Arvest Bank Operations, ATTN: 1MM, P.O. Box 799, Lowell, AR 72745. Include 1 Million Meals in the memo line of the check.
  • Donate in a Branch – Stop by your local Arvest Bank branch. Cash and check contributions accepted.
  • Donate Arvest Flex Rewards™ – Customers can redeem points for a 1 Million Meals donation. Log in at arvestflexrewards.com, and click on the banner for 1 Million Meals to get started!
We’ll Donate $1 Each Time You:
  • Follow us on Instagram.
  • Like or share our 1 Million Meals Facebook posts.
  • Retweet our 1 Million Meals tweets on Twitter on April 21 and May 10.

Links marked with * go to a third-party site not operated or endorsed by Arvest Bank, an FDIC-insured institution.       

Tags: 1 Million Meals, Arkansas, Arvest Benton County, Charitable Giving, Community Support, Northwest Arkansas, Rogers
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