The Carriage Campaign is in full swing. We've raised $63,337 of the $85,000!
My name is Sara Buchholz. I am the executive director of Samaritan's Carriage. I started working for Samaritan's Carriage in January 2022. Previous to Samaritan's Carriage, I worked 32 years for Grand Rapids Christian Schools, 23 years in the Administrative Offices.
I love working with Samaritan's Carriage and I am having a marvelous time meeting guests from each of the nine homes and connecting with the Life Enrichment Coordinators and all 70 of the volunteers.
My favorite part of each outing is listening. Once a question is asked then our guests begin to talk and the words just flow. We hear about their lives and the adventures they went on as children. Sometimes we hear about their children and grandchildren. It is alway enlightening to hear their life experiences.
Recently on an outing to a park a gentleman was painting as we walked by. He stopped and interacted with the guests, later he came by our group and commented on the "angels" he had spoken to and he shared a poem with us.
"Every outing is an adventure and a blessing!"
Samaritan's Carriage is currently idle during the winter months. We are excited to start a new year of outings.
Below is a review of the 2023 outings.
It's unbelievable how quickly the year went by.
We saw the butterflies at Meijer Gardens, took walks through Millennium Park and smelled the flowers at Countryside Greenhouse. We visited the Rockford Dam and Lake Michigan. We saw Big Red, walked the boardwalk along Lake Macatawa and visited a little museum. We had a picnic lunch under the pavilion and rolled down the boardwalk in the sand to get closer to the lake.
The temperature changed and our outdoor outings came to a close but not before seeing all the colors of the mums at the Farmers Market or the colors of the trees along the highway going to the Anema Friesian Horse Farm. What fabulous memories were made there and a flood of memories came rushing back from the sights, sounds and
smells of a horse farm.
The December outings were to Meijer Gardens to see the Christmas trees from around the world.
Each visit is different and we always have a great time. Our guests love getting out of their homes and onto the carriage and off to explore a new adventure.
Earlier this year there was a group of 5 ladies whose cumulative age was 469 years. One of them was 100! She told me it wasn't that bad getting old! I loved her attitude. She enjoyed every second of the outing and made sure we knew she was having a great time.
In October 2023 Samaritan's Carriage announced a
Our bus is 22 years old! It will need to be replaced soon.
Please help us raise $85,000 to purchase a new bus. The thought of having to tell a home that we can no longer provide outings for them would be devastating.
In 2024 we will serve 10 homes and there are other homes wanting to participate. We need your help to not only sustain our mission, but to purchase a bus to ensure the mission of bringing joy to those with limited mobility continues many years into the future.
Please send in your contributions, the joy you are providing is palatable. One gentleman had not been out of his facility in four years. For people without family in the area, Samaritan's Carriage provides an opportunity for them to see life beyond their four walls. It is our honor to provide those experiences. Your gift helps ensure that these adventures will continue.
We create experiences for 50 seniors every month.
But, not only the seniors are blessed. Every volunteer is blessed. The families of our guests are blessed to know their loved one is having fun. The homes are so appreciative of Samaritan's Carriage coming every month to offer an experience for their residents.
Joni writes, "You don’t know what a blessing you all are to our staff and residents."
Your donation isn't just for one person's experience,
it benefits the entire community.
Thanks again for your generosity.
Samaritan's Carriage is grateful to Gary for his insightful vision in creating Samaritan's Carriage as a way to connect with members of society who have limited mobility. Especially those who live in Senior Living Homes or rehabilitation centers. He saw a need in the community at large and he stepped in to make a difference. We miss Gary and we thank Gary and Eileen for their tremendous gift of creating Samaritan's Carriage.
Samaritan's Carriage began in 2002. Try to imagine the impact this organization has had on loneliness for 21 years!
• Each outing consists of 5 guests and 5 volunteers and a driver
• 9 homes each month
• 9 outings per year
• 382 guests a year
• There are over 70 volunteers and a part-time director
• 19 different locations were visited last year
• Average of 675 miles traveled in a month
• Smiles received - too many to count!
• Hours and hours of loneliness alleviated -
Samaritan's Carriage will continue Gary and Eileen's Legacy far into the future!!
Samaritan's Carriage is a nonprofit organization dedicated to bringing joy to those with limited mobility in the greater Grand Rapids area. The Samaritan's Carriage itself is a bus with a lift that can seat up to five people in wheelchairs. We are partnered with nine nursing homes in the Grand Rapids area. Each nursing home is designated
Samaritan's Carriage is a nonprofit organization dedicated to bringing joy to those with limited mobility in the greater Grand Rapids area. The Samaritan's Carriage itself is a bus with a lift that can seat up to five people in wheelchairs. We are partnered with nine nursing homes in the Grand Rapids area. Each nursing home is designated one day a month to go on a special outing with a team of Samaritan's Carriage volunteers. Each team of volunteers is made up of five companions, and one driver. The companions push the guests in wheelchairs and spend time getting to know the guests. What makes our ministry so special is that we provide these outings and experiences free of charge.
Samaritan's Carriage, Inc. is an independent 501 C (3) non-profit organization. We are completely funded by donations. All contributions are tax deductible.
Samaritan's Carriage was founded in 2002 with the goal to bring some joy to the lives of people living with limited mobility especially in nursing homes in the greater Grand Rapids area. During Covid our carriage sat idle for two years. Now that Samaritan's Carriage is able to go out again we are having such wonderful experiences. It doe
Samaritan's Carriage was founded in 2002 with the goal to bring some joy to the lives of people living with limited mobility especially in nursing homes in the greater Grand Rapids area. During Covid our carriage sat idle for two years. Now that Samaritan's Carriage is able to go out again we are having such wonderful experiences. It doesn't matter if the sun shines or the rain falls the ability to leave their homes and see some sights again is a huge blessing.
Our 20th year was fabulous. We visited twenty-two different locations. The guests and the volunteers have been blessed to spend time together. We all learn from each other.
Now 2023 is over and this was another incredible year. We discovered a few new locations to explore. Anema Family Friesian Horse Farm, Meijer Heritage Museum, VerHage Car Museum to name a few.
As an expression of God’s love, Samaritan’s Carriage tailors experiences and personal encounters that affirm, bless and bring joy into the lives of persons having limited mobility.
Sharing God's love with Persons with Limited Mobility
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