Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Not New Year Re-soul-utions

I'm not a big fan of those lists that try and sum up the end of the year by ranking things. We spend countless hours listing the pros and cons of everything from favorite foods to least likable movie stars. Politicians, musical acts, and sports teams all get their own Top 10 lists during this bizarre time of year that asks us to reflect back on what is important. Sometimes its a bit absurd, really. Will making a list of the year's best television pet food commercials help me look forward into the new year with any real advantage?

To be honest, I'm also not too keen on end of the year reflections. They seem arbitrary. What happens if I start slacking off around mid-October but have decided that January 1st is the day I'm going to clean everything up? Do I get free pass for two and a half months to just hang out and revel in whatever deficiency I am floundering in? After all... the resolutions don't begin until January. Admittedly, it is a bad mix when a person doesn't like end of the year lists and arbitrary start dates, so what can be done? I must begin the year in Grinch-like fashion and snub my nose at these traditions.

Or, I can try to readjust my thinking to capture the spirit of these lists and embrace the reason we make resolutions. No reason to toss the holiday baby out with the yuletide bathwater.

The idea behind a list of 'favorite things' is so that we can find enjoyment by recalling events that make us happy. It's fine to look at what other people have accomplished if we can also recognize the achievements in our own lives. And its not a competition. There is no sense in comparing your life story with everyone else's. Measure your own accolades and be proud of your life. The choices you have made have led to where you are and there is no point in lamenting lost time. If you regret some of your prior decisions, then do what it takes to not repeat them. If you are content, then be thankful and move forward. But I would argue that all of us have something to look fondly and reflect upon. Focus on these. Remember that you do not live in isolation and your life has meaning and importance to others. This world is a better place with you in it.

Hopefully, we can skip the second issue. If we chose to only live well and make proper decisions because a certain date on the calendar unfurls, then we have bigger issues to address than charity to all humanity. Perhaps a medical check up might be in order. I encourage us all to begin today... this second (well, at least after you finish this article). Dig deep into the recesses of your being and don't wait until January 1st. Do your best to not only improve your own life, but take the necessary steps to make life better for others. Your actions are important and help play a pivotal role in the world around you. Encounter a resolution of the soul, and not just the season.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Thanks so Much!

The Holidays are the busiest times of the year for Samaritan House. It seems we get stretched and turned around every which way and sometimes don't know if we are coming or going. They say that many hands make light work, but what are you to do if there is a lack of many hands?

You rely on volunteers and support from the community.

Over the past few weeks we have been incredibly blessed by so many of you. The phones rang off the hook and we used as many helpers as we could. You, in the community, have helped us by donating time and resources. You have brought gifts for people you will never meet out of the goodness of you heart.

You have served meals and relinquished your valuable holiday time so that others could be blessed. We, at Samaritan House, do our best to accommodate our residents but it would be nearly impossible without your help. Thank you so much for everything and we truly appreciate this entire community and all our friends and families that are so supportive.

Happy Holidays, from everyone at Samaritan House.

Friday, December 21, 2012

You Will Make A Difference!

Christmas will be here in less than 3 weeks. I write that as an irrefutable fact, but also with a little surprise and amazement tossed in for good measure. Is it really that time of year again? I feel like I just deflated the oversized Santa on my lawn and dumped the tree that sacrificed its life so I could have an indoor climbing post for my cat. As for the lights... Well, they stay up year round.

Many of you are calling and inquiring about how you can help Samaritan House for the holidays. For this we are truly grateful, because we can use a great deal of it right now. Every year we do our best to provide some items for our residents at Christmas. This year is no different and I have included some information that, hopefully, will be helpful if you wish to participate this year. We are trying our best to round up these things for those who will be spending Christmas with us. In addition to the list below, we also have children in the shelter who we are trying to buy some toys for. If you are interested in helping out, please call Cary at 257-5801.

27 men 12 women
 Warm Socks
Hand Warmers foot warmers
Chap Stick
Foot Powder
Instant Coffee Packets
Hot Coco Packets
Cider packets
Disposable razors
Perfume/cologne/body spray
playing cards/card games
cribbage games
shampoo conditioner
body wash
Ice Walkers
Face lotion body lotion
Laundry soap

 For many years you have been a source of blessing and strength to our residents and we ask that you would consider helping us once again. We are in need of these items for gift bags that we are trying to assemble by Christmas. There is still plenty of time to help if you want to donate any of these or even bring in a financial donation, all of which are tax deductible. Thank you so much and we appreciate all you do for us.

Monday, December 17, 2012

National Homeless Persons Memorial Day - December 21

December is a time for reflection and remembrance. We gather with friends and family to look back on everything that happened and what is still to come. December 21 is a special day to many because it marks the Winter Solstice, in which we have the least amount of daylight for any day throughout the year.

In Kalispell, Samaritan House will be hosting it's second annual Homeless Rememberance Day, in conjunction with the National Homeless Person's Rememberance Day. We will join together with more than 150 other cities across the country, including Billings, Missoula and Helena. On this day with the fewest hours of sunlight, Executive Director Chris Krager will read a roll call to honor every homeless person who died in Montana over the past year. Words will be spoken by various community members and there will be a time set aside for anyone who wishes to make a statement of honor for those who have passed.

The memorial ceremony is open to the community and will begin at noon in Depot Park. Coffee and chilli will be served and the entire service will last roughly 45 minutes. 

For more information, please call 257-5801. 

Friday, December 14, 2012

Our Hearts and Thoughts...

Samaritan House is heartbroken by the events that transpired in Connecticut today. All of our thoughts go out to the entire community of Newtown and to the families of everyone who is living in the midst of this tragedy. This senseless act of violence begs us to treasure those around us and to hold close the loved ones in our own lives.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

How to Save a Life (Blood Drive)

Imagine the world’s lamest superhero. I’m not sure what this person’s (lack of) power might entail, but it would be largely ineffective. He or she likely has no comic books named after them, either. Perhaps this person’s lone claim to notoriety is that they have never saved anyone. Well, here is your chance to do something more monumental than the world’s lamest superhero. In fact, I am presenting you with the opportunity to do something quite heroic…

On Wednesday, December 19th, you can play a part in saving someone’s life.

Samaritan House will be hosting a blood drive with the Red Cross and we still have opportunities to sign up from 2pm until 5pm. For more information, call Cary at 257-5801. The blood drive will be at the Samaritan House Administrative Center located at 1110 2nd Street West in Kalispell.

You don’t have to be a superhero to save someone. You will do nicely…just the way you are.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Help Portrait 2012 at Samaritan House

Samaritan House will be hosting a Help Portrait event at the Administrative Center on December 8th.
Help Portrait is a movement of photographers who are using their time, equipment and expertise to give back to those who are less fortunate. It provides a way for someone who otherwise could not afford a professional quality framed portrait.

Here are the details:

Help Portrait
December 8th, 2012
1 pm - 5 pm
Samaritan House Administrative Center
1110 2nd St West
Kalispell, MT
Lunch will be provided
a limited amount of hair and makeup assistance will be provided