Community support helps boost non-profit’s mission

Local News

DECATUR, Ill. (WCIA) — The votes rolled in and a local non-profit came out on top. The Good Samaritan Inn is getting thousands of dollars as part of a neighborhood assist grant.

It was given to 40 organizations serving their communities. People all over the country voted.

At the Good Samaritan, you’ll be fed and trained for a new job. Andrew Leinard is part of the Mercy Programs Job Training.

“I was having a hard time finding a job and at the same time, I was very interested in this program and the sustainability of it.”

Cindy Jackson heads the program.

“We spend about eight weeks with them teaching them everything that happens to their food from the time the seed goes into the ground to the time we serve it out to our patrons at the new meal program.”

Now, they will be able to help their students even more. Mercy Programs got a $25,000 grant as part of State Farm’s Neighborhood Assist program. There were hundreds of submissions around the country.

“A grant review team at State Farm narrowed it down to about 200 organizations and programs. Then, it became a voting amongst the local community to narrow it down to the top 40.”

Good Samaritan Inn was one of 40 organizations from around the country to be chosen.

“This was a national contest and it just shows how much the Decatur community was willing to rally behind us and make sure we got this grant.”

They plan to use the money to get a gas heater and cooling unit for their greenhouse. They’ll be able to grow more produce and keep workers busy all season.

“In the wintertime, usually our hours get cut back. We can keep people on clear through the winter. It will help everyone’s paycheck.”

Helping paychecks and hungry bellies grow yearround. Good Samaritan Inn serves about 300 meals to the community daily.

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