A few decades ago, Lutheran Services Florida had the idea to launch an initiative that recognized those who are actively working to make their communities a better place.
That’s when the “Good Samaritan Initiative” was born—a celebration of those who are sacrificially loving and serving their neighbors in the name of Jesus Christ.
Local congregations were encouraged to nominate men and women in their churches with a heart for helping others. Then LSF representatives made a visit to recognize them for their selflessness and compassion.
Since the initiative launched, 21 “Samaritans” have received the honor and a banquet was recently held to thank them for all they do.
People from across the country were invited to tune into the virtual celebration. LSF CEO Sam Sipes opened the program by thanking all the good Samaritans – partners, donors, and employees—who work day in and day out to put others before themselves.
Then attendees were treated to an inspirational talk by Chris Field—an author and two-time TEDx speaker. He spoke to the importance of having the courage to help others and how it’s possible for everyone to rise to the occasion.
“Every day we see stories of hurting people,” Field said. “So many of us have the opportunity to be the kind of people who let ourselves feel alongside of them. But the Good Samaritan didn’t just feel—he responded. He had the courage to act on that compassion.”
Shortly after Field’s presentation, each of the 21 nominees was individually recognized.
“Each one plays a special role in bestowing God’s love in a world that desperately needs it,” said Amelia Fox, LSF’s Chief of Staff and Chief of Strategy Officer.
After each “Samaritan” was honored, Bill Lutes of Ameris Bank thanked some of the recipients with a monetary ‘thank you’ to encourage them along their journey of helping others.
“We appreciate those with a desire to make their churches and communities better,” he said. “I’m glad to be able to provide a small token of that appreciation for all they do.”
The Good Samaritan Banquet kicks off a season of celebrating LSF’s 40 years of bringing God’s healing, hope and help to people in need—a mission that continues to stand the test of time.
To learn more about how your church can participate in this year’s Good Samaritan Initiative, please visit https://www.lsfnet.org/goodsam/.