Who we are
Rockport-Fulton Good Samaritans, Inc. is a organization established by volunteers, built by volunteers, and manned by volunteers. Our only paid staff are a contracted bookkeeper and a technology consultant.
Volunteers include long-time residents, retirees, "Winter Texans," local church members, and others who are willing to give their time to help others. Although from varied backgrounds, all volunteers have a single goal: to lend a hand to those in need.
The approximately 50 volunteers work many hours to keep our doors open to help low-income families. We give out food and help with clothing. We provide assistance with utilities, medical services, and many other services. Our goal is to make life better for the less fortunate of Aransas County.
A Little Good Samaritans History
Over 30 years ago, leaders of our community recognized that we had some special problems in Aransas County. The traditional businesses, like commercial fishing, were in decline. Retirees were flooding into the area, and Winter Texans were enjoying our warmer climate during the winter. Vacationers were also drawn to our area. Housing costs and other expenses were increasing, but the job pay of working residents did not keep up. Local government agencies, churches, and other organizations found they could not keep up with the overwhelming requests for assistance. Church leaders and a group of local residents created a new organization.
Rockport-Fulton Good Samaritans, Inc. was established in 1990 with a simple mission: To provide short-term aid to people in Aransas County in need of essential goods and services. The founders sought and received funding from individuals, churches, clubs, and businesses throughout the county. By June of 1991, the organization was functioning successfully.
The Good Samaritans Center began operation in a small building at 302 N. Live Oak but after a few short years, the organization moved to the Little Blue House at 507 South Ann Street. In 2002, Good Samaritans moved into the larger facility at the same address. Through the volunteer efforts of many organization and individuals, the new center was built at minimal cost. It was designed specifically to meet the needs of the growing organization.
Rockport-Fulton Good Samaritans continues to help the residents of Aransas County. Many of the clients are hard-working people with low-paying jobs or have lost their jobs because of changes brought about by Hurricane Harvey and the COVID-19 pandemic. Others are retired or disabled, living on fixed incomes that are not keeping up with the escalating cost of living. More homeless are on our streets than ever before.
The Coastal Bend is a beautiful place to live, but it is not hospitable to those with low or no income. Public transportation is virtually nonexistent, there is no hospital in Aransas County, and most social services are miles away. The ever increasing tide of vacationers has made short-term rentals more profitable than the long-term, making it difficult for clients to find affordable housing. Many of the jobs in the area are seasonal which makes them exempt from minimum wage requirements. It is difficult for many who work in our hotels and restaurants to provide for themselves and their families.
At Good Samaritans, we know we cannot solve all the problems that we see, but we believe we can provide assistance to give our neighbors the gift of hope and make their lives a little bit better.
Our funding sources
In 2022, funding for our operations came from the following:
Good Samaritans has only no employees. All work is done by volunteers and two contracted professionals - a bookkeeper and a technology consultant. We are careful to keep our operating expenses very low, so most of the donations we receive go to directly to the needs of our clients.
The majority of the work is done by a core group of volunteers, numbering anywhere from 50-60 individuals. They work regularly to obtain funding, stock the pantry, meet our clients, and complete all the tasks necessary to keep the Service Center open and functioning properly. Most volunteers work several hours a week, some more. They are a wonderful group of people who care about their neighbors and take action to make our community a better place for all.
We are governed by a Board of Directors, consisting of a executive committee members made up of Good Samaritans volunteers, the past chairman, members of the community, and representatives from our participating churches. The Executive Committee consists of officers and team leaders.
Participating churches are actively involved with Rockport-Fulton Good Samaritans, Inc. The churches regular contributions, both monetary and participation, and a representative from each church serves on the board of directors.
First United Methodist Church
First Baptist Church
First Presbyterian Church
Holy Cross Lutheran Church
St Peters Episcopal Church
Salt Lake Baptist Church
Sacred Heart Catholic Church
Unity Church in Rockport