A little old lady who needs someplace affordable to live.
A refugee looks to have a better life in America but needs to learn and adapt to this new land.
A child in foster care looks for his or her forever family or prays his or her parents can someday take them home.
The season of giving may have you thinking about how these people are faring as contemplate what to get your Aunt Lurena.
Well, there is a place that helps them and others, but it needs money to operate. You can help by bidding on items at the non-profit Samaritas online auction … and, at the same time, finding that special gift.
The dollars raised will go the organization’s programs, including foster care for refugees, senior care, and affordable housing.
The auction runs from Sunday, Nov. 15 at 12 a.m. through Sunday, Nov. 22 at 11:59 p.m. and has a wide range of items up for bid that could give you a jumpstart on the holidays.
To bid you must first register online here or by texting “Samaritas Auction” to 243725.
Usually occurring at a gala, Samaritas moved everything online this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The pandemic has dramatically impacted the people Samaritas cares for,” says Lauren Brosch, Samaritas special events and community engagement manager. “Many of our clients were already having a tough time before the pandemic and now they are suffering from even greater issues like economic instability and food insecurity.”
Some of the featured “staycation” auction items include:
- Auction item No. 101 – Suite Summer Escape Package to Boyne Mountain for the family or a group of friends at the Innsbrook Suite in the Mountain Grand Lodge.
- Auction Item No. 105 – Ski Weekend at The Homestead Ski Resort for four people includes lodging in Fiddler’s Pond, rental equipment and lift tickets.
- Auction Item No. 117 – Private Dinner with Beer Pairing for ten includes a private dining and beer pairing experience at the New Holland Brewing – Pub on 8th Street in Grand Rapids. Each course will be perfectly paired with a New Holland beer.
If you’re a music lover be sure the check out the private live concert in your backyard, donated by Lost Voices and the Backyard or the barn party in West Michigan with Michigan’s number 1 cover band – BRENA Band.
Among the items are big ticket items like a ski weekend at a resort in Glen Harbor and a private dinner with beer pairing for 10 donated by New Holland Brewery to lower ticket items like a Red Wings hockey puck signed by Patrick Nemeth, a giant bean bag chair.
You can also bid on some original artwork, photo sessions, a lifetime membership at Eastern Market Brewing Co., some lovely jewelry, sports memorabilia, and much more.
There is no need to worry about timing if the pandemic keeps us from traveling and social distancing. “Everything is flexible,” says Brosch.
Also, on the auction block is a lot called “Invest in Samaritas” where you can donate any amount.
“It is a way people can give back to Samaritas on a donor level,” says Brosch.
You can also go to the Samaritas website and donate directly to the program of most importance to you.
“The challenges really run the gambit but proceeds from fundraisers like the online auction can help Samaritas replenish food pantries and train people for jobs,” says Brosch.
This year it is especially important since, like so much else these days, COVID has put strain on finances. Things like PPE and testing are increasingly important for those working with seniors who are at risk.
The foster care program also draws special needs for care. When possible, many young people in foster care are visited by their parents, which brings in an increased risk of infection. The Samaritas foster care program helps 800 kids in Michigan daily.
All items have been donated to the Samaritas. All money goes directly to the organization and is distributed among all programs such as foster care, affordable housing and senior care, which fosters independent living, and the New American program. That program helps refugees adapt and fine prosperity in America by helping with everything from paperwork to finding employment.
The Samaritas auction could be a double-whammy way to tap into the spirit of giving this holiday season. And you might find that special gift for Aunt Lurena.