It began more than twenty years ago, with a simple conversation in the Samaritan Counseling Center office.
Alta Landis, then a therapist at Samaritan Counseling Center, was walking in the office and came upon Linda Peacock, a longtime volunteer and supporter of Samaritan.
“Linda, I’ve been thinking about this for a long time,” said Alta. “We have a lot of women who come in here to get counseling who can’t afford it. They don’t have enough even for the co-pay — or they don’t have insurance at all.
“It seems like we ought to be able to do something,” she said. “You know, Lancaster County is full of wonderful women who are willing to help out, I’m sure!”
Linda considered what Alta said and replied, “Well, why don’t we put on a lunch, and just invite a bunch of women and see how it works?”
It worked better than they ever expected.
After organizing the Silent Samaritan luncheon and a panel of experts to share thoughts and insights with attendees, they found they had raised more than $16,000 from only 150 women.
Today’s Silent Samaritan
Fast-forward 26 years, and this group of more than 1,600 women has raised $1.4 million to support the counseling and mental health care needs of women within Lancaster County.
And the ripple effects of the Silent Samaritans continue to be found in the lives of many women across Lancaster.
Founding member Ginjr Humphreys Robinson stumbled across one such life. The woman she met was raising young children, going through a master of divinity program and in the midst of a difficult divorce. Because of the Silent Samaritans, the woman was able to receive counseling to help her through this difficult time, continue her studies and become ordained as a minister.
Many women who receive funds through the Silent Samaritans have a similar story. They were in a deep, dark place and the Silent Samaritans provided help to navigate their way out of their difficult journeys and into a place of healing.
That’s why the Silent Samaritans continue their work today, including the celebration of women helping women at their annual luncheon, which will be held this year on Thursday, November 11 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.