While taking in and giving out clothes may be what they’re known for, the Marlow Samaritans do much more.

Bill Carter, president, said, “We get so much clothing that sometimes we have to give it to whoever else needs it.”

The Samaritans maintain a clothing shop, where items are donated and available for any needy person to look through. The only donated clothes not given away are clothes that are dirty or unusable.

Carter said that although many items are donated to the United Way agency, certain types of clothes were more plentiful than other types.

“We get a lot of older men’s and older women’s clothes,” he said. “We don’t get as many children’s or teenagers’ clothes as we’d like.”

The clothing shop is the only service provided by the agency that is open to all of Stephens County. Other services are available only to people in Marlow, Bray and Central High.

One of them is providing groceries for families in need.

Peggy Darnall, member, said, “Bill is in charge of food distribution. And believe me, we give away a lot of groceries.”

The Samaritans can supply 12 to 18 families with groceries in any given month. Different families are chosen to receive food from month to month.

Carter said the agency has received a lot of donated food items, which allows them to give the families decent amounts of food.

“We get a lot, so we’re able to give a lot,” he said.

In August, the agency received 704 pounds of ground beef, which was stored in a meat market in Marlow.

Canned foods, including green beans, corn, fruits and pork and beans, are also frequently donated, Carter said. The agency also gets many boxes of macaroni and cheese, which allows it to give four boxes to each family.

When groceries are purchased for a family, some food items included are potatoes, onions, eggs, milk, margarine, shortening and flour.

“Almost all of them that get it, need it,” Carter said.

The Samaritans also purchase food around Christmas time to provide families with Christmas dinners.

Darnall said, “Every Christmas, people start calling in and telling how many they have in their families. We give them everything they need for a Christmas dinner.

“The only perishable items are the margarine and the eggs.”

Last year, the agency had dinners ready to be given to 184 families on the Saturday before Christmas.

The preparation is held on Saturday to allow for more volunteers, which usually includes the Boy Scouts, Marlow High School and the MHS Student Council, Marlow Middle and Elementary schools, and churches. The food is boxed in about 2 1/2 hours in the elementary cafeteria.

Aside from clothes and food, the Samaritans occasionally provide help with utilities by using Federal Emergency Management Agency funds.

Darnall said, “Our main objective is to not have their power cut off because it could be costly to turn back on.”

The agency will pay up to $75 on utilities. Only a finite amount of funds are given to the agency by FEMA each month.

“As long as we get FEMA funds, we can help with utilities,” she said.

The agency also helps with paying for medication and takes in donated furniture.

“Bill has a big house, and I’ll tell you it’s full of Samaritan stuff,” Darnall said.

While the Samaritans may give away many items to the needy people of Marlow, Carter said there was one thing they would not give.

“One thing we don’t give out is money,” he said.

Carter and Darnall said the agency depended heavily on United Way because it provided them with the help the agency needs.

“It’s helping us tremendously, since we’re the only United Way agency in Marlow,” Darnall said.

Carter said United Way meant more than just the help provided to the agencies.

“I think United Way is everybody’s friend,” he said.

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