|Trinity Standard - Local News
Stories Added - June 2008
Copyright 2008 - Polk County Publishing Company
Etheredges step down from Good Sam House
Trinity Standard - June 2008
TRINITY – John and Laverne Etheredge, who were among the founders of the Good Samaritan House program in Trinity, resigned from the Good Sam Board last week.
The board accepted their resignations with regret and selected Stephen and Francis Richardson to serve as president and vice president and named Nellie Mosier as the operating director.
Mrs. Richardson and Mrs. Mosier also are both currently working at the Good Sam House as volunteers.
The Etheredges have been involved with the program since it was created 21 years ago and have helped supervise its operation. John Etheredge has served as the board president and Laverne Etheredge has volunteered her time as the operating director since it was created.
“We have really enjoyed working with this program,” John Etheredge said Monday. “We’ve gotten to know some really good people, but it is time to move on.”
The couple will soon relocate to Victoria to be closer to their daughter, a move that required them to end their direct involvement with the program.
The Good Samaritan House was launched 21 years ago when a committee of volunteers gathered to develop plans for a central food bank. The idea was to coordinate the activities of various churches and create a central distribution point to assist needy families.
John Milton, one of the original committee members, suggested they open a used clothing resale shop in order to generate an income that could be used to purchase food.
While skeptical members of the committee agreed to “give it a try,” many did not believe the shop would succeed.
When it opened in the old Ford Motor Co. building, the shop was an instant success and quickly outgrew the space.
The late Charles Elliott, who was a member of the then vacant Christian Church, offered to recommend to the few other remaining members that the building on Ramey Street be donated as a permanent location.
The other church members agreed and the Good Samaritan House had a permanent home.
Within two years, the Good Sam program was incorporated with tax exempt status.
During its first 10 years, the program furnished food to any needy family upon request. With the arrival of the federal Food Stamp program, the organization switched from providing food for the needy to the purchase of prescription medicine for those without medical insurance.
During the past 12 years, over $100,000 in prescription medicines have been provided to needy families by the Good Sam program.
In addition to providing medicine to the needy, the Good Sam program also furnishes free clothing, furniture and household items to needy families. A building in which the furniture is store was built by the program about 10 years ago.
Through their work at the Good Sam House, the Etheredges both became involved in the Christmas Basket Program which provides holiday food and toys to families in need.
For the first 18 years of the Christmas Basket Program, Etheredge helped raise money and volunteered to make the food purchases while Mrs. Etheredge supervised the filling of the baskets, making sure each family got the right amount of food based on the number of family members.
In addition to his work with Good Sam and the Christmas Basket program, Etheredge also served on the committee formed to create the Trinity Memorial Hospital District. At that time Trinity was faced with the real probability that it would lose its local hospital and the tax-collecting district was created to help insure it would survive.
Together with his brother, M.B. Etheredge of Huntsville, he also helped form a committee which organized the Lake Area National Bank (now the First Community Bank). Etheredge initially served as a bank director and as chairman of the loan committee.
Both Mr. and Mrs. Etheredge have received the Trinity Peninsula Chamber of Commerce’s Volunteer of the Year Award, with Mrs. Etheredge being presented the honor in May.