Good Samaritan Network Serves as a Countywide Philanthropic Facilitator
Writer / Alli Donovan
Nancy Chance has been helping the community of Hamilton County for as long as she can remember. As a lifelong community member with a love for giving back, she and other committee members found themselves wanting to help the county as construction and expansions began growing the town in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s. As the area grew, the group realized that someone would need to manage the nonprofits that would be established in Hamilton County. Thus, Good Samaritan Network, Inc. (GSN) was born.
“The whole premise that this idea revolved around was duplication of service,” Chance explains. “We didn’t want a lot of nonprofits all doing the same thing. We wanted high-quality services and robust programming from the 501(c)(3)s, to be able to help the entire county.”
GSN is a network of nonprofits in Hamilton County, led by Chance, and is considered a facilitator between services in the community. GSN collaborates with over 600 partners including 268 agencies, 280 churches, 43 food pantries, 69 schools and five hospitals.
GSN has two different approaches for their services: direct and indirect.
Direct services include a multitude of assistive opportunities for underserved or at-risk individuals and families in Hamilton County. These services can include emergency or crisis intervention, for housing and utility assistance, food insecurities, car repairs, medical and prescription assistance, as well as educational opportunities for improving individual independence. GSN provides direct care when clients have nowhere else to turn.
The network’s indirect services are designed to routinely communicate with the underserved and at-risk Hamilton County residents, and local nonprofits. This includes providing trainings, tools and resources, coordinating primary community-related events, and ensuring efficiency between nonprofits and clients.
Since 1995, GSN has developed a robust system of members to help connect and support at-risk individuals and families in Hamilton County. This consists of:
Nonprofit social, governmental, and emergency agencies throughout Hamilton County.
Food, clothing and baby pantries that stock, serve and support Hamilton County.
Township trustees who refer clients to GSN.
Local Hamilton County churches.
Partnering businesses and corporations who support GSN through community service projects, donations and events.
Chance credits the network with why this organization is so successful.
“I’m only one piece of the pie,” she says. “It takes every agency, pantry, clinic, etcetera, to work together efficiently to meet the needs of our community, and they do a spectacular job.”
Holiday Assistance has become one of GSN’s signature services. This program is made possible by the generous donations of Hamilton County residents, agencies, nonprofits, businesses and churches.
“Forty-three years ago, the Carmel and Noblesville fire and police departments actually encouraged me to start a Hamilton County holiday project,” Chance says. “They’ve been helping me with this project ever since.”
Holiday Assistance is able to reach over 46,000 people annually for Thanksgiving and Christmas, including holiday meals, clothing and gifts.
“It’s a really important program for our community,” Chance says. “This program makes it possible for some families to have a holiday.”
GSN is located on 13053 Parkside Drive in Fishers. To volunteer or donate, explore gsnlive.org. Call them at 317-842-2603.