A Good Samaritan

Toni+Hoffman+of+Lenoir+City

Kiyah Moore

Toni Hoffman of Lenoir City

Community service, especially  in the eyes of high schoolers, is often forced–be it by  a club or organization. However, Toni Hoffman, a resident of Lenoir City (and my long time neighbor), has willingly done community service work at the Good Samaritan in Lenoir City for four years.

Hoffman began serving the Good Samaritan Center (GSC)  four years ago in February. Whilst working a secretarial position at the Loudon Medical Center, she caught wind of a part-time client services managing position at the GSC and immediately felt led to work there. Hoffman was employed there part time , however she estimates that she also devotes about fifteen hours a month solely to volunteer work there.

In a world where most people detest their jobs and rest their heads at night dreading the next morning to return to the place of their discomfort, Hoffman immensely enjoys her job, and, “…feels blessed everyday…”. She feels hopeful, joyful, sometimes angry, but always optimistic after a day’s work.

The GSC has great importance in Lenoir City. With over seven thousand pounds of food distributed to families in need each week and countless families receiving financial aid from them, the community center maintains a busy work day. Hoffman says that there are over two hundred volunteers (which is an exceptional amount, she adds) comprised of the elderly, teenagers, and everyone in between. She observes that there is , “…a caring atmosphere…” among the staff and volunteers.

The Good Samaritan provides assistance  with clothing, food, utilities, medication, gas money to get to doctor’s appointments, health screenings, and a storehouse of resources all for those struggling families. She  notes that sometimes they are unable to provide people with the things they need, however the Good Samaritan will always help them in some way. They call upon churches and organizations (i.e. the Lion’s Club) to help with anything they may fall short of. Hoffman remarks that the community plays a big part in this, not sparing the opportunity to describe the magnitude that Battle of the Bridge had this year, “Because of Battle of the Bridge , we received over nine thousand pounds of food and over thirty thousand dollars in monetary donations, which comes to over 160,000 dollars.”

As to working this job, Hoffman says that the benefits are beyond compare, “I think it has given me a better outlook on the world in general from the volunteers. People helping makes me feel like the world really is a better place where everyone is doing their part.” For the teenagers of the world, she highly recommends devoting their time to the community, “Do it. Just do it. There is no greater feeling than going to bed at night and knowing that you helped someone no matter how small the task is. It’s a great feeling.”

Hoffman continues to offer her time to the Good Samaritan every week, and hopes that someday they can help even more.