Bridging the Gap: How Good Samaritan Stands Out in the Nonprofit Landscape
What makes Good Samaritan unique? How do we stand out when there are so many amazing non-profits out there doing life-changing work? What unique gap do we fill?
All of these were questions I had when I first started working at Good Samaritan. I quickly learned how needed and impactful our programs in Southern Missouri truly are. With our blend of small-scale local outreach and a statewide presence, we occupy a distinctive space in the realm of nonprofits.
I recently sat down with our President/CEO of Good Samaritan, Casey Wray, on both his job as a leader as well as a behind-the-scenes look into some of Good Samaritan’s future goals, past wins, and everything in between!
Serving Locally, Impacting Statewide
At Good Samaritan, we bridge the gap between large-scale nonprofits and small local organizations. Casey explains this saying, “We don’t have multiple locations, but we serve kids from all around the state. Our focus is especially down here in the southern part of Missouri where sometimes resources and programs are scarce. So we are able to fill that niche here, but then again, we also bring kids and serve families from the entire state. So as a nonprofit we occupy a unique space.” This blend of local focus and statewide impact is what makes us stand out in the nonprofit landscape.
A Balance of Contracts and Donations
At Good Samaritan, we rely on both government contracts that cover a set daily rate for our programs and generous donations from our supporters. Casey explains, “These contracts provide state and federal funding, although they may not cover the full cost of services.”
While we are so grateful for the support we receive at both a state and federal level, our incredible donors allow us to provide our youth and families with excellence. We hold ourselves to an extremely high standard and will never compromise on quality and excellent service.
Driven by Mission, Not Size
The decisions we make at Good Samaritan are not based on becoming the biggest or most well-known organization. Rather, our every move is driven by the mission of helping children and families. Casey emphasizes, “the last thing we want and the last thing anyone in our community needs is another program, either duplicating an existing service doing really well or trying to start something that that we’re not going to execute really well. That doesn’t mean we don’t learn, but it does ensure that everything that we expand into, we do it with service excellence.”
We are committed to addressing unmet needs with excellence. This determines how and where we expand our services. If we have the expertise to execute a program effectively and there is a gap in the community, we look to those areas to grow!
As Casey puts it, “We’re going to get bigger while maintaining our True North, which is helping kids and families with excellence.”
Leadership Rooted in Experience
At this point, I think it’s important to mention that Casey has been with Good Samaritan for a long time, and not just as CEO!
He was first hired as a therapist in 2002 and worked directly with the youth in our programs. He eventually took over as the Director of Transitional Living, helping mold the program into what it is today. His deep understanding of both our operations and the unique challenges our youth and families face make him an empathetic and knowledgeable leader.
And while Casey is uniquely suited to lead the organization, he mentions, “the challenge becomes not getting stuck in your ways and continuing to set a path for growth and making sure that we’re continuing to innovate in the way we’re serving families and kids.” Because he has been with the organization for so long, he challenges himself to constantly seek out new information and ways to innovate instead of getting stuck in the thinking of ‘that’s how it has always been done’.
Casey, along with the other incredible staff at Good Samaritan, ensures that we are always looking forward and thinking of new ways to better serve our youth and families!
The Best Part of the Job
To end our interview, I asked Casey what he loved best about his job. His answer? “There are so many favorite parts, I don’t even know where to start!”
Expanding on this he says,
“I love hearing the victory stories, the celebratory stories of kids and families… There’s nothing better than those phone calls or those emails we get from kids that have gone through and reaching back out and telling us how they’re doing.
I also love seeing our staff step into their passions. We have so many good people that love what they do. It lights a fire within them to do the things that they’re doing.
The other thing for me is that my ultimate goal is to make sure our people have every resource that they need to fulfill the mission that they’ve been given. And so I take a lot of enjoyment about making sure that behind the scenes we’re doing everything we can to make good fiscal decisions so that we can then turn that around and throw that back into the staff and the kids and the programs.”
The future of Good Samaritan is bright and we are so grateful to have Casey at the head of it all! Thanks to our dedicated staff, supporters, community partners, and volunteers we can look forward and plan for the future while always keeping the well-being of our youth and families at the center of everything we do. Want to learn more about what we do? Click here to learn more about the services we provide!