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Good Samaritans Volunteers Helping Victims Program Handbook and Training Guide
Top navigation About This Guide Message From the Director Acknowledgments About the Authors Related Links
Photo: Man and woman looking out of a broken window.

Publication Date: April 2009

minus iconFilling a Void—Origins of the Program
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minus iconVolunteers: Recruiting,
Screening, and Training

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minus iconModule 2: The Victim Experience
minus iconModule 3: Basic Skills for Volunteers
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What Good Samaritans Do

Coming to the Aid of Victims

Hundreds of crime victims have been touched by the work of Good Samaritans.

Here are a few of their stories . . .

A safe place

A Good Samaritans volunteer visited an older woman to secure her door after she had been burglarized. The victim was in a wheelchair and had hired people to care for her during the day, but at night she was by herself. The volunteer also noticed that the woman's thermostat gave off sparks when the temperature was being adjusted.

The older victim told the volunteer she had been trying to find a nursing home but did not know how to get assistance. The Good Samaritans and the Area Agency on Aging went into action, and the once-lonely crime victim is now in a nursing home, happy to be in a safe and secure place.

Shattered glass

A single mother with a disability, who had recently moved to Mobile to care for her aging parents, awakened one morning to the sounds of breaking glass and strange voices in her living room.

She ran into her closet and hid behind the clothing on the rack until the intruders left. When she ventured into her living room, she found her window broken and her stereo stolen.

A Good Samaritans volunteer learned that the woman was unemployed and could not afford to repair the damage. Alabama Glass and Mirror donated the glass and labor to repair the window. "As a result," the crime victim said, "I will sleep a little better tonight."

Home again

A 75-year-old grandmother was away from home when burglars struck. She returned to her mobile home to find a window broken, personal possessions stolen, and the entire place ransacked.

When Good Samaritans learned from the victim's daughter that her mother could not return to the home until it was secured, the volunteers went into action. Mobile Glass donated the materials and sent two men to install the new window.

"Now I can stay in my home and feel safe again," the grandmother said.

Lighting the way

An older man whose home had been broken into nearly 50 times in the past decade suffered yet another break-in.

Good Samaritans volunteers helped him assess his security options. They discovered that the senior citizen's home, situated in a secluded and dark area, would benefit from some security lighting. Alabama Power and the City of Mobile were contacted, and the necessary lighting was installed.

"This is the first time anyone has offered to help me with my burglary problem," the elderly man told the volunteers. "I am grateful that someone cared enough to call."

Cool help for wounded youth

While swimming at a public pool, a teenage boy was shot by assailants three times—in each leg and his torso. While the boy was recovering in the hospital, the Good Samaritans were asked to find him a window air conditioner.

Volunteers delivered the unit to the family the next week. The boy's response—"My wounds still hurt, but the cool air will help me feel more comfortable and allow me to get better quickly."