When Mel Peters was ready to move to a senior living location in Arkansas, he knew the Good Samaritan Society would be his future home.
“What I find here is they just go out of their way to help you,” says Mel, a resident at Good Samaritan Society – Mountain Home.
‘Good Samaritan’ a good sign
Mel’s very first contact with the Society came tragically during one of life’s trials in 1996. His daughter Sandy, who lived near Kissimmee, Florida, had a rare form of muscle cancer.
Mel and his wife Betty went to Florida to be with Sandy but were struggling to find a place to rent for a long-term stay.
“Driving down Orange Blossom (Trail), I saw this impressive gateway. As I got closer it said Good Samaritan on the arch,” Mel says.
Mel took it as a sign, was directed at the gate to the office and considers the rest divine providence.
“This lady said, 'We’re going to take care of you and if we don’t, we’re going to go out there and tear down that sign that says Good Samaritan,'” Mel says.
Not only did the staff at Good Samaritan Society – Kissimmee Village find him and his wife a place to stay on campus, but also a team member knew his daughter from a local church choir. Mel says Sandy was an outstanding soprano and would sing all over the area.
“I couldn’t believe the way I was treated,” Mel says.
After settling into a furnished apartment, the couple was able to turn their attention to their ailing child.
“Our daughter fought this thing, and we helped her what we could but eventually the Lord decided to take her to paradise. (God) said you can come sing in paradise,” Mel says.
While Mel would return to Arkansas, he never forgot the kindness shown to him at the Society.
“I thank God for the founders that had this idea to do this for people. It’s just amazing and I’m forever thankful for that,” Mel says.
Mel currently lives in a two-bedroom apartment at the Society in Mountain Home. He lost his wife Betty to cancer in 1999.
He credits the Society’s caregivers and activities department, led by Dre Casassa, for keeping him happy and healthy.
“People like Dre here have just been so good to us,” Mel says.
Dre adds, “I do believe that here at Good Samaritan we have a wonderful staff that reaches out and does extra for our residents."
100 years of service
Staying active and living with purpose, Mel is a cherished resident who comes to every event Dre hosts.
Celebrating 100 years of service in 2022, the Society is well-known for touching many lives.
“For a nonprofit organization to be around for 100 years, it really does say a lot,” Dre says. “We try to take that extra step to make them feel wanted and special and needed.”
A man of faith himself, Mel is a witness to the incredible impact the Society has had on those in need.
“Christianity in action is what I’ve seen. I know from the first time I saw that gate in Florida, that divine providential help was coming. After that there was just a string of these events that helped us. I thank God and I thank the people that founded Good Samaritan,” Mel says.