Mary Stotera receives Good Samaritan Award

The event just happened to fall on Stotera’s 93rd birthday.

The Good Samaritan Award is given annually to a resident of the greater Winslow area who must have performed an extraordinary act of charity or who otherwise provided assistance to a person or persons in need or in despair. The recipient must have performed these acts outside their regular line of duty, which means that a minister or pastor can never be the recipient of the award.

Stotera has only lived in Winslow for approximately four years. During that short time, she has founded Helping Hands with her friend, Nurse Bev Mullen. Helping Hands is the medical supply ministry of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, which makes available such items as wheelchairs and crutches to those needing such supplies. The ministry was begun with donated items, but Stotera took it upon herself to write grant requests and was successful in receiving $7,000 from Episcopal Community Services. She and Mullen have used the funds to acquire a metal container to house the supplies, purchase new supplies, begin an advertising campaign to inform the public of the service, and set up a telephone answering system to monitor the requests.

Stotera noted another need in the community and began working to provide access ramps for the homes of people in need of such a provision. She wrote another successful grant proposal and is working actively to meet this need.

She is not just a grant writer. She phones and visits recipients to determine their other needs, bringing her Christian faith to personal contacts.

Helping Hands is a successful endeavor, but is not the end of Stotera’s ministry. She is actively supporting the establishment of Alice’s Place, the domestic violence shelter, with her time and money. She is the primary St. Paul’s Episcopal Church parish visitor to the congregation’s shut-ins, making weekly visits to bring Holy Communion. In most instances, she is older than the shut-ins she visits. She is also active in Spirit Journey, the congregation’s youth group, and recently served as a chaperone when the group met with a Navajo youth group in Fort Defiance.

Stotera serves on the Bishop’s Committee, the congregation’s board of oversight. When elected to the position, two positions were open, one for one year and another for three years. She was asked if she wanted the one-year term. She answered that she would like the three-year term, as it would commit her to stay active.

The Winslow Ministerial Association honored Stotera for her successful efforts to show Christian charity and make her new community better for her having been here.

After the award was presented, the audience sang “Happy Birthday” to the most-deserving honoree.

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