GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (Aug. 25, 2008) - The 2008 Samaritan Award, given to privately funded charities, was awarded to the Citizens for Community Values of Memphis, Tenn. By helping women and children escape the sex-for-sale industry, this charity through its Way Out program works to restore community and family values. The Samaritan Award includes a $10,000 grand prize from the Acton Institute.
Citizens for Community Values is a unique Christian organization helping women who are trapped in prostitution find a "way out" -- permanently. Relying on private donations, the charity provides these women and their children with counseling, health care and education. The charity aims to create healthy lifestyles, strong parenting skills and the ability for these women to start new productive careers.
Created in 2004, the Samaritan Award honors a private charity whose work is direct, personal and accountable. This award recognizes "grassroots" nonprofit organizations that receive little or no government funding and whose contributions to society would otherwise go unnoticed nationally. All applicants for the award are included in the Samaritan Guide, a unique online database of nearly 1,300 charities.
The two runners-up and $1,000 recipients are Fresno Rescue Mission of Fresno, Calif., and Restoration Ministries, of Harvey, Ill. Fresno Rescue Mission and its Academy program fosters a Christian rehabilitation and career development program for men with histories of substance abuse. The rescue mission also partners with the families of these men to rehabilitate and bring healing to their lives. Restoration Ministries' Harvey House program helps ex-convicts and drug addicted men break their destructive behaviors and rebuild new Christ-centered lives. Restoration Ministries provides housing while helping these men rebuild their family relationships.
The August 23 edition of WORLD Magazine  (www.worldmag.com ) features profiles of these charities and their programs along with the other seven Samaritan Award finalists: Lighthouse Ministries (One Stop Care), Lakeland, Fla.; Union Mission Ministries (New Life Center), Virginia Beach, Va.; South Side Mission (External Ministries), Peoria, Ill.; Guardian Angel Homes (Faith in Action), Grand Rapids; Promise of Hope (Recovery Program), Dudley, Ga.; Redwood Gospel Mission (New Life Recovery), Santa Rosa, Calif.; and Panama City Rescue Mission (Pathways), Panama City, Fla.
The Samaritan Award is given annually to encourage charities who, like the Good Samaritan, get intimately involved with individuals and work to bring about real change in the lives of those in need. For more information about the Samaritan Award or the Samaritan Guide, please visit www.samaritanguide.com