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Samaritan Foundation Mother Holding Baby

About The Samaritan Foundation

What began with a wrong turn

and the discovery of a heart-wrenching reality has resulted in over 33 years of helping the Dominican Republic's poorest people find home and hope.

Keep The Story Going!

Our Mission

Our Mission

Our core purpose is to provide housing for the poor in the Dominican Republic. Not just to build a structure, but to build a new life for this community and keep it growing. We will continue to build villages for the people with a complete infrastructure including water, electricity, roads, schools, medical facilities, churches, and opportunities for vocational training. We don't plan on stopping until the Lord says so—will you be a part of His mission?

Samaritan Foundation - children playing
Samaritan Foundation Founder - Elio

Founder's Corner

The Samaritan Foundation was born in 1988 after Elio and Lena Madonia first visited the Dominican Republic. Before retiring, Elio founded Brio soft drink bottling company, as well as Long Life of Canada, a product that popularized coffee creamers in North America.

The story began the day Elio took a walk outside his vacation resort during that visit, where he made a “wrong turn that turned out to be very right.” He remembers, “I was strolling along the streets of Sosua when I was struck by the extreme poverty…no running water, no electricity, and barely a roof over their heads.”

Elio sensed the Lord telling him, “What will you do for these families?" He answered, “My Lord, I will give them each a house.” Subsequently, Elio bought a plot of land and built Villa Maranatha, a village of 25 homes that were donated to the families that Elio first met. Elio and Lena’s initial trip to the Dominican Republic was intended to be a time of relaxation, however, 28 years later, their initial act of compassion has transformed the landscape in Sosua and deeply impacted the lives of many individuals.

You can read more about Elio’s personal journey in his book, Divine Passion to Help Others.


Samaritan Foundation - Kids in Class

Our Leadership

Content to come

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