WORKS OF THE SOCIETY OF ST. VINCENT DE PAUL
Feeding the Hungry
Food donations are accepted throughout the year: November Food Drive, Good Friday / Black Friday Food Distribution to the needy, Food Pantry (year round), delivery of food to those visited via Home Visits by our Conference members, during Lent: 40 cans for 40 days.
Clothing the Naked
Clothing collections throughout the year are donated to the SVDP Altoona Thrift Store. Clothes vouchers are given to those in need by the Thrift Store. In the October/November timeframe each year we request donations of new or used winter coats, hats and gloves to help supply the local homeless shelter with needed items.
Visiting the Sick or Homebound
We sometimes visit persons in hospitals and nursing homes, giving them comfort and encouragement. We also do monthly mailings of “Thinking of You” or Holiday cards to our home-bound parishioners. We also send birthday cards. We do this to let them know that they are not forgotten... we care about their well-being and offer to help them should an issue arise.
Accompanying the Incarcerated
Members of our Conference are always looking for ways to support the families of the incarcerated, carrying our efforts to those in need of spiritual support.
The pandemic only intensified the loneliness of many of our seniors, the plight of the homeless in our community, the stress on new or expectant moms, and single parents. We try to make living through this tough time a bit easier by supplying them with care packages filled with little items and everyday supplies they can use.
Homeless Support Program
Each year, during the July/August timeframe, our Conference requests parishioners donate items from a “Necessities List”, such as paper goods, laundry soap, cleaning supplies, canned meat, shampoo, toiletries, etc. All donations go to the local organization that oversees the local homeless shelter.
Voice of the Poor
Voice of the Poor is the advocacy arm of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul.
There are many issues that keep people in poverty but as Vincentians through our home visits we have a more tangible view of the things that prevent upward mobility.
When we speak of the needs of the poor we are not using statistics or graphs but have taken steps to walk into the reality of the lives of the poor. When Vincentians speak, it is from the heart. It is our Christian calling founded in our Catholic faith that has brought us into the lives of the disenfranchised.
We are different from other charitable organizations by the structure of how we serve our clients. The need to have a deeper understanding of the situation at hand is at the core of our home visits.
Poverty touches all of us regardless of whether you are the one in poverty, a family member or a random stranger. Its effects run past our desire not to see the homeless person at the traffic stop light or quickly to slip a couple of dollars to them, so they move on from your car. Sadly, this does very little to help their cause but instead enables them to stay where they are. Poverty is in the face of the little girl in your daughter's class whose parents are not able to provide three meals a day for her. Poverty is in the face of your neighbor who lost his job.
No matter your background or roads traveled, please think seriously about joining us.
Jesus walked as He taught, never complaining. He did not choose those who looked most like him but instead those whom society had shunned away.