The Society of St. Vincent de Paul is a worldwide Catholic organization of laypersons, open to all who wish to live their faith by loving and serving their neighbor. Generally, on a person-to-person basis, members of the Society help those in need, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, orientation, handicap or religion.
The Society’s work may encompass any form of aid that alleviates suffering and it strives to discover and redress situations, which cause suffering.
SVdP offers a variety of programs and services, including home visits, housing assistance, disaster relief, education and mentoring, food pantries, dining halls, clothing, assistance with transportation, prescription medication, and rent and utility costs. The Society also works to provide care for the sick, the incarcerated and the elderly.
- Person-to-person assistance through home visits to individuals and families*
- Visitation and assistance to the elderly, sick and disabled
- Disaster relief- Long-term case management
- Thrift stores, food panties, feeding sites, housing and shelters
- Collaboration with other agencies and organizations*
- Visitation and assistance to the institutionalized, incarcerated and re-entry citizens
- Basic Education of skill building: budgeting, nutrition, housekeeping, employment assistance and childcare.
- Partnering with foreign and domestic Councils to aid needier Councils
- Youth programs
- Transportation- Including assistance with bus passes
- Domestic Twinning- One Conference or Council in the United States reaches out to help another Conference or Council in countries lacking resources to conduct their works of charity.*
*Services available or provided through Resurrection Conference
The services of the Society routinely involve “one-on-one” meetings with people in situations that most other social service delivery systems will not touch. Also unique is the Society’s attitude of flexibility in charity – no service to the poor is outside the scope of the Society’s response. This flexibility and simplicity have resulted in arguably the most cost-effective system of charity and charitable service delivery in the world. The Society’s services are among, if not the most, cost-effective in the U.S.
“The principle of a genuine friendship is charity and charity cannot exist in the heart of several without overflowing; it is a fire which dies out, if it is not fed, and charity’s nurture is its very works.” Frédéric Ozanam
Source: A Guide to Charitable Giving, SVdP USA, National Council of the United States
About the Society of St. Vincent de Paul
The Society of St. Vincent de Paul is global, currently operating in 149 countries with more than 800,000 members. There are more than 150,000 active and supporting U.S. members in 4,400 communities. The Society serves over 15 million people annually in a variety of ways. They offer more than nearly $1 billion in basic assistance including food, shelter and homeless housing. Society members offer over $1 million in disaster relief and complete an estimated 11 million service hours.
The National Council of the United States Society of St. Vincent de Paul provides leadership and support for the growth and health of the Society’s Councils, Conferences and Special Works. The National Council enables the Society to better serve its local communities by creating materials for the spritual formation of its members; networking information on advocacy and justice issues; facilitating the response to the needs of those who are poor through out the world by Twinning and giving assistance to victims of disaster.
The National Council’s St. Louis headquarters provides leadership and support for all U.S. chapters. It enables them to better devote their energies to service in their communities. In addition to facilitating communication among, and providing technical assistance to all units, the National Council also organizes the Society’s response to global need.
The Vincentian vocation is to follow Christ through service to those in need. These acts of charity include any form of help that alleviates suffering and promotes dignity and integrity to those served regardless of creed, ethnic or social background. Vincentians strive to seek out and find those in need and constantly strive for renewal, always adapting to changing world conditions. Therefore, the Society of St Vincent de Paul, leads men and women to join together to grow spiritually by offering person-to-person service to the suffering and those in need.