Larry Lynch helps distribute food during an SVdP Food Distribution event in Richmond, CA.

Spurred on by the pandemic, new challenges have arisen in the mission of helping our neighbors in Contra Costa County. An explosion of need has arisen as thousands lose their income and healthcare. In face of growing demand, organizations like St. Vincent de Paul of Contra Costa County are providing their volunteers the utmost in health and safety measures.

For our Vincentian volunteers, like Larry Lynch of St. David of Wales Conference in Richmond, the drive to help our neighbors has only increased. Larry and his wife Patty are regular faces at SVdP food distributions. Larry said he feels very safe volunteering with SVdP. “Whenever we volunteer, there are temperature checks and health checks,” Larry said. “Everyone wears a mask. SVdP gives us gloves and hand sanitizer and everyone stands apart.”

The pandemic has caused non-profit community organizations like SVdP to find new ways to work together.

“I’ve seen so many denominations of faith come together to give, it’s uplifting,” Larry said. “This pandemic is like the wildfires, they’ll come and go but need and poverty will be there when they’ve gone. St. Vincent de Paul has been around for almost 200 years – right now there are over 900,000 unpaid volunteers throughout the globe who believe in God and helping people, it’s really inspiring.”

“We’ve been working hard during the shelter-in-place to deliver food to our low-income neighbors who are unable to afford food.” Larry said, describing living the mission of face-to-face visits inspired by St. Vincent de Paul. “I’m not scared at all. I’ve been blessed with a wife who has done this work with me for 50 years – it’s our duty.”