Shuttering organizations across the globe, the pandemic has spread suffering like nothing in recent history. Incomes, social interaction, and therapies many in need relied upon disappeared. Here at St. Vincent de Paul of Contra Costa County, volunteer “Vincentians” stepped up and met the suffering, delivering aid in volumes never before imagined. SVdP’s Vincentians fed over 120,000 people during large-scale food distributions, distributed over $1 million in rental assistance to help keep their neighbors housed, and they did it because they care for their community.
“I have been so blessed in life, it’s the least we can do to give back,” SVdP Vincetian Larry Lynch said. “One family we help – they have 7 kids and have been homeless for the last 5 years. They finally got Section 8 housing, and while we were over there helping them the eldest asks if we can help her learn to read.”
Being a Vincentian is more a vocation than a volunteer position. Vincentians seek to help their neighbors, becoming friends and forming deeply personal relationships. The core of the Vincentian work is the home visit. Vincentians meet with families in their homes, and learn as much about them as they can so they can help comprehensively and return the household to sustainability. Vincentians work out of local Catholic churches in what are known as “Conferences.”
St. Vincent de Paul of Contra Costa County has 29 branches across the county, with hundreds of volunteers seeking to relieve the suffering of their neighbors, but over the past year the need has grown increasingly dire. SVdP’s Vincentians need dedicated individuals who wish to help their neighbors in transformational ways. If this is something you find that calls to you, email Steve Krank at firstname.lastname@example.org.