Rick Richardson and his wife Buddie Maxwell.

Rick Richardson is a man whose heart is on fire with love for the poor. As a pilot, Rick witnessed first-hand how people across the country struggled. With a demanding schedule, Rick could never find the time to volunteer. When he retired, he found the time to live the calling in his heart – to help those in need.

“I originally joined St. Vincent de Paul in St. Louis, because I wanted to help people, and they made it possible for me to do more for the people in my community. There’s a saying we have at SVdP,” Rick said. “Giving people what they deserve isn’t charity – it’s dignity.”
Rick and his fellow parishioners in St. Louis organized into a SVdP Conference, or branch. Before they weren’t sure what to do, now they had a guide.

“It was hard, but we managed to buy a motel, and turn it into a homeless shelter,” Rick said. “You could see the impact. We accomplished that.”

Upon moving to San Ramon, Rick joined the SVdP Conference at St. Joan of Arc Church, and put his compassion into action.
“We wanted to stop people from ending up on the street,” Rick said. “We formed a group, The SVdP Hope Conference, to handle emergency housing needs. The first year, we used $20,000 to help people. Last year, we distributed $700,000 to families in need.”

“The Hope Conference is one thing I’m proud of,” Rick said. “I like helping people, and I know God wants me to, if he didn’t he’d stop sending money.”