News

SVdP Libertyville Thrift Store’s Tent Event Sale a Success!

A huge THANK YOU to all our staff and volunteers for working hard this weekend, in challenging outdoor weather conditions, to make the Tent Event Sale at our Libertyville Thrift Store a success! Your dedication and service are the backbone that fuels the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, Chicago, and our local Districts and Conferences, to be a force of good in our communities!

We would also like to thank all those who came out to shop the tent and store over the weekend and those who dropped off donations!  Every time you shop, donate to or support our thrift stores, you become part of a greater cause to help our neighbors in need.  You are providing food, clothing, shelter, job training, and hope of better tomorrows. You are helping a veteran in need, a mother who has hungry children, a victim of domestic violence, someone ill who needs assistance to get proper medical treatment, someone who is lonely and dealing with mental health issues, and families who have experienced bumps in the road. We deeply appreciate your support!

Check out what the Daily Herald wrote about our Tent Event Sale!

Looking for more ways to help?

 

Schedule a Donation Drive Today!

Donation drives are a perfect way to bring your community or company together for a great cause. Your donations provide essentials to those in need.  For over 167 years, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul Chicago has been serving those in need.

Your generous donations of clothing, household goods, furniture, and more enable us to continue serving the over 88,000 families that seek our help every year.

We can accommodate company and corporate donation events and provide trailers and assistant during week day working hours.

 

Schedule your event today!  

It’s easy!

  • Pick a weekend and call us to schedule
  • We will deliver a trailer with donation slips and extra bags.  Guidelines to help donate with dignity are posted inside the trailer
  • After your weekend donation event, we will pick the trailer up and bring back to one of our locations for sorting and distribution for those in  need

 

 

The Society of St. Vincent de Paul Partners with Catholic Charities to Host Mobile Food Pantry at Our Lady of the Ridge

The Society of St. Vincent de Paul, in coordination with Catholic Charities and our local Parish Conferences, hosted Mobile Food Pantry Events across the Chicagoland area this week. Here on the Southside, volunteers distributed more than 480 boxes of produce containing fresh fruits and vegetables at St. Gall, located in the Gage Park neighborhood, and at Our Lady of the Ridge, in Chicago Ridge.  Jack Santori, OLOR Conference President, knew that there was a significant amount of food insecurity and need in our communities and with Tom Moritz, District President for OLOR, worked to secure the contact-free,  pop up event that took place on September 17, 2020.  The line of cars that snaked around the parking lot, some arriving over 30 minutes before food distribution was scheduled to begin, was a testament to Jack and Tom’s insight. By 2:00 pm, with an hour left of scheduled time to go, nearly all of the 120 boxes had been packed into cars and sent on their way.

“The mobile pantry went better than I could have hoped,” Mr. Santori was quoted during the event, “we weren’t sure that we would get a turnout, though we know people are suffering from hard times in the Southside currently.  We feel that not enough neighbors are aware that we run a St. Vincent de Paul Food Pantry here at Our Lady of the Ridge and were just hoping that by spreading the word at Church and via social media, we’d reach those that need us the most.”

Patti Metsler, who heads the food pantry at Our Lady of the Ridge that takes place on the second Saturday of each month, loved the selection of fresh produce the boxes offered.  “Just because a person is food insecure, doesn’t mean they don’t deserve to have quality, nutritious items available to them.” She shared, “We work hard each month to vary our selection because we know these items make up meals that sustain families and individuals.”

A big thank you goes out to Catholic Charities,  the Our Lady of the Ridge Catholic Church St. Vincent de Paul Conference volunteers and Fr. Wayne Svida, pastor of Our Lady of the Ridge.  Your work is so important to your local neighbors and communities!

September is Hunger Action Month, Help Fight Hunger in Your Local Community Today!

September is Hunger Action Month, a nationwide campaign mobilizing each of us to take action against hunger in our communities.  Feeding those in need is a cause that the Society of St. Vincent de Paul and its volunteer members take to heart!  During this time of economic uncertainty, global pandemic, and high unemployment, raising awareness and funds to help solve hunger in our communities is urgent.  Food insecurity increases sharply for our many as the weather cools and we enter into fall and winter here in Chicagoland.  Many of our local food pantries missed out on springtime food drives that usually take place in coordination with the Easter season, due to COVID-19 Stat-at-Home orders, and are now looking to replenish shelves in order to prepare for the anticipated higher demand.

You can directly help make a difference in your community by making a donation to The Society of St. Vincent de Paul Chicago.  Visit our Giving Page here to make a secure, online donation and to learn more.  You can also visit our Thrift Stores located in Orland Park and Libertyville.  We accept gently used clothing and household items and use all the proceeds to support our giving programs. Learn more about our Thrift Stores – click here. 

Building Bridges Together

Pictured left to right: Kathleen A. Donahue-Coia, Acting President, Administrator, and CEO – Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago; Lorraine Parisi, Director of Operations, Society of St. Vincent de Paul Archdiocese of Chicago; Debby Lambert, Catholic Charities of Lake County Board of Advisors Chair

On Tuesday evening, October 22, our Director of Operations, Lorraine Parisi and SVdP Lake County, was honored by being named the 2019 Catholic Charities Building Bridges Award Recipient. The Catholic Charities Lake County Board of Advisors annually recognizes a parish or group in direct support of Catholic Charities’ mission. The Building Bridges Award began in 2007 to acknowledge those who partner with Catholic Charities to build a bridge between poverty and self-sufficiency.

In particular, Catholic Charities is grateful for the partnership with SVdP, Lake County. SVdP has been a strong partner of Catholic Charities and has served those in need for over 167 years. Having someone to turn to is everything for a person in crisis. SVdP has been there to help pay the rent, to provide food and clothing, and to offer hope.

The St. Vincent de Paul Society continues to grow and expand their reach to those dealing with poverty. Through donation drives, thrift store programs, and fundraising events, SVdP serves our neighbors in need. Under Lorraine’s leadership, a voucher system was developed allowing Catholic Charities families to receive vouchers to “shop” at the Libertyville Thrift Store to meet their basic needs – clothing, household items and furniture. Recently, a new partnership was formed with Catholic Charities where SVdP provides space for their Diaper Depot operations. Through the generosity of SVdP, the Diaper Depot warehouse is located in the back of the Thrift Store and allows for a more efficient distribution system. Through this partnership, Catholic Charities and The Society of St. Vincent de Paul Lake County are truly Building Bridges . . . Together!

Lorraine was joined by her proud husband Tony and daughter Elisabeth at the award event along with fellow SVdP Board of Directors Members; Harry Ohde, President/CEO, SVdP Chicago Council, Father Gerry Kelley, SVdP Chicago Council Spiritual Advisor, Holly Robinson, Secretary, SVdP Chicago Council and Kristin MacMurray-Schmelter, Board Member and President of District 1, Lake County.

Please congratulate Lorraine for her leadership and giving spirit that forged this important partnership between Catholic Charities and SVdP Lake County. Lorraine, you make us proud to serve!

Partnering with the Northern Illinois Food Bank at Prince of Peace

On Saturday, October 5, SVdP Prince of Peace Conference held a Mobile Food Pantry serving neighbors in need in Lake County. The sun was shining and the SVdP conference members along with other parish volunteers from the Knights of Columbus, the Boy Scouts and our Confirmation Class partnered together to provide food to over 90 families including 276 individuals with 53 of them children.

Over the last three years, the Prince of Peace Conference with the support of the St. Bede’s conference has partnered with the Northern Illinois Food Bank to hold Mobile Pantries three times a year in the church parking lot.

Neighbors in need start lining up as early as 7:30 am to make sure they have an early spot in line. At around 8:30 am, the food truck arrives with 10,000 lbs. of food including meat, fresh produce, dairy products and various canned and boxed items. It is a surprise each time to see what arrives on the truck but there is always plenty of food to support those in need. When it is a client friend’s “turn”, they enter the shopping line where they are accompanied by a “helper” from the Confirmation Classes who pushes a cart to carry all the shopping bags and boxes. Once shopping is complete, volunteers help load the food into the car for our client friends.

It is truly a parish collaborative event which has helped provide service opportunities for our youth and also raised awareness of the need right in our community, all while helping those in need.

Partnering with Kolbe House Jail Ministry

“I was in prison and you visited me”

Recently, The Chicago Society of St. Vincent de Paul and Kolbe House in Chicago, started working together to help those who are impacted by incarceration.

Kolbe House, Archdiocese of Chicago’s Department of Parish Vitality and Mission, serves individuals and families affected by the criminal justice system. Kolbe House is a sanctuary for those impacted by incarceration and through its work, seeks to promote restoration and reconciliation through outreach, support and accompaniment. The founding of Kolbe House seeks to follow the example of St. Maximilian Kolbe to love and hope in the midst of evil and despair. Through the ministry, the love of Christ is shared with the incarcerated and their families.

Lorraine Parisi, Director of Operations for The Society of St. Vincent de Paul along with volunteers set up the Giving Store at Kolbe House.

Together, Kolbe House and The Chicago Society of St. Vincent de Paul, work to further this mission and leverage the National Society of St. Vincent de Paul Immersion/Reentry Program. The National St. Vincent de Paul Society recently funded 100 Bibles for the incarcerated at Kolbe House. Using Kolbe House as a prototype, the focus of the partnership near term is on three main initiatives:

  • Clothing: We seek to provide clothing to those reentering society and their families via the SVdP Giving Store set up by the Chicago Council. Through the generous clothing and other donations from our communities, The Society of St. Vincent de Paul Chicago is able to stock the Giving Store. Former inmates and their families can select from among clothing, shoes and other items at no charge to them. We hope to soon have new underwear and socks available as well.
  • Food: We hope to soon have a food pantry to serve the Kolbe House to serve those facing reentry as well as their families.
  • Housing: We plan on providing resources for temporary housing for those reentering society.

Through these means of tangible assistance, we embrace those in need while we advocate for a just system and seek to create positive change.

A Home for the Holidays

A Home for the Holidays

 

Prince of Peace St. Vincent de Paul Society

 

Recently, the Prince of Peace Society of St. Vincent de Paul Conference had the privilege of following in the footsteps of Jesus by helping a young family in need.

 

We received a call from a single mother “Sherry” (name changed to protect her privacy) with five children, all under the age of eight. This young mother suffers from PTSD. Sherry is a survivor of domestic violence and her family was on the verge of being homeless. Sherry is very resourceful and found affordable housing for her family however was not able to come up with the necessary deposit to move into the house. We invited the family to join us at our monthly community dinner where the kids seemed to really enjoy the meal and desserts based on their huge smiles! Our Prince of Peace SVdP home visitors met with Sherry after the dinner to hear about her family’s story and to better understand their needs.

We partnered with other local charitable organizations and all the Lake County St. Vincent de Paul conferences to come up with the funds needed for the family to move into the home. Members of the Prince of Peace Knights of Columbus joined our volunteers to move the family’s belongings in time for Thanksgiving. The St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Store in Libertyville helped complete furnishing the home with beds, dressers and a kitchen table. One of the home visitors dropped off a Turkey Meal box provided by St. Gilbert’s St. Vincent de Paul for Thanksgiving and heard from the kids how thrilled they were to each have a bed of their own.

Sherry and her family are very happy in their new home and Sherry has started a job to help provide for the ongoing needs of the family. They are really looking forward to Christmas in their own home. It was truly a blessing to work with Sherry to make her family’s dreams come true. This is just one of the stories of the individuals and families we encounter every day as members of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul.

We thank everyone for their generous donations and treasure the partnerships we have with the community, the Knights of Columbus, the Confirmation Classes, Savvy Seniors and so many others who help us to help those in need. If you are able, please think about donating this Christmas season to St. Vincent de Paul in memory of a loved one or in honor of your family. Your donation will help someone right in our community who is in need. God Bless and Merry Christmas!