The 2015 Givin’ Where I’m Livin’ (GWIL) campaign provides support and publicity for local non-profit charitable organizations competing for GWIL matching funds during the campaign’s Week of Online Giving, April 19-26. Around Dripping Springs is pleased to feature this series of GWIL non-profit profiles to help publicize their unique missions to the community. We invite you to get to know these wonderful organizers and learn more about the important work they are each doing to enrich our community. Please share their stories, and be sure to donate to your favorite during the Week of Online Giving! Learn more at: http://www.GivinWhereImLivin.org
NOW MEET THE SOCIETY OF ST. VINCENT DE PAUL:
When, how and why was your organization founded?
As Dripping Springs started to grow, St. Martin de Porres Catholic Church began facing more challenges to provide for the needy in northern Hays County. In April 2011, a local chapter of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul was formed. The Society of St. Vincent de Paul was originally founded in 1833, by Blessed Frederic Ozanam, a student at the Sorbonne in Paris.
Currently with more than 40 members, including officers, we began our spiritual journey to provide services for families within the boundaries set by the Austin Dioceses.
Our mission is to grow spiritually by offering our times, talent and treasures to help others. We provide assistance on a person-to-person basis, including food, financial assistance, referral to community resources and special projects. We strive to ensure confidentiality and dignity for the people we serve.
What happens in the community through these efforts?
The Society of St. Vincent de Paul is a voice for the poor. We make home visits to those in need providing them with spiritual counsel and offering community resources, assisting and advocating as needed to promote self-sufficiency, financial assistance, and prayer.
We operate our weekly food pantry in our parish hall on Monday mornings 9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. The parish hall is located behind our church on RR 12 and Post Oak Rd. We also have a Capital Area Food Bank representative at the food pantry once a month. She helps our families enroll in programs such as SNAP (food stamps), CHIP, Children’s Medicaid, TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families). This process is convenient and private for our families. Some of our special projects include the summer food program for families with school age children, back to school backpacks, we also participate in the community Thanksgiving dinner sponsored by the Knights of Columbus, Christmas project and special projects within the community.
Our families are grateful for the help they receive and know they can come to us for questions and help with resources in the area. We sometimes just need to listen, our elderly and shut-ins are the most vulnerable and the food pantry is the only social time they may have for the week. Seeing the happiness in their faces during our weekly visits and hearing their stories always brings a smile and warm heart to all of our volunteers.
We thank our wonderful parishioners for their generous donations in order to make all this happen.
What are your goals in 2015?
The Society is working on ending poverty through systemic change. Besides providing food and financial assistance we try to identify the root of the cause. We then will work with families to define strategies to change those structures that keep them in poverty.