GWIL2015 Nonprofit Profile: Society of St. Vincent de Paul Reply

Week of Online Giving 2015 April 19-26

Week of Online Giving 2015
April 19-26

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?Screen Shot 2015-04-11 at 4.35.27 PM

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.

Screen Shot 2015-04-11 at 4.35.38 PMWhat is your mission?

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.Screen Shot 2015-04-11 at 4.35.56 PM

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.
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GWIL2014 Nonprofit Profile: Meet Red Arena Reply

Week of Online Giving:  April 20-25, 2014

Week of Online Giving:
April 20-25, 2014

The 2014 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 20-25th. 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 RED ARENA WITH FOUNDER AND EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR JENNIFER YOUNG :

WHEN, HOW, AND WHY WAS YOUR ORGANIZATION FOUNDED?0-1

RED Arena was founded in 2008 in Dripping Springs by Jennifer Young, a Physical Therapist who wanted to empower children with disabilities. Being on horseback is an excellent way to work on core strength and balance in a physical therapy session but it also provides the unique opportunity for building communication, confidence, emotional bonds and self-esteem.  RED Arena was founded to expand this unique experience in our community so everyone, regardless of ability to pay, could benefit from this empowering experience. 

images-2WHAT IS YOUR MISSION?

Our mission is to empower individuals with disabilities through horses. We provide physical, occupational and speech therapy sessions on the horses by licensed therapists and therapeutic riding lessons with PATH certified instructors.  We serve over 60 riders per week ages 2 to 50+ years old. We provide full scholarships to Military Veterans and those with financial hardships and partial scholarships to keep the costs low for ALL our participants.  The diagnoses we see include cerebral palsy, down syndrome, developmental delay, autism, stroke and traumatic brain injury. 

In keeping with our mission we also offer inclusive summer horse camps and an inclusive rodeo play day, the RED Arena Round-Up, in which kids of all ability levels can enjoy horses together.  We also partner with other non-profits such as Friendships for Life and The Marylee Foundation to provide adults with disabilities job/functional training on horse care and barn management at no cost to them. images-1

WHAT HAPPENS IN THE COMMUNITY THROUGH THESE EFFORTS?

We have so many heartwarming experiences every week.  The power of seeing our riders physically strengthen and grow in confidence and self-esteem each week is overwhelming.  One life changing moment in particular was early on with Regan.  She came to us when she was 2 years old and her parents had just been told by her doctors that she would never walk and they should consider a wheelchair for her mobility. They were visibly shaken and distraught over this news. Her Mom conveyed that Regan HATES all therapies and will not participate or talk, so she doubts this will work either but at this point she’s willing to try anything.   More…