From the CEO

Welcome

Welcome 1000 1000 St. Vincent de Paul Detroit

Dear Friends:

On March 1, 2018, I segued from a rewarding 39 year legal career to a challenging, but very promising, leadership opportunity with SVdPD, an organization that has a simple, but profoundly inspiring mission: helping those in need. It converts the generous support of donors into practical, purposeful missions. SVdPD is a Catholic lay person organization that helps people in need regardless of creed, ethnic or social background, health or gender. We act as a bridge between those who care and those in need.

Through its various community outreach programs, SVdPD feeds the hungry, shelters the homeless, and provides needed assistance and guidance to those in need, among other things. Last year alone, the generosity of our donors allowed SVdPD to help more than 300,000 neighbors through our thrift stores, donation centers, dental clinic, and many other community-based programs. SVdPD strives to restore hope among our suffering sisters and brothers. For 95 years, SVdPD has also sent hundreds of amazing children each year to summer camp free of charge to them. I am blessed to lead this inspirational, 119 year sustained effort in the Archdiocese of Detroit.

We are so grateful to our Vincentian volunteers, generous donors, and loyal supporters who make our mission possible.

Thank you in advance for your interest and willingness to help in some meaningful way.

Peace,

Daniel P. Malone

July 2018 Update

July 2018 Update 1000 1000 St. Vincent de Paul Detroit

Dear Fellow Vincentians,

This is a time of year typically filled with celebrations – e.g. weddings, graduations, births, Father’s Day and Mother’s Day, among others. Hearty congratulations to the Class of 2018 and to all who celebrated a special event or more this past month or so!

Our new Vincentian mission statement provides:

“A network of friends, inspired by gospel values, growing in holiness and building a more just world through personal relationships with and service to people in need.”

Our mission expressly pledges “service to people in need.” From a Vincentian standpoint, June witnessed several developments that highlighted at least three ways to serve.

1. Camp Ozanam – Serving As A Team!

We are about to launch our 95th year of sending girls and boys – free of charge to them – to Camp Ozanam. To date, our SVDP Detroit Council has sent more than 175,000 kids to camp! This year, raising funds needed to send more than 400 to camp has been a massive, team effort consisting of several activities. Thanks to the entire camp committee.

From a fundraising standpoint, we have successfully undertaken several initiatives. First, special thanks go out to our members at the District and Conference levels for their tremendous support of our camp program. This has included generous Conference contributions, private donations (among former campers and many others), foundation grants, and many more sources. Our Conferences and Districts have also contributed to our efforts including enrollment jamborees, promoting camp among prospects, arranging for medical exams, and much, much more. Thank you Districts and
Conferences!

Second, our annual Golf Outing held on June 18th also contributed to this overall camp initiative. Thanks to a true team effort, we raised more than we did last year! Former Channel 7 sportscaster, Vic Faust, returned from St. Louis to very capably Emcee the dinner program; and Sister Noreen Ellison provided a truly inspirational invocation. In particular, thank you to Dr. Lucia Zamorano & Susan Swider for once again hosting and sponsoring this year’s event; and hearty congratulations to them for being this year’s well deserved recipients of our Council’s Thomas Moore Award for leadership in philanthropy. Thanks, too, to our Golf Committee. Finally, heartfelt thanks go out to our talented and dedicated staff team for all of their hard work, as well. We look forward to exploring all options in a collective effort to improve next year’s event.

Our overall fundraising efforts to support this year’s camp program stand as a marvelous example of service to others, what we can accomplish by working as a team, and why we should remain razor-focused on our inspirational mission. Thank you, all! I look forward to sharing truly exciting news this Fall about our near century-long Camp Ozanam experience.

2. Serving By Providing A Voice to the Voiceless

Our nation finds itself torn by conflict and injustice. That makes an already tough journey for the Poor and those with no political voice even tougher. Our Vincentian Rule provides clear and unambiguous support to advocate for the most vulnerable among us. It expressly provides that we commit to helping ” . . . the poor and disadvantaged speak for themselves. When they cannot, the Society must speak on behalf of those ignored.” (Rule 7.5). It is a challenge that has stubbornly remained
with mankind. How often do we remain silent when our faith and Vincentian Rule compels action? The following is an example of an inspirational person who courageously chose to be heard during times of strife on an issue that continues to afflict the least in our society.

This June marked the fiftieth anniversary of the tragic, violent death of Robert F. Kennedy. Two months before his death, RFK was scheduled to speak at a businessmen’s club in Cleveland. The night before, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was tragically murdered. It left our nation in shock. Upon reflection and out of respect for Dr. King, Senator Kennedy chose to speak. He, of course, decried gun violence. But he also had this to say.

” . . . there is another kind of violence, slower but just as deadly destructive as the shot or the bomb in the night. This is the violence of institutions – indifference, inaction, and decay. This is the violence that afflicts the poor, that poisons relations between men because their skin has different colors. This is a slow destruction of a child by hunger, and schools without books, and homes without heat in the winter. This is the breaking of a man’s spirit by denying him the chance to stand as a father and as a man amongst other men.

And this too afflicts us all. For when you teach a man to hate and to fear his brother, when you teach that he is a lesser man because of his color or his beliefs or the policies that he pursues, when you teach that those who differ from you threaten your freedom or your job or your home or your family, then you also learn to confront others not as fellow citizens but as enemies – to be met not with cooperation but with conquest, to be subjugated and to be mastered.

We learn, at the last, to look at our brothers as alien, alien men with whom we share a city, but not a community, men bound to us in common dwelling, but not in a common effort. We learn to share only a common fear – only a common desire to retreat from each other– only a common impulse to meet disagreement with force.

But we can perhaps remember – if only for a time – that those who live with us are our brothers, that they share with us the same short moment of life, that they seek – as do we – nothing but the chance to live out their lives in purpose and in happiness, winning what satisfaction and fulfillment that they can.

Surely this bond of common fate, surely this bond of common goals can begin to teach us something. Surely we can learn, at the least, to look around at those of us, of our fellow man, and surely we can begin to work a little harder to bind up the wounds among us and to become in our hearts brothers and countrymen once again.”

Robert F. Kennedy courageously offered a voice to the voiceless. His core message still resonates today.

Vincentians should follow the lead of Robert F. Kennedy and offer a voice to the helpless and voiceless. Examples abound. The Detroit Free Press recently published an editorial regarding the unfolding southern border immigration tragedy involving our nation cruelly separating children of all ages from their parents. The Editorial opined that such behavior has appalled compassionate people of every faith, nationality, and political persuasion.

The harsh reality is this: the troubling development on our southern border is but one of many, many challenging our nation. For example, if adopted, proposals to cut tens of billions of dollars from the federal budget will make the plight of the Poor significantly more difficult from a health care, educational, and social program standpoint. Indeed, when left untreated, controllable diseases like hypertension, obesity, diabetes, and mild mental health issues become silent killers at alarmingly earlier ages than those who receive basic preventive care. And our criminal justice system is fraught with institutional flaws, especially for the Poor.

These are examples of the kind of “violence” about which Senator Kennedy spoke. While slower moving, this type of violence can be as deadly as the bullets that killed Dr. King and, less than two months after his inspirational speech, Senator Kennedy himself. Our Society has spoken clearly and unambiguously on several social justice issues that involve such violence, Voice of the Poor – Position Papers. I encourage each of us to do the same on issues that concern us most.

When Vincentians serve the Poor and those in need regardless of “creed, ethnic or social background, health, gender, or political opinions” (Rule 1.4), their actions say, “I see you, Neighbor, and, inspired by gospel values, I am willing to help.” Whatever service you provide, please consider this additional type of service of speaking on behalf of the Poor and vulnerable.

3. Serving by Bridging Differences

If we could truly see someone in their fullness, we would very likely treat them with kindness and compassion. God exists in all people. Notwithstanding that we are taught that every human being is inherently and equally good, we cannot get beyond real differences. In a June 11, 2018 daily meditation, Fr. Richard Rohr taught that “our egos like to assign greater and lesser value based upon differences”. For that reason, he encouraged us to “[p]ause for a moment and think about the areas in which you benefit, not because of anything you’ve done or deserve but simply because of what body you were born with, what class privilege you enjoy, what country or ethnicity you find yourself in.” How often do we pause and reflect upon such considerations?

Our Vincentian Guide to Diversity/Multicultural Issues contains a section titled “The Multicultural Face of God.” In it, a Vincentian observes, “We are all parts of a universal puzzle. We need to put all the pieces together. Isn’t it marvelous that we are all different? Each one of us has skills and gifts to share. When we put that expertise together, we can do extraordinary things.” Well put.

We should serve those in need with an emphasis on the Poor and vulnerable regardless of differences.

Closing

Our inspirational mission statement challenges us to grow in holiness through service to people in need. Service surely includes personal home visits, twinning, and community outreach programs. Especially in times of challenge, service should include speaking out against the “violence” that Senator Kennedy decried. It should also include seeing the goodness in everyone regardless of differences. Our Rule compels us to provide a voice to the Poor and vulnerable who have none, especially when justice demands. It also requires us to see God in all others. Those beliefs are inspired by gospel values and our Vincentian Rule. I am merely the messenger.

According to noted author, Elizabeth Gilbert, “Those of us who are warm and dry and safe and well-fed must show up for those who are cold and wet and endangered and hungry. That is a rule of life. Every ethical and religious and spiritual tradition in the world agrees on that rule.” Something to ponder. God bless.

Best wishes for a safe, enjoyable, and blessed Fourth of July holiday! God bless.

In Frederic Ozanam’s name,

Dan

May 2018 Update

May 2018 Update 1000 1000 St. Vincent de Paul Detroit

It appears that Spring has finally sprung. With it comes hope and new beginnings. It is in that spirit that I share a few thoughts on the following three, interrelated topics.

1. Gaudete et Exsultate (“Rejoice and be Glad”)

Earlier this month, Pope Francis released a most inspirational apostolic letter entitled Gaudete et Exsultate (“Rejoice and be Glad”). While fully supported by gospel and liturgical reference, it appears that our Holy Father wrote it to be understandable by each of us. I urge you to make the time to read it. In an effort to get that “lay person dialogue” started within our Council, I share the following, but not because I have any particular insights. I do not. Rather, because in several critical respects, the Pope’s apostolic letter relates directly to our Vincentian mission. When I read it, I felt as if the Pope’s words moved from his heart to mine. If you choose to read it, I am certain that his straightforward, but incredibly powerful, message will do the same for each of you.

Briefly, the Pope’s letter teaches that we cannot strive for holiness by prayer alone. We must also commit to serving others, particularly those most in need (i.e. we need prayer and service). Each of us has the capacity to be saint-like; and our Holy Father urges us to strive to do precisely that in the tireless, selfless service of others. God wants to speak to the whole world through each of our lives. Let yourself be transformed; and you can, in turn, help transform others. The Pope cites St. Thomas Aquinas’s response in Summa Theologiae, when asked about what human works best show love of God, “. . . they are the works of mercy toward our neighbor, even more than our acts of worship.”

Pope Francis also identifies two “subtle enemies” of holiness: Gnosticism and Pelagianism. Generally, the former involves a situation where someone “has all the answers” and is on a mission to “save others” (e.g. the unwashed masses). The latter is a belief that our faith is merely a “closed system” of rules and regulations to be applied inflexibly and mercilessly to all who are struggling to cope with the countless complexities of Life. In regard to both, Pope Francis reminds us that “God is mysteriously present in the life of every person even when someone’s life appears completely wrecked.” We must remain open to the messiness of Life. Church doctrine teaches no less. Indeed, “true Christian wisdom can never be separated from mercy toward our neighbor.” The Pope cautions that the life of our church should not become a “museum piece” or the “possession of a select few.”

Pope Francis’s apostolic letter then reviews the Beatitudes as a “Christian identity card” and concludes with a series of thought provoking inquiries to each of us. It is a stunningly inspirational reminder of what it means to be a Christian. Unless you have done so already, please read this amazing letter; and then consider discussing it at your conference meeting.
To read the Gaudete et Exsultate Click Here: Gaudete et Exsultate

2. SVdP Mid-Year Conference

Last week, I attended the Society’s mid-year conference in St. Louis. It proved to be a wonderful reminder of what our Society is and, more so, what it can be. I found the core messages to be so sympatico with the teachings in Gaudete et Exsultate. We engaged in robust discussions regarding, among other things, revising our mission statement, how to make our all-important home visits more spiritual and effective, how to expand our mission into more impactful community outreach programs, and how best to move our Society forward. Among other things, that plan includes a comprehensive communications campaign that more broadly shares the collective work of our Society to all willing to listen. An example of that campaign is the series about our Society that is running on EWTN. It has been so well received that EWTN has agreed to do another season of stories about our Society!

Importantly, our Voice of the Poor advocacy movement has taken official positions on eight social justice issues, including immigration. In that regard, during a conference at Georgetown University, Detroit’s own Cardinal Joseph Tobin explained why helping immigrants and refugees is at the heart of the Christian ethic. He bluntly reminded that, “They’re not leaving their home countries on a whimsical desire to see the world. They’re (running) for their lives, either from actual physical violence or terribly numbing misery.” Later, he advised that it is the role of churches to “put a face” on immigrants and refugees. “I think it’s important that religious leaders stand with immigrants, to put a face on them so that people who want to do inhumane things know what they’re doing,” he stated. “If we recognize the humanity of a person, we find it much more difficult to treat them inhumanely.” That core message resonates throughout the latest letter from Pope Francis and our Vincentian mission. The vast majority of refugees are in desperate need. They are our neighbors. As with all in need – e.g. refugees, homeless, home visits – we should see the face of Christ in each of their faces. Copies of those white papers can be found on the national website.
Voice of the Poor Position Papers, Click Here: Voice of the Poor – Position Papers

3. SVdP Detroit Council – SVdP Transforms Lives – Factsheet

Undeniably, inequality in our great nation has spiked alarmingly, especially during the past eighteen months. It appears likely that this trend will only heighten. In the spirit of both Gaudete et Exsultate and our Society’s national leadership, our Council is positioned to help others by choosing to be “saint-like” and thereby share God’s message “to the whole world through each of our lives”. Doing so best mandates continuing to take a “team effort”, thereby creating a sense of community. It will also require that we remain open and flexible to the changing needs of those we serve and, in particular, HOW we view those we serve. One of the many practical examples of service Pope Francis references in his apostolic letter concerns our reaction when we encounter someone homeless and sleeping outdoors on a cold night (i.e. someone whose life appears “completely wrecked”). “I can view him or her as an annoyance, . . . or I can respond with faith and charity, and see in this person a human being with a dignity identical to my own”. When we serve others, do we see people whose lives may appear “completely wrecked”, or do we see God in each neighbor we serve? We should encourage each other, through our commitments to spirituality, friendship, and service, to see God in all others regardless of creed, ethnic or social background, health, gender, or political opinions, (Rule 1.4).

Since I began serving at SVdP, I have had many conversations with family, friends, and former business acquaintances about the Society. A number of such conversations included comments about SVdP being a “wonderful organization”. But that compliment has generally been followed by a genuine inquiry about what exactly it is that the Society actually does. Perhaps you have had a similar experience. We need to share news about our good works and thereby inspire others to serve! Toward that end, our Detroit Council team has compiled a straightforward, single page Factsheet (see link below). In effect, it responds to questions we all get asked. For example, what does the Society do? We transform lives. That response will likely trigger a request to explain how we make that happen. Our Factsheet, which we intend to revise on a regular basis, provides a helpful overview on the numerous community outreach efforts we offer. Please feel free to forward suggested additions to it.
SVdP Factsheet, Click Here: SVdP Factsheet (coming soon)

Herein lies why I believe that our Society’s best days lie ahead. Thank you for your continued efforts on behalf of our Society and those we serve. I look forward to seeing you all again soon, perhaps at this year’s May 12th Annual Awards dinner.

God bless each of you and your families.

In St. Vincent de Paul’s and Blessed Frederic Ozanam’s name,

Dan Malone

A Message from Dan

A Message from Dan 1000 1000 St. Vincent de Paul Detroit

As we conclude this year’s Lenten season and prepare to celebrate Easter, I’d like to introduce myself and share how glad I am to be here! My new role and service to the Society of St. Vincent de Paul began on March 1, 2018. So, in that important sense, we now share a common commitment. My priorities as CEO include taking a personal approach to all we do, making our mission as inclusive as possible, and striving to make our organization more financially secure. There’s work to be done to accomplish all three, but I am confident that together we can achieve these and many other important initiatives.

Each one of us has a story that emerges through our unique life journeys. It is my sincere hope that in the coming year I will have an opportunity to meet each of you and learn about yours. I grew up in Redford Township, attended St. Robert Bellarmine church and school, and continued my education at U of D Jesuit, Cornell University, and the University Of Detroit School Of Law. I practiced law in metro Detroit and beyond for 39 years; and am pleased to share that my former firm has generously committed to helping our cause in some meaningful way. My dear wife Claudia and I are preparing to celebrate our fortieth wedding anniversary in June, and we will also welcome two more grandchildren by then, as well.

During my legal career, I always budgeted time for our community, especially for those in need. When I made the recent decision to channel my community efforts in a full time capacity, I was fortunate to discover this opportunity at SVdPD. I am grateful and honored to be a part of this inspirational organization; and I am committed to continuing this vital work in the tradition of Frederic Ozanam, St. Vincent de Paul, Rosalie Rendu, and the army of volunteers, including each of you, who have sustained our mission worldwide for so long.

I am excited about the new opportunities to personally serve at an organization with which my family has had a long history. I’m also very mindful, however, of considerable challenges, too. Indeed, our nation has witnessed an alarming rise in inequality, especially during this past year. Making this leap of faith, I humbly ask for your support and prayers.

In addition, I am delighted to welcome two new members to our team: Mary Torok, my new Executive Assistant, and Sharon Gatewood, our new development administrator. Welcome aboard, Ladies! I also recognize and thank Roger Playwin for his selfless and skillful efforts to mentor me during this transition. Thank you, Roger.

SVdPD has a simple, but profound, mission: helping those in need. It converts the generous support of donors into practical, purposeful action. In a real sense, together we act as a bridge between those who care and those in need. At a time when our nation has experienced so much division, SVdPD remains laser-focused on feeding the hungry, sheltering the homeless, and providing critical assistance and guidance to those in our community who need us the most. Last year alone, the generosity of our donors allowed SVdPD to help more than 300,000 neighbors in the Detroit. Through prayer and a steadfast commitment to “love of neighbor”, SVdPD helps to restore hope among our suffering sisters and brothers. 

Together, we can and do make a difference. On behalf of those we serve, I deeply appreciate your commitment to this 152 year sustained, inspirational effort in the Archdiocese of Detroit. I look forward to crossing paths with you soon. Best wishes to you and your family for a safe, happy, and most blessed Easter!

God bless.

Dan Malone

Help us Bless Our Neighbors in Need this Thanksgiving

Help us Bless Our Neighbors in Need this Thanksgiving 150 150 St. Vincent de Paul Detroit

 

 

Dear Caring Friends,

To a mother or father struggling to provide essentials – food, clothes, a safe roof overhead – for their family, YOUR generosity is a wonderful godsend.

But don’t take my word for it…

Let me share a note we received from Angela, a mother in Dearborn Heights. William, Angela’s husband, had just lost his job. Angela is disabled and William* is the breadwinner in the family.

“We were referred to a wonderful agency, St. Vincent de Paul, through St. Sabina Church,” Angela explained. “And everyone we came in contact with at St. Vincent de Paul was wonderful. We were always greeted with smiles…

 A smile is HUGE when you fear eviction and losing your lights and you have two special needs kids and are disabled yourself.

The good people at St. Vincent de Paul were helpful, kind, non-judgmental and very loving. I feel like we have gained family through this tough time. The staff worked long and hard to get our family the help we needed. We received food baskets and other household goods. We were given a gas card and a meal at Thanksgiving. We were also helped with the application for the THAW program and our entire DTE bill of $615.04 was paid in full. You can’t believe the weight that has been taken off – we thank you from the very bottom of our hearts! “

This is the power of your compassion through St. Vincent de Paul. What you may think of as a small act of kindness answers the desperate prayer of a mother like Angela.

Will you help us reach out to others in need in Metro Detroit with a Thanksgiving gift of $10, $25, $50 or the most generous gift you can send today? When you reach out to others in dire need, you will be blessed for your goodness and kindness.

Please help today. In the busyness of the season, I know it’s easy to get distracted. But I pray you’ll think for a moment of from the many who are suffering so close by to us.

Some don’t have a safe place to sleep at night… no real hope of sharing a warm Thanksgiving meal surrounded by loved ones. Some are on the edge of despair… deciding between paying rent or for much needed prescription medications…

Some don’t know how they’ll pay their utilities bill. Some don’t know where they’ll sleep tonight. Some don’t know even where they might eat their next warm meal…

But the amazing thing is, IT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE THAT WAY.

If only you’ll act with your heart and carry out a simple act of help for a family like Angela’s. Your small act of kindness will bring relief and hope to a local family in real need. It will mean a happy Thanksgiving for them and a more hopeful future.

So will you think for a moment of your blessings large and small and then make a special Thanksgiving gift to lift up and bless others in need?

Your gift will allow us to bless many with the gift of a warm, festive meal at Thanksgiving so that ALL in our community might share in a celebration of new hope – and no one feels left out or alone… This Thanksgiving, in fact, we’ll be providing turkeys and all the fixings to those who would otherwise go without. Your generosity will ensure a bountiful Thanksgiving for everyone – especially those in dire need!

So, please will you help us this Thanksgiving?

I believe that helping a family like Angela and William’s with a Thanksgiving gift will make your own holiday that much better. When you gather with family or friends for a special meal, you’ll know in your heart that someone else in our community is provided for and hopeful for their future because of YOU.

God bless you for your generous heart and Happy Thanksgiving!

Roger Playwin
Executive Director
Society of St. Vincent de Paul

 

Urgent Message

Urgent Message 150 150 St. Vincent de Paul Detroit

 

Dear Friends,

In times of real need, you’ve been one of our most loyal and generous supporters. You’ve been a true friend to the poorest and most vulnerable in our community…

Today, I’m turning to you with confidence, hopeful that you’ll help us through a difficult moment. Please, will you?

We are experiencing a serious shortfall of supplies at food pantries where we help. We’ve been assisting more people than ever with hot meals and food to take home, but in the middle of summer, needs grow and our resources get depleted.

Keeping up this summer has been a difficult challenge and we must restock our shelves.  Some of the families turning to us really don’t know where their next meal is coming from. If their utilities will be shut off. If they’ll have a roof overhead…

We all have worries, I know, but these families are literally on the edge. I wish you could meet just one. I know your heart would be moved and you’d take immediate action if you met someone like Dan*…

Dan, a veteran who bravely served our country, was struggling to provide his family with the basics since he’d been laid off.

He explained that the family’s gas and lights had been turned off because they couldn’t afford to pay the bills.

Dan did odd jobs to help make ends meet, but times had gotten even tougher since his wife, Sharla, had caught pneumonia and been hospitalized. More medical bills were the last thing they needed…

Things got so tight that they feared losing their small house.

When Dan came to St. Vincent de Paul for help, he seemed weak and was obviously in distress. We learned that in a desperate effort to make their house payment, he had not been eating enough… he’d been skipping meals.

Dan was so, so relieved to find out that we could help. By providing Dan and his family not only with food but with understanding and genuine concern in a dark moment, we were able to share hope.

All this is YOUR compassion at work.

But, as I mentioned above, this has been a particularly difficult summer. Our resources have been stretched to the limit and beyond.

Will you think of families in our community who are coming to us on the verge of despair? Will you help us to help them so they don’t have to skip meals or take other desperate measures to make it through?

My greatest concern now is keeping up with requests for help. God bless you for caring – and for acting – today.

Gratefully,

Therese Frye
President
Archdiocesan Council Board of Trustees

I’m praying you can help with this problem…

I’m praying you can help with this problem… 150 150 St. Vincent de Paul Detroit

Dear Friends,

You may not realize it, but summer is an extremely difficult time for local families in need – and that means the demand for help from St. Vincent de Paul runs extra high.

The only way our Vincentian volunteers can serve all who need help throughout the summer is with the unselfish, sacrificial giving of our most generous friends like you.

Unfortunately, donations typically drop in the summer as supporters are away on vacation or take a break from their regular giving routines. That makes it a serious challenge for us to meet critical needs…and that’s why I’m asking for your help!

Only with your compassion and generosity will we have sufficient resources to care for the, poor, the homeless and other vulnerable individuals and families who need us.

The current situation is difficult. By conservative estimates, nearly 40 percent of Detroit residents are living below the poverty line. Many depend on our emergency assistance to help with basic needs.  

Please, will you make a gift to help local families in need during these summer months? Your gift will help children, families, seniors, and others right here in metro Detroit get back on their feet. Working together, we can make a real difference!

Some of those unable to make ends meet are breadwinners from “working poor” families. They labor 14+ hours at two or three jobs but still don’t earn enough to provide the most basic things for their families.

We do not presently have resources enough to help all who seek help, but I simply cannot turn anyone in need away. That is why your most generous gift today is so important.

Local families living at or below the poverty line have cut every unnecessary expense in an effort to make ends meet.

            At St. Vincent de Paul, we’re striving to provide a safety net to catch those in need in our community.

That’s why I must turn to our most dedicated supporters like YOU to help us through these summer months.  I – and the many we serve – need you to help today.

  I prayerfully request that you help with a gift today to meet immediate needs this summer. Each and every gift will make a difference by easing the burden of a family in need – and I’m grateful for any and all help you provide.

Thank you again for your extraordinary efforts to comfort the poorest of the poor in our midst.  May God bless and keep you and your loved ones throughout the summer.

Gratefully,

 

 

 

 

 

Deacon Chris Stark, Executive Director

P.S. Needs this summer are already building up and many are counting on us – you and me. Please help. Your support is more important than ever now. God bless you for caring and for taking action today! 

 

 

Experience the hope of Easter this year like never before…

Experience the hope of Easter this year like never before… 150 150 St. Vincent de Paul Detroit

 

Dear Friends,

“How marvelous it would be,” Pope Francis has said, “if, at the end of the day, each of us could say: today I have performed an act of charity toward others.

Such a basic thing can bring about so much good – it’s good for the person you’re helping, of course, but it’s also good for your soul and brings you closer to God.

In fact, “loving one another” is what God calls us to do. And, as Pope Francis reminds us, “God will judge us upon how we have treated the most needy.”

I know YOU understand that and I am so grateful for your kindness.  Your big heart for our neighbors in need – those who are hungry and homeless and in need of compassion – is evident in your generous support of St. Vincent de Paul.

With your help, we reach out to our neighbors in need. We feed them. Provide them with emergency assistance. Give them a safe and comfortable place to live… But beyond the material aid that you make possible, there’s something more you share with them. Something just as important, maybe even more so. I’m talking about hope.

These thoughts are with me now because hope is at the very heart of Easter. Next month, we’ll celebrate the resurrection of our Lord and the awesome gift of eternal life.

But to truly experience the hope and joy of Easter, you have to prepare. And one of the best ways to do that is to extend yourself to another in need. As St. Francis said, “it is in giving that we receive…”

So, will you prepare your heart for Easter by blessing a local person or family in desperate need… a mother like Melinda*? Your Easter gift will change lives and it will open your heart to experience the resurrection of the Lord in a powerful way.

Please understand, without your help through St. Vincent de Paul, people like Melinda would be in terrible trouble…

Melinda is struggling to raise three children on her own. It was freezing when she arrived this past week at our food pantry. Carol, a St. Vincent de Paul volunteer, asked how she could help. As the women spoke, Carol noticed the holes in Melinda’s sweater. Her pant leggings were so worn you could see through them in some parts.

Melinda was shivering but smiled when she realized we’d be able to help her. She was so happy, so grateful, for the simple gift of groceries. She breathed a sigh of relief – the groceries were enough to help her feed the children for a full week.

Carol hugged Melinda as she shared her story about being abandoned by her husband and how she was trying so hard to get back on her feet.

The thought of this mother, cold, and with so little to her name, and so much responsibility on her shoulders moved Carol to tears. She took off her own jacket and gave it to Melinda.

Now Melinda couldn’t stop crying, thankful for the compassion being shown her. Thankful for a warm coat. Thankful that she had food now for her little children.

This is what your gift today makes possible. Food, shelter, emergency assistance, and other basics for our neighbors in need.

So please, will you send an Easter gift today to help more families like Melinda’s?

Your gift will bring the powerful gift of HOPE to local families in need this Easter season. Families like Melinda’s…

And I believe the blessings you share will be returned to you on Easter morning. You’ll be filled with peace knowing you’ve helped someone in dire need.

God bless you and may all the hope and joy of Easter be yours.

With deep gratitude,

 

 

 

 

 

Deacon Chris Stark Executive Director

P.S. God bless you for your compassionate heart. Wishing you a blessed, and very Happy Easter.

Join me in welcoming Shelly Robertson, our new Director of Development. Please read her message below…

Join me in welcoming Shelly Robertson, our new Director of Development. Please read her message below… 150 150 St. Vincent de Paul Detroit

 

Dear Friends,

I can’t tell you how happy and honored I am to join our Executive Director, Deacon Chris Stark, and the rest of the St. Vincent de Paul staff and volunteers to serve the poorest and most vulnerable of our community.

And though I know it won’t be easy keeping up with the needs of struggling individuals and families who are counting on us, I begin this important work filled with great hope…

Why?

Because I know we have an incredible, unfailing resource behind us… YOU.

I know how kind you’ve been in lifting up our neighbors.
And now, in the dead of winter when needs are extra high, I’m asking …

Please, will you make a gift so we can care for all in need of our help this winter?

Your compassion is making a real difference…

Thanks to you, our very important mission is being carried out through a variety of programs and services. All told last year, we helped more than 300,000 of our neighbors in need.

Without friends like you, that level of outreach simply wouldn’t be possible!

Whether providing the basic necessities of food, clothing and shelter… or emergency financial assistance, energy assistance, educational programs, disaster relief… or helping someone regain their smile at our dental clinic, YOU stand with us in changing lives.

And when our tireless Vincentian volunteers carry out home visits to assess the needs of the poor and vulnerable, YOU, in a very real way, stand beside them. Without your prayers and support, you see, the needs they identify simply couldn’t be addressed.

But as grateful as I am for all the good you make possible, there still is much to do, many still in need, and we cannot rest on our laurels…

Some turning to us this winter are suffering without a decent coat.

Some don’t have enough to eat.

Some worry if their utilities will be shut off.

Some don’t even have a roof overhead…

They are in tremendous need, and I don’t want to fail them.

And with your help today, we won’t.

Every gift – large or small – makes a difference and will be rushed into action right here in our community. Please, will you make the most generous gift you can to share help and hope this winter through St. Vincent de Paul?

 

Gratefully,
Shelly Robertson, Director of Development

 

 

 

 

P.S. Many of our neighbors find themselves suffering without the basic necessities of food, clothing or shelter. But your prayers, gifts and support make St. Vincent de Paul’s good work to help them possible. I’m so glad to be working with you on this most important mission of mercy and hope!

 

Your generosity at work in 2017…

Your generosity at work in 2017… 150 150 St. Vincent de Paul Detroit

Dear Caring Friend,

Thank you for all your support in 2016! You’ve been a great friend to our most vulnerable neighbors through St. Vincent de Paul. Because of you, we’ve been able to help many in our local community who had fallen on hard times this past year.

But as I write today, many are still in need. Will you help us to help them in 2017?

I pray you’ll see the need and respond with love. The cold winter months are upon us and the demand for our programs is high. Many are in need of warm meals, warm coats and a warm and safe place to sleep at night.

These are the gifts your kindness makes possible.

So please will you make a gift today?

Sometimes those in need are people who have worked their entire lives and always believed they’d be helping others… rather than needing it themselves! “It’s what we mean when we say, “there but for the grace of God, go I..”

I’m thinking of someone like Lynette.*

Lynette is 70. She owned three beauty shops during her career and raised two daughters with her husband…

But once the girls had grown up, Lynette’s husband ended the marriage.

The divorce left Lynette reeling, both emotionally and financially. Lynette lost her salons and was left with almost nothing…

She tried to make ends met by working multiple jobs in retail and hardware stores.

But still she struggled… She’s now on a fixed income and any hiccup can be devastating. Just getting through winters, having enough money to keep her heat on is hard.

Lynette was grateful to find a job at a senior center, but when her car broke down she was unable to get to work and lost her job. From there, she started falling behind on utility payments and even stopped taking some much needed prescription medication as a way to cut corners.

But she couldn’t go on that way. And, very frankly, Lynette didn’t know what she was going to do… until parishioners at her church told her about St. Vincent de Paul.

After a home visit to assess the situation, we calmed her down and let her know she as not alone. We helped pay to get her car repaired and drove her around during the time it took to get it fixed.

She was able to get her job back and is grateful and “back on track,” she says.

Because of the generosity of friends like YOU, we are able to be there for Lynette and many others this year – and we’ll be there for others and continue lifting up the least of our sisters and brothers.

This is the gift of YOUR kindness – it’s YOUR mercy in action.

I pray that you’ll make  a gift to support our neighbors in 2017. Please will you?

God bless you for recognizing the need, but also for caring enough to act today!

With all best wishes in 2017,

Deacon Chris Stark

Executive Director