Society of St. Vincent de Paul(TM) Continues Rich Tradition of Local Community Outreach with Sponsorship of 6th Annual Friends of the Poor® Walk/Run
ST. LOUIS, Sept. 5, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — A family of five lived in their van because the father lost his construction job and can’t find another. An elderly couple on a limited income couldn’t pay their utility bills and faced a shut-off just as the weather turned cold. A woman whose husband left her and their four children is going back to school to become a nurse, but she is behind in her mortgage payments. These are real stories of real people who have something else in common besides their struggles: They’re some of the 15 million people across the country who were helped last year by the nonprofit Society of St. Vincent de Paul(TM) (SVdP).
On Saturday, Sept. 28, 2013, some 20,000 walkers and runners across the country are expected to take to the streets to raise awareness and funds for others like them at the national 6(th) Annual Friends of the Poor(®) Walk/Run, sponsored by the National Council of the U.S. Society of St. Vincent de Paul.
All proceeds and donations from the event will directly benefit the people living in poverty and in need in the communities served by SVdP. All monies and donation raised will stay in the communities where they are generated, and there are no administrative fees associated with the event. Anyone interested in learning more, participating, or making a pledge can log on to www.fopwalk.org. Participants also can make an online pledge.
The event in each community is designed and run by the Society of St. Vincent de Paul chapter in that area, so details such as the time and date will vary by location. A “Walk/Run Locations” tab on the website displays a map showing the various Friends of the Poor(®) Walk/Runs around the country. Most are held near September 27, the feast day of the Society’s patron, St. Vincent de Paul, who ministered to the poor in Paris in the 17(th) century.
National sponsors of the 2013 event are:
-- Ascension Health, one of the nation's largest Catholic and nonprofit health systems; and -- Catholic Financial Life, the second largest Catholic financial services organization in the country.
In 2012, more than 19,000 participants, representing some 220 locations across the country, raised a total of approximately $1.8 million. Since the event began in 2008, more than $6.6 million has been raised to help those living in poverty.
“While the increase in donations and participants is welcome, the number of people in need continues to grow, challenging our members’ ability to provide the necessary resources and funds,” said Dave Barringer, SVdP’s chief executive officer. “That’s why the Society is focused on systemic change as a long-term response. In effect, that means we are working to identify the underlying causes of poverty so we can help people move permanently out of a state of extreme want. Events like the Friends of the Poor Walk/Run help bring us the resources to get closer to that goal.”
One of the largest charitable organizations in the world, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul (www.svdpusa.org) is an international, nonprofit, Catholic lay organization of more than 770,000 men and women who voluntarily join together to grow spiritually by offering person-to-person service to the needy and suffering in 149 countries on five continents. With the U.S. headquarters in St. Louis, Mo., membership in the United States totals more than 148,000 in 4,300 communities. Programs include home visits, housing assistance, disaster relief, job training and placement, food pantries, dining halls, clothing, transportation and utility costs, care for the sick, the incarcerated and the elderly, and prescription medicine. Last year, SVdP volunteers and staff performed approximately 11.5 million service hours, provided approximately $767 million in tangible and in-kind services, made more than 1.6 million person-to-person visits (homes, hospitals and prisons), and helped almost 15 million people, regardless of race, religion or national origin.
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SOURCE Society of St. Vincent de Paul