On April 22nd, members of the Hubert VLC (Volunteer Leadership Committee) and Hubert office staff attended the St. Vincent DePaul Spring Campaign Kick-Off Breakfast at the invitation of Hubert President Bart Kohler; SVDP is near and dear to our President’s heart – it’s what he jokingly refers to as his “second job”.
St. Vincent DePaul has been operating for more than 140 years, and in 2009 alone, members made 8,493 home visits to people in need. Their goal is to intervene before a family becomes homeless, an illness escalates or the utilities are shut off. This is done with a combination of money for rent and utilities, food, clothing and furniture items. Neighborhood based volunteers make home visits to folks who are asking for help. This personal touch is often missing from other relief organizations. Instead of the whole family having to wait in line in an office waiting room, home visits give those in need the comfort and convenience of telling their story, one on one, in their own environment. These visits also give the volunteer the opportunity to assess all of the needs of the family and offer the appropriate solutions.
Another great feature of SVDP is the Charitable Pharmacy which provides free medication and professional pharmaceutical care to help low-income patients meet their most urgent prescriptive needs.
Much of this medicine is donated through different channels such as doctor’s samples and state funded programs but they still need to buy a certain percentage of the medicine. Since opening, the pharmacy has provided over $5 million in free medication to the needy. Other services of St. Vincent De- Paul are the Choice Food Pantry at the West End headquarters where families can select foods instead of being given pre-packaged provisions. Six thrift stores provide clothing, household items and furniture on an emergency basis. Operation Bootstrap is a job readiness program that places chronically unemployed individuals into permanent, full-time jobs.
Volunteer opportunities are available in food pantries, thrift stores, office services, Operation Bootstrap and neighborhood ministries. If you are interested in volunteering with SVDP in the Cincinnati area, you can go to their website, www.svdpcincinnati.org and fill out an online form, or call Drew Tilow at 513-562-8841 ext 211 for more information.