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Helping Neighbors Starts at Home

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January 21, 2016

At 87, Joe had saved up for years to put his wife Betty, who suffers from dementia, into a nursing home where she could live safely while receiving the medical care she needed.

When Joe finally got Betty settled into the memory care facility, the weight of caring for her was off his shoulders, but soon another heavy burden came down on him. Even though Medicare paid for her room in the facility, the costs that Medicare did not cover ate up all of their savings. With only a small pension and Social Security to live on, Joe quickly fell...

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June 1, 2015

For Vincentian volunteers, helping neighbors starts at home. This includes rural settings, where Vincentians cover a wider area. For SVDP conferences like Sacred Heart in Troy, Mo., the food pantry is where Vincentians first come into contact with those in need from all over the county.

“In Lincoln County, it’s not always obvious where people are living in poverty, said Susan Kallash-Bailey, Sacred Heart’s Conference President. “In a rural community, you don’t always see the need.”

The pantry serves 300 people per month who are not...

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May 21, 2015

More than 350 Vincentian volunteers and representatives from over 50 other St. Louis social service agencies attended a poverty and racism seminar hosted by the Society of St. Vincent de Paul and Catholic Charities of St. Louis on May 14.  The seminar, “Understanding Two Americas: When Race and Poverty Divide,” featured two speakers who had grown up in and managed to escape poverty.

“Why are we concerned about race and poverty dividing us? Because our faith compels us,” said Fr. Bryan Massingale, a Marquette University professor...

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May 11, 2015

When Cindy was diagnosed with glaucoma, she and her husband Bill knew they could never afford the eye drops she needed. Both in their seventies, their only income came from social security and disability benefits. They could barely afford Bill’s medications for seizures, chronic pain and hypertension, and Cindy had stopped taking some of her other medications to save on costs months ago.

Vincentian volunteers did some research and found that, while the glaucoma drops were not covered by the Prescriptions For Our Neighbors in Need program,...

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May 4, 2015

Single mother Dana of Festus wanted more than anything to provide a better life for her children, ages six and eight, but her lack of transportation kept her trapped in a cycle of poverty.

If she only had a car she could take a second job so she could afford to pay rent and provide for her children. She could take her daughter, who was born with a heart condition, to her doctor appointments in St. Louis. She could spend more time with her children in the evenings instead of coming home at night exhausted from making the three mile trek from work...

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April 23, 2015

For the Keys family, the trouble started when Jason got sick.

“I just couldn’t work my usual schedule, so they let me go.”

Jason, 26, and Erin had been raising their three little girls (ages 8, 6, and 2) in a quiet middle-class neighborhood in their hometown of Ferguson, Missouri. Jason’s job at FedEx was dependable with good benefits—until he fell ill and they laid him off.

“I just couldn’t land another solid job, and the bills started to pile up," Jason said. "Christmas was coming. It was a real rough patch.”

...

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February 26, 2015

When single mother Amelia lost her home last winter, she could not take anything with her—not even her family’s beds. Because Amelia’s two sons—one with sickle cell anemia and one with autism—require special care, she can only work part time and has trouble making ends meet. She sleeps on the cold floor, and her sons sleep on floor mats.

Getting a good night’s sleep became increasingly difficult for her and her boys as temperatures began to drop. She noticed her older would get out of bed still exhausted after each restless night,...

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March 31, 2015

When you are cold—very cold—you will do just about anything to get warm. When a local family was desperate one blustery day, Vincentian John from St. Anthony Parish in High Ridge came to the rescue.

John originally called on the family to respond to their request for help with an electric bill. He learned the family was heating their home with their oven because their furnace needed repairs. There was also mildew on the walls—a result of the family venting their dryer inside for additional heat. 

Unfortunately, this family’s story is not uncommon...

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April 8, 2015

With her bills piling up, single mother Maggie could not afford the anti-seizure medications she needed to maintain a high quality of life. She dreamt of a better life for her and her 6-year-old daughter, but without her medications she couldn’t hold down a job or attend school. Maggie applied for Medicaid, but the longer she waited to hear if she’d be approved, the more she worried she became about whether she’d be able to get the medicines she needed to stay healthy.

After visiting her home, Vincentian volunteers worked with Maggie and her doctors to provide...

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The Council office of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul of St. Louis has moved. As of November, our headquarters is now on the ground floor of the historic Blanke Building, located south of Interstate 64 and immediately west of the Ralston Purina Company headquarters. Constructed in 1888, the building has been owned by the T. T. Haydock Carriage Company, Blanke Tea and Coffee Company, and others over the years. 

We would love for you to come visit us at our new home at 1310 Papin St., St. Louis, Mo., 63103.

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At the Society of St. Vincent de Paul – Archdiocesan Council of St. Louis, we believe that Helping neighbors starts at home. When people need help, we’ll be there. We serve everyone in need. Period.

The Society’s unique model of person-to-person service offers a dual benefit: the poor and suffering feel the love and compassion of humanity along with the assistance they receive. And the volunteer, witnessing the challenges of the less fortunate and their strength to persevere, is inspired to greater involvement and spiritual growth.