Archives for December 2013
On Saturday December 21, 2013 the Seattle Times ran a column written by Rev. Patrick J. Howell of Seattle University. Father Howell writes a column every few weeks for the publication. Entitled “To spread season’s joy, help those in need,” Father Howell writes that ‘the work of the St. Vincent de Paul Society fits right in with Pope Francis’ mandate for the church ‘to be out on the streets’ helping people who are hurting.”
Our Seattle roots date to 1920. And for 93 years we have helped hundreds of thousands of Seattle families stay in their homes, keep the heat and lights on, and get furniture items to start a family, or secure clothing to plan a fresh beginning. We serve anyone and everyone unconditionally, no questions asked. Today, we are part of one of the largest independently managed non-profit organizations in the world.
In King County from Auburn to New Castle and North Bend to Burien and everywhere in between, our 50 plus volunteer neighborhood groups have quietly and without fanfare made thousands of home visits every year to help people who are struggling just to get by. That is St. Vincent de Paul.
Below is an excerpt from the Seattle Times article. And you can go to this link to read the full article: “To Spread Season’s Joy, Help Those in Need “
Ned explains how a mother of two may have a rent of $800 but can only come up with $650: “We cover the other $150 so that they won’t be evicted.”
Or a young mother, Melissa, is pregnant. She and her 2-year-old faced power being shut off. She owed $209 past due and needed $100 to prevent disconnection. She recently started working part time at a fast-food restaurant. New costs for day care left her unprepared to pay other bills. Donors pledged the $100 a month necessary to see her through.
“Our volunteers make 12,000 person-to-person visits annually,” Ned says, “helping people facing eviction for overdue rent or for utility payments, easing hunger and linking people to longer term case-management services.”
“We go to the people — where the people are hurting. Of course, we can’t address the vast need by ourselves. We partner with many others, such as Food Lifeline, Catholic Community Services of Western Washington, Chief Seattle Club, and Sound Mental Health — for food assistance, mental-health referrals and a host of other urgent needs. We are the No. 1 source for King County 2-1-1 referrals.”
St. Vincent de Paul was asked by the Seattle chapter of Pecha Kucha, along with 1,000 organizations in 500 cities around the world, to present our views on the topic all the groups in each city had to address: Walk This Town: Perspectives on Designing a Healthy City. Pecha Kucha, which means chit-chat in Japanese, is a simple presentation format where presenters each discuss their approach to the topic using 20 slide images that each shows for just 20 seconds, a 20 x 20 review. Ned Delmore, Executive Director of St. Vincent de Paul of Seattle King County, presented the St. Vincent de Paul 20 x 20 review to a gathering of 150 people a few weeks ago.
Highlights of Delmore’s remarks:
Our mission is to organize groups of volunteers to meet and serve the poor face to face. We’ve thrived because of our mission. It’s simple and deep. The poor know and trust St. Vincent de Paul. We’ve been helping people in communities all over the world for 180 years. In Seattle and King County, our volunteers work in 53 neighborhoods. We make over 200 home visits per week to help people get services they need to survive. Our work is relational and involves direct human contact. We will do over 12,000 home visits this year.
The home is where you come to know the family— where people are comfortable. We do home visits to make it convenient for people we are seeing. If a needy person can’t afford running water, how can they have the money to take a bus to a library to use the internet to find services?
We prevent evictions, help pay utility bills, keep food on the table, and help kids get clothes and transportation to school. Our work is about using the home visit to help people recognize that they have self-worth. They are our family also.
Most of our work is about preservation of families, listening to them, holding them together and affirming their human dignity. It’s about helping the vulnerable survive. It’s about our children’s health, safety and well-being. What world are we leaving for our kids? Move up front or as a bigger headline
Our Help Line gets 44,000 calls a year from people needing help. That’s the same size as a full house at a Mariners’ game. Over 25,000 of those are referrals from the 2-1-1 Crisis Line—where people call when they’re desperate. We’re the largest source of Crisis Line referrals in King County.
In partnership with other community agencies, we are bringing vital services to our five thrift stores. They will become places where people can get social services in their neighborhood. You can still purchase things, but we must make services available in places like our stores where people are trusted. Access to good health care should be a key measure for evaluating the quality of a city. Our poor neighbors work to find transportation to get to medical facilities. While we have some of the best medical professionals in America, creating access to neighborhood health care clinics seems like a better solution.
That’s why we are teaming up with other community groups, such as Neighbor Care Health, to ask them to join with us to provide neighborhood-based services, including health care. Access to health care for all citizens is vital for strong and vibrant communities and families.
Let me close with these thoughts from poet, novelist, and critic Wendell Berry. He says: “when we no longer know which way to go we have come to our real journey. It may be that when we no longer know what to do, we have come to our real work.” Berry goes on to say: “the mind that is not baffled is not employed. The impeded stream is the one that sings.”
City of Kent Mayor Suzette Cooke was the featured guest at the Centro Rendu Volunteer Appreciation Dinner held on Tuesday, December 17, 2013 at the St. Vincent de Paul (SVdP) Thrift Store on Central Avenue North in Kent.
The dinner was held to thank volunteers for all of their efforts connected with the Centro Rendu Grand opening and daily operations. Over 30 volunteers, staff and students attended along with Mayor Cooke, Mirya Munoz-Roach, Director of Hispanic Outreach Services for SVdP, and Ned Delmore, Executive Director of SVdP.
Centro Rendu is a Latino Educational and Resource center located inside the St. Vincent de Paul Kent Thrift Store at 310 Central Ave. North in Kent. For more information about Centro Rendu call: 253-499-4245.In the photo from left to right are Maria Baylon and Mirya Munoz Roach of Centro Rendu, Mayor Suzette Cooke, Silvia Herrera, and Maria T. Rodriguez of Centro Rendu.
St. Vincent de Paul visits over 12,000 neighbors annually. Many of them are moms with kids. Their stories are very real. They are typically on the verge of eviction. The stories are sad and troubling in so many ways. Your donations help our volunteers work with these young mothers and their kids. Without your generous contributions, we wouldn’t be able to do this work. Below is a story about a mom we recently helped. We will call her Linda.
Last week we went out to visit and take food to Linda. She has four daughters and is a victim of domestic violence. She is still being treated for physical as well as mental trauma. We were amazed at her courage as she calmly talked and even joked about her daily battles with a range of problems that seemed overwhelming.
She has been unable to work and her kids have had to move schools more than once, their apartment’s toilets work only intermittently. The apartment has mold yelling for the Mold Removal in Kansas City to come help, the spores from which have made her and one of her daughters sick. She and the kids have bad dreams on a regular basis. They lock and bar the doors at night. And nights are long and fearful.
Once, as we are talking, her eyes filled with tears as she told us how one of her children had asked her if it was OK to talk to her counselor about what she had seen her father do to her Mother. She had had to tell her daughter that it was alright to open up – Linda explained that the pain her and her daughter might suffer with all these feelings was another high mountain they would have to cross.
Listening to Linda, we realized how weak and easily discouraged most of us would be if we faced a fraction of what she had to deal with on a daily basis. As we left, she thanked us for our visit. And as we walked away from her apartment, we realized we should have been thanking her for such an inspirational example of faith, acceptance and courage.
On Tuesday, December 10th, we were visited by third, fourth, and fifth grade students from Holy Family Bilingual School. These students toured our facility to learn about SVdP’s Help Line, Home Visits, Thrift Stores, and our other programs to help our struggling neighbors. Along with their tour, our guests helped out in our Georgetown Food Bank, where we served 1,431 people, including 80 homeless people, from 382 households. Thank you for helping our neighbors in need.
Looking for a place to have a delicious lunch or dinner this weekend? Try California Pizza Kitchen! On December 13-15th, when you dine at our local California Pizza Kitchen Restaurants in Northgate, Bellevue, and Tukwila, you can help St. Vincent de Paul with your purchase.
Present this flyer at any of these King County locations and California Pizza Kitchen will donate 20% of your check to St. Vincent de Paul of Seattle/King County. If 10 families go out to CPK and spend $50 on lunch or dinner, SVdP would get $100, which is often enough to provide rental assistance and prevent eviction for a family. And, as always, remember that about 90 cents of every dollar donated to SVdP goes directly to our social service programs.
CLICK HERE FOR THE FLYER — Pizza with a Purpose Flyer
Equilibrium Fitness in West Seattle is hosting a charity shoe drive benefiting the clients of St. Vincent de Paul of Seattle/King County. For each pair of shoes donated, Equilibrium Fitness will give you a certificate for a free class or free evaluation! For more information on how you can help, visit Equilibrium Fitness online. Thanks for making the walk of our neighbors in need a little easier with a good pair of shoes!
Unfortunately, there are things we just can’t accept as donations, not because we don’t want to help you, but because we can’t sell them. We’re also not a garbage dump, even though sometimes people just dump stuff at our stores late at night. Some folks even try to hide bad donations in with good donations. Other folks argue with our donation call center saying, “Some poor person can use this old torn couch.”
Here is the simple, straightforward, and honest truth: Our neighbors deserve the best we can give.
We Sell Items to Help People
We say, “We are very sorry, we just can’t sell stuff that is torn, ripped, stained, broken or worn out.” We know garbage prices are high. Our garbage fees total over $60,000 per year and we are working very hard to reduce it to keep as much money as we can in our programs to help people. Please help us with this difficult job. Help us secure gently used items we can sell. To get a list of what we do take and can sell and can’t accept or sell visit our Can & Can’t Sell List.
Items We Sell
- Baby Items — changing tables, baby gates, play toys as long as they meet safety standards
- BBQ grills – no propane tanks on gas grills
- Beds – must include an inner spring mattresses without buttons – no Kings. We accept metal bed frames & wood slat frames with all hardware. We do not accept captain bed frames or platform bed frames. We accept futons with frame and mattress, day beds and trundle beds with mattresses and hardware
- Books, CDs, records, cassettes, and video
- Clothing – clean, no rips or tears, including shoes, belts, jewelry, & purses
- Desks up to 48 inches long
- Furniture – gently used items only: “No rips, tears, stains, cat scratches, excessive pet hair, broken pieces, missing parts, or upholstery that is worn through”
- Household items including kitchenware, home decor, and miscellaneous items
- Lamps and light fixtures, excluding fluorescents and halogens
- Lawnmowers – working and drained of all fluids
- Musical Instruments
- Sporting Goods (except skis, boots OK), exercise equipment in good working condition
- TV’s up to 32” with remotes 8 years old, or newer. Larger TV’s can be dropped off for recycling at 5950 Fourth Avenue South, Seattle, 98108. Call ahead at 206.767.3835 to confirm hours.
- Wheel chairs with all parts in working condition
- Working small electronics and small household appliances
Items We Can’t Sell
- Air conditioners
- Anything marked “poison” or “hazardous material”
- Anything needing repair or reupholstering
- Anything with noticeable stains of any kind
- Baby items – cribs, play pens, high-chairs, or care seats due to safety regulations
- Baseboard or gas heaters
- Bathroom chairs or shower chairs due to sanitary reasons
- Bath tubs
- Car batteries
- Car parts
- Copy machines
- Desks (metal)
- Entertainment centers
- Fireplace inserts
- Hospital beds
- Hot water tanks
- Large household appliances including washers, dryers, refrigerators
- Ping-Pong tables
- Pool tables
- Shower doors
- Single pane windows
- Swing sets
Donate your unwanted holiday decorations to SVdP and get a 25% off coupon. http://conta.cc/1avpRle
Now through December 13th, when you donate at least one bag or box of holiday decorations to St. Vincent de Paul of Seattle|King County, we’ll give you a coupon for 25% off your next purchase.
Be sure to ask for the coupon when you donate, as this is a special offer for our Vincent’s Shoppers.
One of our largest fund raising programs is our thrift stores. We rely heavily on the kindness of people all over King County to donate gently used clothing, household goods, and furniture to be sold in our five thrift stores. We use the sales proceeds to fund programs to help people avoid eviction, keep heat and lights on, get food for their family and other services. On behalf of the 200,000 people in King County who we are able to help every year because of donations from neighbors like you, THANK YOU!!!
For donation locations, visit http://svdpseattle.org/how-you-can-help/goods-clothing-donations/.
Yesterday, we were visited by more second grade students from St. Joseph School in Seattle. The second graders toured our facility to learn about SVdP’s Help Line, Home Visits, Thrift Stores, and our other programs to help our struggling neighbors. Along with their tour, our friendly, energetic guests helped out in our Georgetown Food Bank, where we served 1,361 people, including 107 homeless people, from 400 households.