Society of St. Vincent de Paul Chicago

Almsgiving: 2017 Lenten Season

Our time for personal reflection is upon us again

Who is my brother's keeper?This time last year we reached out to you, asking you to join us in making the plight of the homeless our Lenten objective. Together we worked to lessen the blow of life on the fringes by offering lifelines to at least 300 of our brothers and sisters. Equipped with the items you helped purchase, the Pope Francis Center organized outreach to the homeless. Distributing backpacks and "service information flyers," we reminded them they are not alone.

Through the fruits of your self-denial, over the past year, the Pope Francis Center was able to provide services that range from various survival items, personal IDs, assistance with benefit applications, and much more. For many people living on the street, they do not know where to turn to when in need. As Christians, we are called upon to be "my brothers' keeper" – always extending a helping hand.

Whether it's chocolate or pasta that you have chosen as your sacrifice, if you put a dollar amount to this, you can make it benefit someone else. By choosing to use all or just a small portion of the money we spend on those sacrificed items, we can make a difference in the life of someone else. 

Please join us during this Lenten period to build awareness of the plight of the homeless. We are assembling backpacks which will include the items listed below. You can purchase one or more of the listed items below, or you can donate your time to volunteer in programs servicing the poor.

We are not saying these backpacks will solve the problems. No, we are merely asking you to join us in our efforts to ease an extremely difficult situation. You can choose to sponsor the purchase of a fully equipped backpack or donate whatever you can afford. Any and all donations are gratefully appreciated.

Listed below are the items that will be inside the backpack:


Estimated cost

Backpack (preferably trail)




Thermal underwear




Water bottle


Toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste, dental floss)


Grooming kit


Hand wipes, hand sanitizer


First Aid kit


Granola Bars, nuts


List of social services in Lake and Cook counties

Provided by SVdP Conference



The donation of your time is greatly appreciated as well. We will need assistance in assembling and distributing the backpacks. If you are interested, please email Pam Matambanadzo at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.