Call for a Free Home Pickup
Help us help others—recycle and bundle up your gently used unwanted items someone else in need can use! Call St. Vincent de Paul Chicago for free furniture pickup at 773-779-6700, ext. 1.
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Help support our thrift stores and emergency voucher programs—which provide FREE clothing, furniture, and household items to those in need. Learn more.
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Donating That Old Car or Truck Can Help Someone in Need
The proceeds from your vehicle donation will provide essential needs such as food, shelter and housing, elderly care, medicines and much more. Learn more.
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Backpacks for the Homeless
Conferences distribute backpacks to help the homeless
On the evening of a rainy November 11, 2015, members of the St. Tarcissus and Our Lady of Victory conferences distributed 25 oversized backpacks to the local homeless at the food pantry located at St. John's Lutheran Church. Each backpack was filled with various outdoor living essentials to aid the clients for the upcoming winter season.
After seeing something similar on the internet that sparked his interest, St. Tarcissus Conference President Mark Stemper, spearheaded the efforts of the Conference in gathering cash donations and items to be contained in the backpacks.
"They're homeless, and they need something. We are trying to help those that live in our neighborhood," Stemper said. "They get hope knowing that someone cares."
From September through November, the members of the St. Tarcissus Conference, working in concert with one another in the spirit of Frederic Ozanam, collected and assembled the backpacks. Carol Reardon from Our Lady of Victory Conference was in charge of distributing the backpacks.
The backpacks were twice the size of a normal child's backpack and were donated by a member of the parish. The St. Tarcissus Women's Club and Shawl Ministry made a hat and scarf for each of the clients along with a sleeping mat made out of recycled plastic grocery bags. Heavy duty vinyl ponchos, new shirts, gloves, socks, hand warmers and various toiletries were some of the purchased items. Donated items included energy bars from Boy Scout Troop 969, water bottles, toothpaste and toothbrushes from a local dentist, fleece blankets, and flashlights.
Dolores Fallon, the documentarian for the project said, "When we asked for help, it was there. Many people from the Parish Community stepped forward to contribute and to help the night we assembled all the items."
The first person to receive a backpack was an 86-year-old woman who asked, "Is this for me?"
"It is a warm feeling to see someone who is benefiting from your good work. It just makes you feel good," Fallon said after seeing a client wearing one of the backpacks.
This backpack idea has spread to other conference presidents and St. Vincent de Paul organizations that are looking to do this project this year.
"In November, most people think of what they are thankful for, so this was our way of giving thanks," Stemper said.
Wherever there's a need, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul is there
New Pope Francis Center to serve in hope of a better tomorrow
The Society of St. Vincent de Paul (SVdP) Chicago continues its fight on poverty with the opening of a new social service agency called the Pope Francis Center. The Center, named after Pope Francis for his relentless crusade for the poor and vulnerable, helps provide lasting systemic change in the lives of people who come there for help.
The Pope Francis Center, located at 2815 North Kimball Avenue in Chicago, serves the SVdP District IV and District VII service areas – individuals and families who live north of Fullerton Avenue in Chicago. Those who live outside these areas are referred to programs closer to their home.
"We are looking to service people whose needs are chronic in nature with an aim to assist those in a position to transition out of poverty using our Systemic Change Hope-in-Action program," Voice of the Poor Chair Pamela Matambanadzo said. "It is our hope that through the Pope Francis Center, the SVdP Chicago Council will be better equipped to provide lasting change in the lives of the people we serve."
The Center works in conjunction with the SVdP Conferences to provide services to those clients in which the conferences are not equipped to provide such as financial literacy, job search and resume help, computer and internet assistance, landlord issues, help with applying for public benefits, and much more.
"We are here to help families learn about ways to improve their lives," Case Manager Angelica Irigoyen said. Irigoyen has ten years of experience helping low-income, minority and teen clients. "I want to empower people and teach them their rights and knowledge of resources that sometimes they don't know exist."
Irigoyen works full-time at the Center alongside Hospitality Manager Yollima Brito, who provides clients and visitors a comfortable and welcoming experience. "I plan on doing this by listening first to understand. I believe that my calling in life is to help others in need. I want to help people do better for themselves, their families, and their communities," Brito said.
The Center is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Funding for the Pope Francis Center is provided by the Society of St. Vincent de Paul Chicago; therefore, financial donations are always needed and greatly appreciated.
A Grand Opening!
Society of St. Vincent de Paul Chicago headquarters makes new home in Schiller Park
The Society of St. Vincent de Paul (SVdP) Chicago celebrated the Grand Opening of its new headquarters at 10525 Delta Parkway in Schiller Park on December 9. Festivities included a blessing by Assistant Spiritual Advisor Fr. Gerry Kelly, ribbon-cutting ceremony in coordination with the Chamber by O'Hare, and open house for Society members, donors, volunteers, and local dignitaries. Village President/Mayor Barbara Piltaver was on hand to welcome the Society to the Village of Schiller Park.
The new headquarters, conveniently located off Interstate 294 at Irving Park and Mannheim Roads, will serve as a central donation drop-off and processing center, truck dispatch center, and SVdP Chicago administrative office.
"We are thrilled to be part of the Schiller Park community," CEO James Lonergan said. "Ease of highway access and our 30,000 square foot facility allows us to efficiently and effectively process more donations to serve our brothers and sisters in need throughout Cook and Lake counties."
SVdP is the oldest charity in Chicago and serves approximately 800,000 needy families and individuals every year. More than 2,000 volunteers bring help, hope, and the compassion of Christ to the most vulnerable of our society, assisting with food, shelter, clothing, transportation, and emotional and spiritual comfort.
Donations are always needed and welcome. Gently used clothing, furniture, and household items may be dropped off at any one of the three SVdP thrift store drop-off sites in Chicago, Libertyville, and Orland Park. Additional convenient ways to donate include more than 60 drop boxes located at Catholic parishes throughout the area, and free furniture pick-up service available by calling 773-779-6700. A drop-off center will soon be available at the new location in Schiller Park.
Visit svdpchicago.org for updates and more information about accepted and unaccepted donations and donation drop-off locations. In general, all donated items should be gently used, clean, and in working condition – items your family and friends would enjoy using.
"We are a closer community when we treat each other with dignity and respect. Many people who come to us for help may be one paycheck away from poverty. If we can help them by providing a bridge or fill a gap or a need, we may be able to lead some of these people out of poverty," said Lonergan.