The Volunteers of S.V.D.P meet twice a month to discuss finances and schedule which week each pair of volunteers will visit the people in need in E. Jefferson County. Most all our finances are donations from the parishioners of St. Mary Star of the Sea Catholic church in Port Townsend. We are not funded by the greater Saint Vincent de Paul Society of the U.S. Each chapter is self-supporting through their respective Catholic Church. We sometimes are able to partner with other churches in Jefferson County along with Olympic Community Action Program also known as " OlyCAP". Another is United Good Neighbor or "UGN", and others. These partnerships may allow us to help a family or individual with housing or heating bill that just one organization would not be able to do alone.
When we make our visits we do not ask if they are Catholic or if they go to church or even if they believe in God. We do ask what the need is that prompted them to call us, are they hungry, homeless, without heat?
One of the things that I have noticed time and time again is the ones in need rarely look as if they are in need of food or a place to live. Many times they are the ones who in the recent past have donated to such causes as S.V.D.P... Due to a variety of reasons (medical, loss of a job, separation or divorce). They find themselves in need. They can be the checkout person at the grocery store. The person you just had a nice chat with while filling your gas tank. The fact is, their plight is invisible. Jefferson County has its share of homeless also. Their root problems may be mental health, addiction, poverty, etc. This is one reason The Saint Vincent de Paul Society feels it is important to visit people in their environment. This gives us a sense of what they are going through. People may need food or a little funding to get them by until next week. Some may need to learn where they can find help with other agencies. Others need someone to listen.
In closing, as stated above, a religious affiliation is not required, by either those needing our assistance or those who would like to donate.
You can help those in your own county. Please donate to Saint Vincent de Paul of E. Jefferson County.
If you would like to donate follow the link above.