Few charities have such rich histories as the St Vincent de Paul Society (feel free to have a look at their wiki page if you’d like to see a taste of it!) An international Catholic charity, they are devoted to helping the poor, with their conference in Britain being established in 1844, ever since they’ve been a constant presence in near two centuries since.
Subsequently they have spread to cover much of Britain with over 1000 conferences and over 10,000 members all working to help people in poverty.
The need for such help was just as great during the pandemic when it hit in 2020. Countless charities faced the struggles of how to continue to help people and serve their communities, but these challenges were only amplified when looking at branches right across the country. Yet despite the obstacles, St Vincent de Paul managed to carry on their good work.
One of the cornerstones of their work involves what they label as practical help. Their report for 2020-21 lists over 30,000 acts of practical help achieved (transport, fuel, clothes just some of the categories they list), along with over 330,000 visits or calls to various people who may be enduring loneliness, and over 110,000 meals provided, which is phenomenal especially factoring in the restrictions and safety considerations.
It goes without saying that the efforts of volunteers such as those at St Vincent de Paul go a long way in helping those struggling no matter the circumstance or who they might be. However, they don’t stop at aiding domestically, with some of their efforts directed to assisting internationally also.
They’ve been involved with helping in India, Grenada, Guyana, Romania, South Sudan and Sudan. Financial aid is crucial in overseas projects, but in more ways than simply buying equipment or funding construction. They’ve been instrumental in helping to sponsor students who would otherwise find their educational opportunities limited, which is such an important factor in helping improve quality of life.
A further snapshot showcases some of the other impressive work abroad, such as in India where their grants for the small projects scheme help create local businesses, generate skills and provide a way for people to earn an income. They also have an adopted families scheme, which provides food and essentials on a regular basis to families living below the poverty line.
Whilst this is just a very brief glimpse at some of the work they perform as a charity, it should be clear that it’s essential in helping to protect some of the most vulnerable not just in our society but abroad as well. It’s evident that their faith assists them in delivering these acts of kindness, doing what they can to benefit those less fortunate.
Should you feel you have something to contribute, be it a donation or your services, their website has details on the various ways you can offer your help.