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Racine Society of St Vincent de Paul

Racine Society of St Vioncent de Paul

RACINE — The Racine Society of St. Vincent de Paul (SVdP) advances the spiritual growth of its members through service to those in need. No act of charity is foreign to SVdP but its in-home visits with neighbors in crisis situations is the core of its mission. And at the heart of its mission is the generous spirit of the volunteers.

Aristotle once said that the essence of life is to serve others and do good. Health psychology studies have underscored the mental and physical benefits of volunteering. Feeling socially connected through volunteerism wards off loneliness and depression and increases life satisfaction. It feels good to help and those who help others on a regular basis live longer. All good news. However, research shows that while 90% of us want to volunteer, only one-fourth of Americans actually do.

There has been a dramatic decrease in the rate of volunteering in America since 2013. At the same time, poverty rates have continued to climb. The City of Racine has a poverty rate of approximately 20%. County levels are less, but still higher than the state average. These numbers mean that more and more of our neighbors need help, but there are fewer and fewer volunteers to meet the need. The SVdP Helpline is routinely flooded with calls but only a fraction of those seeking assistance are helped because of a shrinking pool of volunteers. Many of SVdP volunteers are aging and stepping back from active roles in SVdP conferences. Fewer and fewer younger adults are volunteering to fill the void. Lack of time is often cited as the reason. Maybe we just need to ask.

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The Racine Society of St. Vincent de Paul works to alleviate suffering and promote human dignity through good works and service, including:

  • Short-term financial support for those in crisis housing and utility situations.
  • Food distribution through the pantry at 926 LaSalle St.
  • A weekly meal program at North Pointe United Methodist Church.
  • Thrift stores that generate revenue to support programs and good works.
  • Collaboration with other service agencies to address the root causes of poverty.

If you or someone you know is in a position to help with time or treasure, please call (262) 332-7242, email [email protected] or visit the SVdP website www.svdpracine.org to explore volunteer opportunities.

“Charity is the cement which binds communities to God and persons to one another.”

— St Vincent de Paul

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