Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Third Annual "Friends of the Poor® Walk" on Sept. 25
This in from our National Office...
The third annual Friends of the Poor® Walk to benefit the needy and suffering who are served by the Society of St. Vincent de Paul (SVDP) is scheduled to be held across the country on Saturday, Sept. 25, 2010. Anyone interested in participating or making a pledge can log on to www.svdpfriendsofthepoorwalk.org.
SVDP programs include food pantries, housing assistance, disaster relief, job training and placement, clothing, transportation and utility costs, thrift stores, home visits, care for the elderly, medicine, and youth outreach. All proceeds from the walk directly benefit the people served by SVDP in the communities in which the monies are raised, and there are no administrative fees associated with the event.
Participants can also become virtual walkers and make an online pledge. The event in each community is designed and run by the St. Vincent de Paul Conference or Council in that area, so details such as the time and date may vary by location. A "Walk Locations" tab on the Web site displays a map showing the various Friends of the Poor® walks around the country. Most are held near September 27, the feast day of the Society's patron, St. Vincent de Paul
National sponsors of this year's walk are Ascension Health, one of the nation's largest Catholic and nonprofit health systems; Catholic Financial Life, a faith-based membership organization; and Scottrade, one of the leading online investment firms in the United States.
Last year, some 16,000 walkers, representing 409 SVDP Conferences and Councils in 36 states and more than 158 locations around the country, raised more than $1.2 million. The total revenue in 2009 was 50 percent higher than the inaugural walk in 2008.
"The timing of the walk is important," said Joe Flannigan, national SVDP president. "We've seen a dramatic increase in people needing assistance in the last year across the entire country. People who were already reeling from the effects of a job loss, homelessness or hunger are suffering even more. And, unfortunately, we're seeing more and more children who are affected as a result of those issues."
Roger Playwin, executive director of the National Council of St. Vincent de Paul in St. Louis, Mo., emphasized the local benefits that the walk generates. "People who participate can take comfort knowing that any money they raise will stay local," he said. "I think that's one reason why we've seen so much growth in the people participating and the monies raised from this event in the few short years we've been holding it."
One of the oldest and most successful charitable organizations in the world, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul (www.svdpusa.org) is a Catholic lay organization of more than 690,000 men and women throughout the world who voluntarily join together to grow spiritually and offer person-to-person service to the needy and suffering in 142 countries on six continents. With the U.S. headquarters in St. Louis, Mo., membership in the United States totals more than 146,000 in 4,600 communities.
Posted by Pick at 5:00 PM