The Society of St. Vincent de Paul is composed of women and men who seek their personal holiness through works of charity. In this essential way, the Society differs from charitable associations or agencies whose principal objective is not the spiritual advancement of their members but the doing of good for someone else.
Since its beginning in 1833, the Society has made home visits its hallmark. Trained volunteers, known as Vincentians, visit the homes of people facing crisis, sit down with the person or family and get to know them, to best identify how they can be assisted. The Society differs from many charities in that it provides direct charity, directly paying for a struggling person’s utility bills or rent, for example. Our cost to raise a dollar is another differentiator. Due to our huge volunteer base in the USA, our cost to raise to raise a dollar ranges from just .06 to .10 cents, way below industry average. In the Society’s founder Frederic Ozanam’s statement he mademany years ago, “No act of charity is foreign to the Society of St. Vincent de Paul,” another key differentiator is found. The Society, at a local level, assess the greatest need and address it. Whether it be access to dental or medical care, overcoming heroin addiction or finding homes for the homeless, for example. Finally, the Society provided over $1 billion in direct help in the USA last year, feeding, clothing, housing and healing people, neighbors helping neighbors with little governmental assistance. Across the globe, more than 900,000 Vincentians work on five continents, making the Society arguably the largest volunteer organization on the globe. Click here to learn more.
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