The St Vincent de Paul Society needs you

We all know that the cost of living in Australia is going up. Correspondingly, the number of people calling on the St Vincent de Paul Society for help is doing the same.

People are struggling to pay bills and put food on the table. Sometimes they have to make choices about doing either one or the other.

In our parish the local St Vincent de Paul Conference has seen a large increase in calls for assistance. On one day alone in January we had 23 calls for assistance. While that was exceptional, following the Christmas break, it is not uncommon for us to get 6 or more calls a day. In fact we get more calls for help than any other parish in Canberra. On average we would get 20 or more calls each week. People call us because they need food or clothing or help with bills.

Some of you may recall that I spoke at weekend Masses late last year and asked people to think about joining us in our work. We were lucky enough to get a small number of new members who have already made a wonderful contribution. But since then we have lost other members.

We really need a few more people to help us deal with the growing number of calls for assistance. If we could get half a dozen new members that would make a big difference.

So I’d love you to think about whether you have the time to join us, or at least find out a bit more about what we do. Members of the parish Conference will be out the front of the church after weekend Masses on 11 and 12 May, so why not say hello?

What is involved in being a member?
Attending a meeting once a fortnight on a Tuesday at 7pm for about an hour;

  • Making yourself available to work with another member in dealing with the calls for assistance that come in on a particular day, which might take 2 hours;
  • Calls can be dealt with during the day or evening depending on what suits.

Working With Vulnerable People
Because of the type of work we do with vulnerable members of the community, members are required to obtain a Working With Vulnerable People card from Access Canberra and have a police check done, which can be organised through the St Vincent de Paul Head Office at Yarralumla.

In Conclusion
I really hope you will consider joining us. When the time comes we would like to think that we are able to say that we fed the hungry, we gave drink to the thirsty and we clothed the naked.

Mark Carter (0401 149 352)
On behalf of the parish St Vincent de Paul Conference

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