Society of Saint Vincent de Paul celebrates milestone in helping local community

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Few organizations in the Windsor area have been around as long as the Society of St. Vincent de Paul.

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It is for this reason that the local charity aid agency took a break on Monday to celebrate its 125th anniversary by holding an evening mass in honor of the occasion at St. Alphonsus Church – the location where it all started in 1896.

“How many organizations still exist after 125 years?” said Dave Leslie, chairman of St. Vincent de Paul. “We are still here to serve this community and help the poor – as we have always been for the past 125 years.

“There is real pride in what we have done to serve generation after generation.”

We are really proud of what we do

Vincent de Paul, primarily through 25 area Catholic churches, provides food banks and home delivery of food boxes to people in need across Windsor and Essex County. The agency has a bed program where it provides free beds with an average donation of 650 beds per year to people. It also has a bike program where refurbished bikes are offered.

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The Society of Saint Vincent de Paul, which is now open for in-store purchases, is pictured, Friday May 22, 2020. Photo by Dax Melmer /Windsor Star

In addition to this are the agency’s six stores where goods, clothing and other household items – received from the community as donations – are offered to all at a reduced price.

“People can come in and buy items and we make sure everything is in good shape,” Leslie said.

“When we do our home visits (delivery of food boxes), if we notice that they need children’s clothes or winter coats, we write them a voucher and they can get items for free.”

  1. Saint Vincent de Paul Society Logo

    The Saint-Vincent de Paul Society receives a donation to help people in need

  2. Used clothing donations are shown in this 2013 file photo. (Ian Willms/Getty Images)

    St. Vincent de Paul serves its neighbors in many ways

  3. Students from the Academie Ste Cecile International School in Windsor display some of the 10,000 cans collected by 150 students during the annual can drive in aid of the Saint Vincent de Paul organization in this file photo from December 2016.

    Saint Vincent de Paul urges people to support the World Day of the Poor

St. Vincent de Paul stores and their warehouses have 35 full-time and part-time employees, as well as a range at different times of the year of 100 to 200 volunteers who provide food bank assistance, deliver boxes of food and support the agency’s efforts in other ways.

“We’re really proud of what we do,” Leslie said. “After 125 years, it is good to recognize all that we have done during this period. The fact that we are still here is a great testament to that.

For more information about the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul, go online to ssvpwindsoressex.com or call 519-253-7481.

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