…Worldwide and here at SJV
The St. Vincent de Paul (SVdP) Society is an international organization devoted to serving the poor. It was founded in 1833 by a young French student, Frederic Ozanam, and today encompasses 900,000 members spread among 46,000 confraternities in 130 countries of five continents.
The Society's purpose is to provide direct aid to those who suffer, and to help individuals reduce and even eliminate the causes of their suffering, themselves. Society members use their own resources, sharing not only possessions but the valuable gift of their presence.
As Pope Francis has told us in a recent homily on World Day of the Poor, “We Christians cannot stand with arms folded in indifference or thrown up in the air in helpless resignation. As believers, we must stretch out our hands as Jesus does with us, freely and lovingly offering help to the poor and all those in need.”
The St. Vincent de Paul Society (SVdP) of Contra Costa County consists of 28 parish "Conferences" or “Branches” with over 300 volunteers providing help to the poor in our county. Most assistance is through the direct personal encounters of our members, seeking in friendship, to bring whatever assistance we are able to provide.
Employment opportunities and low-cost merchandise are provided by 3 thrift stores. All programs are sustained through donations and store revenues
What SVdP Does…
The Society provides help and comfort to the needy and discouraged through parish "Conferences" or “Branches”– groups of volunteers at an individual parish. Material help may be in the form of food, clothing, furniture and occasionally shelter, or may be a referral to a local social service agency, or simply a sympathetic ear.
The Society also provides on-the-job training for those entering the workplace as they are referred from social agencies, youth programs and parole offices. Our stores provide training and employment for those who lack work experience or skills.
In summary, the purpose of SVdP is rebuilding hope and confidence and putting people back to work.
Other special projects include Christmas presents for needy children and a coat give-away during the winter season.
The St. Vincent de Paul ministry at St. John Vianney is one of the oldest ministries at our parish. Volunteers are the backbone of our efforts to serve the poor. SVdP provides opportunities to serve the poor directly in our own parish ministry by meeting with individuals or families through appointments on Monday through Thursday evenings at our parish office. Volunteers work together in pairs and training and support is offered to all volunteers in this effort.
Some parishioners also give a few hours serving in the St. Vincent de Paul stores. If you would prefer to volunteer at one of the SVdP thrift stores (in Pleasant Hill, Pittsburg or Brentwood), please call (925) 439-5060.
In addition to volunteering in our parish ministry or working at one of the local SVdP stores, there are many ways to assist the St. Vincent de Paul ministry. Your support can be through donations of clothes, furniture, or automobiles, or simply cash donations.
Donations of Clothes, Furniture or Household Items may be made at the Pleasant Hill Store all days between 10 AM and 5:30 PM.
If you have several items or a large item such as furniture, we would be pleased to schedule a pickup at your convenience. Simply call (925) 439-5060.
All donated items go directly to the store floor before it is sold or given to the poor. Non-salable items must be trashed at considerable expense to the Society. Consequently, items should be gently used and in good condition. We regret we CANNOT accept some items such as computers or hazardous material.
Donations of Toiletries are also accepted. We have a box in the SJV vestibule for small toiletry articles; it’s on the bottom shelf of the table right across from the library. We will keep this box there year-round so that people can drop off small sample-size toiletry items at any time. These items will be put into bags and given to the families we help at Christmas as well as to our homeless clients.
Donations of Automobiles, Boats or Trailers can be made by calling (925) 439-5060. You can avoid the inconvenience and expense of selling your car, or haggling with automobile dealers, by donating your car to St. Vincent de Paul. All donated vehicles are tax-deductible based on fair market value. Arrangements can be made to pick-up your vehicle at your convenience. Automobiles do not necessarily have to be running.
Shopping at St. Vincent de Paul Stores
You can support SVdP through shopping at the three St. Vincent de Paul thrift stores in Contra Costa County. In addition to the store in Pleasant Hill, there are stores in Pittsburg and Brentwood.
Store hours are:
Pleasant Hill – 2815 Contra Costa Blvd: Store Hours - Open 7 days a week from 10AM – 6 PM. (Donated items accepted all days from 10 AM to 5:30 PM) Phone: 925-934-5063
Pittsburg – 2210 Gladstone Drive: Store Hours -Monday - Saturday: 9 AM - 5 PM. (Donated items accepted Monday – Saturday, 9 AM to 5 PM.) Phone: 925-439-5060
Brentwood - 8890 Brentwood Blvd: Store Hours – 7 days a week from 10 AM to 6 PM (Donated items accepted 7 days a week from 10 AM to 6 PM) Phone: 925-635-3214.
Monetary Donations are fundamental to support our SJV St. Vincent de Paul parish ministry. You can contribute regularly to our SJV St. Vincent de Paul ministry through our SVdP special collections at Mass each of the months of the year that have a 5th Sunday. You can also contribute to the county-wide SVdP efforts by designating St. Vincent de Paul for your United Way contribution.
Thank you to our parishioners who so faithfully and generously serve in this critical and acclaimed ministry!
For more information on the Society of St. Vincent de Paul of Contra Costa County or the USA, check out the websites: www.svdp-cc.org or www.svdpusa.org