We all see a number of people on the street with signs stating their requests for assistance. These individuals are just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. There are many others who need assistance who are far less visible. Some of these contact the St. Vincent de Paul office in Portland requesting assistance. Generally on a person-to-person basis, members of the Society helps those in need, regardless of race, ethnicity, creed, gender, orientation, handicap or religion -- we are an equal opportunity provider.
Our Lady of Sorrows St. Vincent de Paul Conference fulfills its service primarily through delivery of food (a 3-5 day supply) and basic hygiene and cleaning products to those in need as well as limited assistance with rent and utilities payments.
The number of requests have varied recently between 40 - 60 per month representing 125 - 200 people a month who need assistance to supplement what they have in order to make it through the month. Depending on the number of requests and the size of the households, we have delivered between 3,400 to almost 5,000 pounds of food per month. This averages out to 80 pounds of food and household items per household delivery.
Our Lady of Sorrows St. Vincent de Paul Conference partners with the Oregon Food Bank (oregonfoodbank.org) to obtain most of the food that we distribute to those in need. We also partner with the Pongo Fund (www.thepongofund.org) to obtain dog and cat food to distribute to our clients.
First, Prayers always. Prayers for those in need in our parish that they will find all of the help they need. Prayer's that those in need in our parish will reach out to the St. Vincent de Paul office in Portland so that we can assist with what we provide. Prayers that those of us in the St. Vincent de Paul Society of Our Lady of Sorrows do our part for those in need in a way that shows respect and recognizes the dignity of the individuals in the households we assist.
Second, Continue Your Donations. Thank you for all the support that you provide to Our Lady of Sorrows St. Vincent de Paul Society. Your generous donations of cash, food or other household supplies is very much appreciated.
Generally on the second Sunday of the Month there is an opportunity to donate cash to our Conference. Each week, at the front entrance to the church, there is a collection area for food or household supply donations. And quarterly we have Slip Collection Sunday where one week you can select a slip listing items needed for our food pantry and the following week you can drop the items off when you come to church.
Third, and certainly not least, we can really use a few additional volunteers. You do not have to be a full-time volunteer. A few hours a week delivering food (we deliver Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday afternoons each week - about 2-3 hours each day), or receiving food from the Oregon Food Bank (deliveries received every other Thursday morning), or cleaning the food pantry would be very helpful. You may volunteer every week, every other week, or even once a month. We deliver food in pairs so you are never working alone.
Even a few additional volunteers on an ad hoc basis to assist with deliveries when others are not available due to their schedules or illnesses would be great. If you wish to learn more about volunteer opportunities, please contact the Parish Office at 503-775-6731.