How can I request assistance?
- Call our Help Line at (239) 772-3543.
Whom do you help?
- Although we are a Catholic Society, we help all people in need. In fact, the majority of our assistance is provided to those in our local community who are not members of the St. Andrew parish. They are your neighbors, co-workers, fellow parents, and human beings who need a little help to make it past a tough hurdle.
How come you didn’t help me?
- As a charitable Catholic organization, we do our very best to help anyone who requests it. However, we have very limited funding and must therefore make an assessment of needs based on the core of our activity: the home visit. While each situation is unique, we take into account extenuating circumstances, income and expenses, number and types of members in the household, and other assistance provided or applied for.
- While we would love to help everyone who asks for assistance, it is just not financially possible for us since we are a relatively small organization. Accordingly, we are charged with being good stewards of the limited funds we are provided through grants and the generous donations of St. Andrew parishioners. We are also, therefore, limited to assist those neighbors within the St Andrew Catholic Church geographical boundaries. We do our best to ensure we provide a “hand-up” and not a “hand-out,” ensuring our assistance does the most possible good.
- If we are unable to assist you directly, we have many other resources and contacts with other organizations who may be able to help you with your particular situation. Many of these organizations can be found on our Resource Page you can access by clicking here.
How are home visits conducted during the pandemic?
- We were not conducting home visits during the pandemic, but are slowly resuming in-person visits, if our Vincentians are comfortable doing so. Once our leadership determines it is safe and practical to resume home visits, we will.
- In the meantime, we make use of phones, the U.S. Postal Service, and whenever possible, we make “Driveway Visits” and meet with neighbors in their driveways.
- Any visit will comply with recommended CDC guidelines for contact.
How often can you help me?
- Because our funds are limited, we try to help as many people as possible; therefore, we may only be able to assist you once a year, depending our level of funding.
Where does your money come from?
- The bulk of our funding comes from the generous donations of the St. Andrew parishioners through the church’s poor boxes, through special collections, and special fund-raising events.
- Together with other Conferences in the Ft. Myers District, we share a small portion of profits generated from our Cape Coral Thrift Store operations.
- Some money is also provided from various grants for which we apply throughout the year.
Isn’t the St Vincent de Paul Society just a Thrift Store?
- It’s the Thrift Store and so much more! In additional to providing items from our Thrift Store, we provide financial assistance, guidance for other assistance organizations, and most importantly, prayers for the families we help.
How can I donate?
- ONLINE: Donate online at: https://www.paypal.com/donate?hosted_button_id=TZMZFSTTRKS7E
- POOR BOXES: Donate through the St. Andrew Catholic Church poor boxes located near all the church entrances.
- ENVELOPES: At certain times of the Church year, special envelopes designated for St. Vincent de Paul are in the church pews.
- THRIFT STORE: Donate household items and clothing to be sold at our Thrift Store location, 2023 Del Prado Blvd, Cape Coral FL 33990.
- TAX DEDUCTIBLE: The St. Andrew Conference of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, is a non-profit organization under section 501(c)(3) of the United States Internal Revenue Code. Donations to the local Conference or the National Council are deductible.
How else can I help?
- PRAY! Our work would not be possible without the enduring prayers of our St. Andrew Catholic Church community.
- VOLUNTEER! Prayerfully consider becoming a member of our Society. Your fellow Vincentians always welcome new members and will provide the training you’ll need to make an even greater difference in our community.
Who is St. Vincent de Paul?
- Vincent de Paul, was a French Catholic priest who dedicated himself to serving the poor.
- In 1622, Father Vincent was appointed a chaplain to the galleys; after working for some time in Paris among imprisoned galley slaves, he returned to be the superior of what is now known as the Congregation of the Mission, or the Vincentians (in France known as Lazaristes).
- These priests, with vows of poverty, chastity, obedience, and stability, were to devote themselves entirely to the people in smaller towns and villages.
- Father Vincent was zealous in conducting retreats for clergy at a time when there was great laxity, abuse, and ignorance among them; he was a pioneer in clerical training and was instrumental in establishing seminaries.
- He also was founder of the Congregation of the Mission and, along with St. Louise de Marillac, a co-founder of the Daughters of Charity of Saint Vincent de Paul.
- Interestingly, he did not found our Society; our charitable society was named after him by Blessed Frédéric Ozanam, renowned for his compassion, humility, and generosity.
- Father Vincent was canonized in 1737 and is venerated as a saint in the Catholic Church. His feast day is September 27.
- You can read more about him at Franciscan Media’s Saint of the Day website: https://www.franciscanmedia.org/saint-of-the-day/saint-vincent-de-paul
Who is Blessed St. Louise de Marillac?
- Louise de Marillac was a widow who took St. Vincent as her spiritual advisor; she devoted the rest of her life to working with him.
- She helped direct his Ladies of Charity in their work of caring for the sick, the poor, and the neglected. In 1633 she set up a training center, of which she was Directress in her own home, for candidates seeking to help in her work.
- This was the beginning of the Sisters (or Daughters, as Vincent preferred) of Charity of Vincent de Paul (though it was not formally approved until 1655).
- She took her vows in 1634 and attracted great numbers of candidates.
- You can read more about Blessed St. Louise de Marillac at https://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=196
Who is Blessed Frédéric Ozanam?
- Frédéric Ozanam was a French literary scholar, lawyer, journalist and equal rights advocate. He founded with fellow students the Conference of Charity, later known as the Society of St. Vincent de Paul.
- He was beatified by Pope John Paul II in the Cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris in 1997, hence he may be properly called Blessed Frederic by Catholics. His feast day is September 9.
- You can read more about him at Franciscan Media’s Saint of the Day website: https://www.franciscanmedia.org/saint-of-the-day/blessed-frederic-ozanam
Who is Blessed Rosalie Rendu?
- Blessed Rosalie Rendu was born at Confort, France, on September 9, 1786.
- She entered the Daughters of Charity on May 25, 1802, just after the community was re-established in France following the French Revolution.
- Her zeal for helping the poor drove her to educate poor children, care for infants, support the elderly, and supervise young working girls.
- One disciple in her mission of service was Frédéric Ozanam, founder of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul.
- After 50 years of dedicated service to the poor in the Mouffetard district in Paris, she died on February 7, 1856. Pope John Paul II beatified Sister Rosalie in 2003.
- You can read more about Blessed Rosalie Rendu at https://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=5708.
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