Providing assistance for the low income and poor is a key goal of the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul. Many residents of Anne Arundel turn to the charity and its churches for clothing, emergency assistance, school supplies, and food. While more limited, the charity may have financial assistance for paying fuel, natural gas, electric bills, and rent expenses. They strongly support the needy in the county and surrounding regions of Maryland.
Many of the services are run in partnership with other organizations such as the United Way or Catholic Charities. For example, food and meals may be offered by Our Daily Bread. This is a one or twice per month program that feeds the homeless. Casseroles, breads, fruits, vegetables and more is offered. Please donate if you can. Also volunteers are always needed to help prepare and serve the meals to Anne Arundel families.
Donations of canned goods, fruits and other non-perishables really allow the pantry and Daily Bread program to keep functioning. These donations are critical and will also form the basis of a pantry used for emergency food disbursements and offering support during seasonal activities such as Thanksgiving food. St. Vincent de Paul Society also accepts contributions of used appliances, furniture and household goods that are redistributed to those in need.
Housing assistance is offered from Sarah's House. This can provide transitional housing, emergency shelter, food, affordable child care, parenting instruction, and substance-abuse counseling to the needy. Sarah's House offers struggling families a temporary haven and place to stay. It will provide them time to develop behaviors and attitudes necessary for residents to leave and live as independent family units.
If you have a referral from a social service or government agency in Anne Arundel, St. Vincent may have emergency financial assistance for helping people with rent or utility bills. If they do have funding then it is as a last resort and a number of conditions will need to be met by applicants.
Seasonal assistance programs and activities are offered during the course of the year. These can be very diverse and cover everything from school supplies to Thanksgiving, Easter, and Christmas meals.
For example, during the school year St. Vincent will adopt families through the Anne Arundel Department of Social Services and the parishes and volunteers will buy school supplies, such as notebooks, for needy children in the community.
Thanksgiving donations are used to prepare food baskets for the needy. There will generally be enough there to help them prepare a delicious Thanksgiving Dinner for themselves and their families. The home bound and some seniors may even be able to have a basket delivered to them by members of the St. Vincent de Paul Society.
Winter programs really focus on providing clothing. This can include gloves, hats, underwear, socks, flannel shirts, and toiletry items. Most of the items go to the very low income or people who are staying in shelters. Some parishioners and members of the community will even make wool hats and lap throws which are given to senior citizens and the elderly in need.
Easter food baskets are offered too. St Vincent will accept baskets from the local or state of Maryland Department of Social Services. For those who qualify they may be able to receive free fruit baskets or boxes of food.
Christmas assistance is offered by a Giving Tree. It offers families and children gifts and other items. People who donate will be able to purchase a gift based on the information provided on the tag that will be located on the tree. This is very similar to the Salvation Army Angel Tree. Families and children may be able to receive gifts, toys, and other goods.
The main Pastoral Center of St Vincent can be reached at 410-255-3677.
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