St. Mary's Conference of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul
Volunteers meet on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of each month at 7:00 p.m. for about an hour and a half
31 dedicated volunteers
We are 31 women and men, quietly at work in the community. We serve everyone. Through person-to-person contact, the members provide personal and neighborly service to those having a difficult time.
We swing into action when a person or family in need of a helping hand makes a telephone call to St. Mary's rectory. Within a few hours, a return call is made to the person in need, in order to make arrangements for a home visit. Two SVdP members visit with the person. We always travel in pairs. After learning more about the situation during the home visit, immediate help is given. All information is kept confidential, and each person is treated with dignity. Follow-up contacts may take place at the rectory, over the phone, or in the home again. Since our first meeting in January 1990, we have helped hundreds and hundreds of families in our community.
The SVdP Society offers help to those in need. Help may take various forms: financial help, fuel assistance, housing, food from our food pantry, transportation, medicine, clothing, friendship, referrals, eye glasses, furniture, informed help, a gift card for milk, fresh vegetables, etc., and hope.
Our entire funding comes from donations. We have many sources of income: St. Mary Parish, SVdP members, parishioners, parish groups, local companies and organizations, the Knights of Columbus, a Christmas card donation program, and the Friends of the Poor Walk. Donations in memory of loved ones are also made. St. Vincent de Paul Headquarters in Stoughton helps annually with a certain percentage of reimbursement for oil and electric bills which we have paid. We can also call upon the Franklin Interfaith Council to help residents heat their homes.
Our monthly food collection always allows us to bring groceries to those in need. At Thanksgiving, the SVdP headquarters offers us food boxes with all the trimmings for Thanksgiving. We conduct a Thanksgiving Food Drive to supplement the food boxes. We also order food boxes from headquarters for Easter.
When people need clothing, we send them to the SVdP Thrift Store in Plainville. When people need furniture, we order furniture from the SVdP store in Stoughton.
Throughout the year, our St. Vincent de Paul Society conducts various parish-wide drives. We take up collections of gift bags for Mother's Day, backpacks full of back-to-school supplies, and a July 4th Freedom from Hunger Food Drive.
We are able to give the people whom we serve Christmas presents through the generosity of the Caring Tree Committee and the parishioners of St. Mary Parish.
Periodically, we hold membership drives. Each year, around the feast of St. Vincent de Paul (September 27), a Mass is offered for our benefactors and for those whom we serve.
In September of each year, we organize a local Friends of the Poor Walk.
This is who we are: volunteers who are always on call. All our work is made possible through the outstanding support from parishioners of St. Mary Parish and our friends in the community.
Thank you and God bless!
Examples of activities or ministry's work:
Make home visits to those in need of help, help with the food pantry, run parish-wide drives, help in any way possible. A member may give help in his or her area of expertise.
Time commitment for a member:
Whatever the volunteer's schedule permits
Who is eligible to join:
Any adult. New members are always welcome and needed!
For more information please call the rectory at 508-528-0020
Year at a glance: Fiscal year ending 9/30/2020
Thank you to all the parishioners, the Knights of Columbus and all the other organizations for their support of SVDP by generously donating food and financial assistance so we could offer assistance to Franklin residents in need. Special thanks to Fathers Brian and Jack and Deacons Guy and Ron for spreading God’s message of the importance of helping others.
Our 45 members volunteered almost 6,000 hours meeting with families in need a total of 689 times, with 1,311 people helped. In March due to Covid-19 we significantly modified our practices to make sure our Vincentians and the people we serve follow safe practices. We no longer make home visits but work remotely in pairs over phone/zoom meetings with people seeking assistance to thoroughly assess the need. Any financial assistance is paid directly to the provider of services and not to the person seeking assistance. Food deliveries are left on the sidewalk and we wait to confirm their pickup.
Your support helped us:
- Distribute 612 bags of donated food.
- Give out 42 Complimentary SVDP Thrift Store vouchers worth $2,100
- Caring Tree (122 families with 505+ gifts); Veterans (6)
Financially, your donations served families 345 times for a total of $59,319.
- Housing assistance 51 times for $24,793
- Utilities including oil 55 times for $16,342
- Grocery store & Walmart gift cards 99 times for $4,053
- Medical 17 times for $3,777
- Automobile related assistance 14 times for $5,280
- Other: Furniture, Child Care, Insurance, Moving expenses
We continue to have strong relationships with other town organizations and businesses and gave families referrals to town, state and federal agencies that might help them.
The most important members of this Ministry are each of you, our Contributing members, without whom we would not be able to serve. We thank you for your generosity, and want you to know your contributions are very appreciated by the people we serve.