st. vincent de paul

Bed-donation program a hit with struggling families

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Ja'zon Reece, who's almost 3 years old, leaned over and made a small opening in the blinds to look out the window for the two deliverymen from the Society of St. Vincent de Paul carrying mattresses into his apartment.

Ja'zon's mom, Annita Baker, and her three children now have their own apartment after living with relatives and sleeping in the same bed.

Catholic agencies address poverty issues, public policy

A forum last month gave Catholics a chance to voice public policy concerns and ideas to legislators ahead of the state legislative session, which convened Jan. 3. The Dec. 11 event in St. Charles County was a collaboration by Catholic Charities and the Society of St. Vincent de Paul "to put low-income people in the front of legislators' minds as they go into the session," according to Tamara Kenny, director of advocacy and community engagement at Catholic Charities.

Ladies of Charity quietly attend to work of serving others

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Inside the spacious hall at St. Vincent de Paul Parish in south St. Louis, several women were busy sorting items and checking distribution plans for an annual Christmas gift-giving to residents of a nearby senior residence.

It's part of the Christmas program, the biggest operation of the year for the parish known for its ministry to poor and homeless people. But even on a typical weekday, members of the Ladies of Charity take part in a half-dozen or so other activities related to the parish outreach.

Beyond Sunday funds add bounce to projects

Three-year-old Sophia Yeung swung on the newly resurfaced play ground. With the money raised through the Beyond Sunday campaign, parishioners at Church of the Ascension in Chesterfield built out a new playground for the Little School.  The school is comprised of children ages 2-4.  They built a safe-play surface to surround the play equipment and swings.

The new playground opened for business at about 10:30 a.m. for the 3-year-olds at Ascension Parish's Early Childhood Center in Chesterfield, better known as The Little School.

And the little ones wasted little time to go use it.

They scurried from the school — built in 1941 as the parish's original two-room schoolhouse — and went right to work, er, play.

Sophia Nguyen made a beeline for the swing. Mason Kerr and Halle Cooke wheeled about a tow truck. Lydia Kenagy and Laura Hermeto bounced happily on "Hopper" balls, a perilous activity just last school year.

Ferguson food pantries have witnessed increase in help

The St. Vincent de Paul food pantry at Blessed Teresa of Calcutta Parish operates once a month to help the poor supplement their needs. LaTasha Brown and Marquitta Watson waited in line as it rained.

It was Ieasha Hill's first time coming to the food pantry at Blessed Teresa of Calcutta Church in Ferguson.

She's on Social Security but doesn't receive food stamps. With three children, ages 5, 7 and 9, the donation she received on a recent morning -- a couple of boxes filled with bread, yogurt, milk, butter, eggs and meat -- will go a long way.

"This is a blessing," said Hill, who was with her mother that day, also a recipient of the pantry's bounty. "I don't know what I'd do without this."

SVDP opens fifth thrift store in St. Louis area

Amber Moss, a staff member at the newly-opened Society of St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Store at 3924 Lemay Ferry Road in south St. Louis County, sorts donations in a makeshift work area at the store Saturday, June 8, 2013. According to regional manager Jerry Orzano, the store had a soft opening June 5, and is slowly building out infrastructure in anticipation of a grand opening later this month.

The St. Vincent de Paul Society has opened its fifth thrift store in the St. Louis area amid a booming popularity in thrifting.

The new store opened earlier this month at 3924 Lemay Ferry Road in south St. Louis County. The store features clothing, household items, toys and furniture in a 14,000 square-foot showroom. A grand opening is planned for late June. Store hours are Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m.-8 p.m. All of the society's thrift stores are closed on Sundays.

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