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You voted St. Vinny’s Thrift Stores as the best around town. Thank you! And, thank you for shopping and donating. We are proud to operate quality thrift stores and bring you unique, one-of-a-kind events.

Recent awards:

Madison Magazine Best of Madison:
Madison.com People’s Choice:
Waunakee’s Tribune Best of Waunakee Awards:
Sun Prairie STAR Best of Sun Prairie Awards

 

Right now, many of us are focused on the most joyous and magical time of the year. We’re buying presents, grocery shopping for holiday parties, scheduling time off from work and looking forward to time with family and friends.

But for thousands of Dane County families, the holidays bring additional pressures to try and make financial ends meet. While the vast majority of people settle into a relaxing holiday, families struggling financially are making urgent decisions on what they can afford. 

One out of every nine Dane County neighbors lives below the federal poverty line with many of them working multiple jobs. They are stretched thin this year with increasing prices and the compounding effects of inflation. More and more people need help.

When daycares and schools close for winter, kids lose a school-provided meal and families lose wages as parents need to take time off. As the cost of food, rent, clothing and basic household essentials continues to rise, our neighbors in need are experiencing the heavier end of this weighted reality.  

The Society of St. Vincent de Paul — Madison offers both basic life essentials and customized assistance such as food, clothing, prescription medicine, furniture, housing assistance and caring support to help families thrive. 

Will you give our Dane County neighbors in need a helping hand this holiday season?

Without you, children may go hungry, adults won’t have needed medications, and families will live without furniture or warm clothing. There are several ways to help:

Whether a mother needs help putting healthy food on the table, an elderly couple requires new prescriptions they can’t afford, a young man needs a safe place to live while he’s between jobs, or a family needs winter clothing for their young children, our neighbors in need turn to St. Vincent de Paul — Madison for help all year long.

This holiday season, join a compassionate community of people reaching out to our neighbors in need to offer goods, assistance and hope. Donate online now to support programs offering help and hope.

“Enrique is the best example of Port St. Vincent de Paul,” Nick Fatsis, Port St. Vincent de Paul Director, said. “The way he’s living and taking care of his business is setting an example for the other men. I wish I could clone him. He’s really that impressive.”

Enrique is a current resident of Port St. Vincent de Paul which provides a home and hope for up to 30 men as they transition out of homelessness, prison, or struggles with addiction or mental illness. The 24-hour staff help men like Enrique navigate life challenges, apply for jobs, rest and stabilize, find permanent homes and restore their hope for the future.

Accompaniment on a new path

Enrique’s new path of hope is made possible by your generosity and your care for him and many men working to change their lives for the better. His journey could not be realized without you – your donation of goods, volunteer support, shopping at our thrift stores, and monetary gifts.

You and the Society of St. Vincent de Paul — Madison have embraced Enrique and are accompanying him along his new path of hope.

In addition to being a model Port resident, Enrique is a St. Vincent de Paul — Madison employee who recently earned a promotion at the Processing Center. He joined the staff while serving a sentence at Oakhill Correctional Institution.

“While I was in prison, I worked my way down to the custody level to be able to get a job in the community,” Enrique said. “And that’s where I met John Cobb (Associate Director of Retail Operations) and he hired me, gave me a job at the Processing Center and this is how this all started. If John didn’t give me the chance, I know I wouldn’t be doing as well as I am doing.”

“If I didn’t get the opportunity to work I would have gone back to Milwaukee and wound up right back into the mix,” Enrique continued. “I probably would have ended up doing drugs again, coming back to prison. John put me in touch with Nick and talked to the social worker and my probation officer, they got in touch and set it all up and here I am.”

What started was a transition from incarceration to full-time employment and support to plan his next steps in life while living at Port St. Vincent de Paul. Enrique is now working towards building a new life with your help and continued support.

The people who help

Enrique credits the personal connections he has made through St. Vincent de Paul with helping him be successful.

“Nick has been amazing,” Enrique said. “He is probably one of the nicest people I’ve met in my life. It doesn’t matter what you did, or where you’re from. He doesn’t look at you any differently. He’s just got a huge heart. He’s a great guy.”

Nick applauds Enrique’s work to change his life and commends him as an example of the immense power and potential of Port St. Vincent de Paul.

“He is setting an example for other Port residents,” Nick said. “The way he’s living and taking care of his business is setting an example.”

The generosity of others

Port residents receive counseling, daily meals, laundry facilities, and access to phones and computers through the program. Residents pay nominal program fees to partially underwrite expenses and establish a payment history for tenancy when they move into permanent housing. Staff work with residents to identify and achieve their goals which leads to greater stability and independence such as references for permanent housing and employment.

Nick is moved by the generosity of people like you who volunteer and donate money to support men changing their lives through the men’s housing program.

“I already have calls from people that are planning to bring loads of wrapped Christmas gifts,” Nick said. “It almost makes me want to tear up. The fact that people do care in this community.”

Overcoming challenges and moving forward

Enrique has his sights set on a brighter future.

“I hope to get my own place and continue starting my life over,” Enrique said. “It’s crappy having to restart all of the time. I just turned 34 and I’m still climbing out of holes.”

When asked if he had advice for other men in similar situations, Enrique said he would tell them to reach out for help.

“I would tell them that if they’re in need and they’re struggling like I was, they should try this route,” Enrique said. “I would tell them about Nick.”

If you have a heart for creating futures of hope for Enrique and men like him, please pray for them and Director Nick Fatsis, and give generously to support the life-changing work at Port St. Vincent de Paul.

It’s a bright sunny afternoon in late October as Kamaria* finishes her work day as a caregiver. She smiles, says hello when I walk up to her car to chat. Yesterday included two shifts, one for each of her employers, 12 hours in total. She is tired.

“Caregiving is a hard job,” Kamaria says. “But it’s good. If people didn’t like it, they wouldn’t do it.”

Kamaria’s third job is being a mom to three teenagers. Her youngest is 14.

“I am so busy, they keep me on the run,” Kamaria says.

Her final stop before going home is the St. Vincent de Paul Food Pantry.

“I have been coming to the pantry for a long time,” Kamaria explains. “It helps, it really helps. Especially now with how expensive food is.”

Increased need for food

As pantry staff member Ashleigh loads Kamaria’s groceries into her front seat, she smiles and laughs that her kids can help her unload once she gets home. The boxes and bags are heavy with fresh produce and pantry staples. Cooking oil and other baking items are particularly bulky and hard to afford on her budget.

“The kids eat all of the food, they can unload it,” Kamaria laughs. “I cook healthy food all of the time. My kids love fruits and vegetables. Anything fresh.”

The rising prices of food, gas and utilities are hurting her ability to care for her children. She gets food from the pantry to be able to afford other bills.

The St. Vincent de Paul Food Pantry is open four days a week to provide groceries to families and individuals. Each month since May of this year an increasing average number of households have turned to the pantry for help with food. Rising costs hit people with limited incomes the hardest forcing them to make hard choices and adding stress to their lives.

A blessing of time and convenience

Kamaria struggles to find time to balance all of the demands of her day: working two jobs, managing a household and raising three hungry teenagers. She uses Pantry2Home (formally PantryPal), the online food ordering system. She credits the resource as a game-changer for her family.

“The online order has been good. I come home from work and don’t have time to wait in line and have to go right home and cook,” Kamaria says. “A friend from work told me about this service. I am so glad I learned about this.”

Placing an online order relieves the burden of time from families stretched thin, allows them to choose exactly which pantry items they need, reduces food waste and offers greater flexibility for cultural preferences and dietary restrictions. Online orders are easy to make for people using the pantry. They visit the Food Pantry page of our website and click the Pantry2Home button to place an order for pickup, or the DoorDash button to place an order for delivery.

Currently, about 20 families place and pick up orders each Monday, Tuesday and Friday. On Thursday, that number exceeds 50 families as DoorDash drivers deliver the orders to 25- 40 families, in addition to those who choose to pick up their orders. Pantry staff and volunteers work hard to pack all of these orders while still managing the drive-through pantry service. Your generosity fed an average of 145 households each pantry day last month.

“You guys do wonderful things. I don’t like to waste food and with the online ordering I can choose exactly what I know my kids will eat,” Kamaria reaffirms.

Kamaria relies on the St. Vincent de Paul Food Pantry to feed her family and give her hope. Your care for and generosity to her and thousands of neighbors like her is tremendous. You make moving forward together in hope possible.

*Name changed to maintain the neighbor’s privacy. Photos are representational.

Donate now to the St. Vincent de Paul Food Pantry

Did you know only about 33% of American adults have a will or living trust? That means two out of every three people do not have a will!

We have partnered with FreeWill to bring you the opportunity to create a lasting will. Just like establishing a power of attorney or securing life insurance, making a will is just one item often pushed aside. We hope you will take advantage of FreeWill as a resource to establish your legacy, and care for your family, friends and community. Click here to learn more about leaving a legacy with your will.

Lynne Toseff (right), longtime Society of St. Vincent de Paul volunteer and donor, shares why she decided to start her will with FreeWill:

Click here to learn more and organize your end-of-life wishes with a will visit.

Information on FreeWill’s website is intended as general guidance and does not constitute legal advice for any specific individual. Please consult your attorney for legal advice.

During November, National Homelessness Awareness Month, take a moment to learn about the realities of homelessness. In our own community, roughly 750 Madison Schools – MMSD students currently experience homelessness.

Key definitions:

  • Homelessness: “a condition in which an individual or family lacks a fixed, regular, nighttime residence; resides in a public or private residence that is not designed or intended to be a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings; lives in a supervised shelter designated to provide temporary living arrangements; and/or is at imminent risk of losing their housing and has no subsequent residence identified or resources to obtain other permanent housing.”
  • Unaccompanied youth / homeless families with children: have experienced a long term period without living independently in permanent housing, have experienced persistent instability as measured by frequent moves over such period, and can be expected to continue in such status for an extended period of time because of chronic disabilities, chronic physical health or mental health conditions, substance addiction, histories of domestic violence or childhood abuse, the presence of a child or youth with a disability, or multiple barriers to employment.

Source: Cornell Law School

Press release

Madison, WI – The statewide kickoff event for Homelessness Awareness Month will be held at the Wisconsin State Capitol Rotunda on Nov. 1 at noon. This event is open to the public and everyone is invited to attend. Speakers will include state representatives addressing the concerns of homelessness in Wisconsin and individuals speaking about their lived experience of homelessness. This event is an opportunity to build much needed awareness of the homeless crisis in our state.

Local communities around the state may also be holding their own events in the month of November to mark Homelessness Awareness Month.

One of the speakers at the Nov. 1 statewide event will be state Rep. Patrick Snyder (Assembly District 85). According to Rep. Snyder, “Collaboration and coordination among government agencies, nonprofit organizations, and community groups are crucial to ensure efficient delivery of services and resources to homeless individuals. Establishing interagency partnerships can help streamline processes and maximize the impact of available resources.”

Michael Basford, Director of the Wisconsin Interagency Council on Homelessness, is also scheduled to speak at the statewide kickoff event. “As we reflect in November on the issues of homelessness in our communities, we must recognize that homelessness affects too many people in Wisconsin. It is happening in every area of our state – whether urban, suburban, or rural. It is on all of us to provide help and resources for Wisconsinites experiencing homelessness and ensure that people who need it get access to safe, affordable housing,” said Basford, in preparation for the event.

The Nov. 1 statewide kickoff event will also feature a Ribbon Tree designed to showcase and measure the different types of homelessness experienced in Wisconsin. Works of art, of various media, created by artists depicting how they see, or have personally experienced homelessness, will be on display and available for purchase. Through these events we hope we can come together to find better solutions to address this growing issue of homelessness in our state and communities.

A collection of articles, videos and stories from local news stations on the Society of St. Vincent de Paul — Madison.

Microlending

The Cap Times: St. Vincent de Paul offers microloans to compete with payday lenders

City Cast Madison: (begin listening at 08:32) https://link.chtbl.com/2qx8AQiS?sid=madison.minutes

WPR: Madison nonprofit to offer payday lender alternative

Baldwin-Williamson Street Project

608 Today: Coming soon to Madison: what not to miss in 2024

WISPolitics: Solar for Good, RENEW Wisconsin: Powers up Wisconsin nonprofits – provides $280,000 in grants

Madison.com: The changing face of Willy Street: St. Vincent de Paul to demolish 3 buildings by thrift store

Sun Prairie Star: St. Vinny’s to break ground on new facility March 13

Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce: St. Vincent de Paul — Madison announces the groundbreaking for its new building

Sun Prairie Star: St. Vinny’s breaks ground on new Madison thrift store

InBusiness: St. Vincent de Paul — Madison breaks ground on expanded thrift store

NBC15: St. Vincent de Paul of Madison breaks ground on store expansion project

Channel3000: (begin video at 08:30) News 3 Now at Five – March 13, 2023

The Catholic Herald: St. Vincent de Paul breaks ground on new renovations

The Cap Times: St. Vincent de Paul plans expansion on Willy Street

Thrift stores

Real Estate in the 608: Behind the scenes of St. Vinnies

NBC15: Dane Co. non-profit gives wool sweaters a second life, donates funds to food pantries

Wisconsin State Journal: ReMitts spins wool into $750,000 to support Madison food pantries

Wisconsin State Journal: Coats and jackets fly off shelves at St. Vinny’s, the ‘best deal in town’

Madison on the Cheap: Shop the Dig & Save $1 Coat Sale on Nov. 2

NBC15: St. Vinny’s Dig & Save Outlet Store 26th annual $1 Coat Sale

Wisconsin State Journal: You can buy a coat for $1 at St. Vinny’s on Thursday

Isthmus: $1 Coat Sale

Channel3000: The ultimate guide to secondhand shopping in Madison

NBC15: Madison thrift store kicks of record event

The Cap Times: How to ‘buy nothing’ and join Madison’s sharing economy 

The Badger Herald: Sustainable fashion options to fill your summer wardrobe

Madison365: Shop St. Vinny’s Thrift Stores to help your budget, help your planet and help you neighbors in need

WMSN Fox47: Get rid of bulky furniture with ease and help your community with St. Vincent de Paul

Stark: Score Vintage Finds At These Thrift Shops

Channel 27: Students’ leases end in downtown Madison, trash starts to pile up on curbs

NBC15: Thrift store shopping for back-to-school clothing on a budget

NBC15: Thrifting for back-to-school needs

Charitable pharmacy

La Movida: El Debate, Wednesday November 15th

Spectrum News: Charitable Pharmacy celebrates 10 years of serving patients in need

Madison365: St. Vincent de Paul Charitable Pharmacy provides life-saving prescriptions and medications for low-income clients

Sostento (begin watching at 45:29): Uber Rides for Health Equity

Clothing + furniture vouchers

Channel3000: 12 Days of Giving — The Kight family

St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Program

Madison South Rotary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XO3UpwWKtog

Food pantry

WMSN Fox47: How you can help local families with our School’s Out Community Care Drive

Isthmus: School’s Out Community Care Drive

WKOW-27: Dane Co. food pantries struggle with 112% increase in demand

NBC15: Dane Co. food pantries seek community support as demand skyrockets

NBC15: Demand at Dane Co. food pantries jumps to 112% over last two years

The Cap Time: Dane County food pantries say demand surged to record highs

NBC 15: Madison food pantries seeking volunteers ahead of busiest season

NBC15: Dane Co. non-profit gives wool sweaters a second life, donates funds to food pantries

Wisconsin State Journal: ReMitts spins wool into $750,000 to support Madison food pantries

Isthmus: Give Back Give Thanks

WMSN Fox47: Volunteer with St. Vincent de Paul Madison’s Food Pantry

Sun Prairie STAR: Sun Prairie restaurant partners on food drive

NBC15: Mad Kidney Fest emerges to highlight awareness, kidney-friendly menu options

Wisconsin State Journal: Already reeling from inflated food costs, families now face Foodshare cuts

Wisconsin Public Radio: Food pantries experiencing extremely high demand this holiday season

Madison.com: More demand, higher prices: Madison food pantries feel the pinch of inflation

PBS Wisconsin: Inflation hits Wisconsin food pantries and the families they support

Madison.com: ‘We haven’t hit the ceiling yet;’ Dane County food pantries worried about record demand

Madison365: Area food pantries report record demand, need donations

WKOW-27: Area food pantries report record demand, decreasing donations

The Catholic Herald: Record demand at Dane County food pantries

Sun Prairie Star: Increased demand stressing area food pantries, including Sun Prairie’s

The Badger Herald: Dane County food pantries see record demand

Madison Commons: Dane County food pantries facing more demand than ever before

WORT 89.9 Food pantries struggle to keep up with demand 

NBC15: Increased food need exhibited by high demand at Dane County food pantries

InBusiness: Area food pantries report record demand

Channel3000: Dane County food pantries see record high demand

Middleton Cross Plains Times-Tribune: Demand Up at Food Pantries Around the Area, Donations Needed

The Cap Times: St. Vincent food pantry in Madison sees record-high use

Member conferences

Channel3000: Society of St. Vincent de Paul holds winter blanket drive

WKOW-27: St. Vincent de Paul hosting annual Recycle the Warmth Blanket Drive

Sun Prairie Star: St. Vinny’s to host ‘Recycle the Warmth’ drive January 27-29

Catholic Review: At National Assembly, members of Society of St. Vincent de Paul urged to renew commitment to home visits

Volunteers

La Movida: El Debate, Wednesday November 15th

NBC 15: Madison food pantries seeking volunteers ahead of busiest season

WMSN Fox47: Volunteer with St. Vincent de Paul Madison’s Food Pantry

The Catholic Herald: St. Vincent de Paul honors dedicated volunteers

Other

Madison365: Elisha Santiago-Barudin becomes first-ever senior director of human resources of Society of St. Vincent de Paul – Madison

The Catholic Herald: Society of St. Vincent de Paul in Madison welcomes senior director of human resources

Read how your care, compassion and encouragement help neighbors in need. Current edition: Lent 2024

24 Lent NL Website

Archive

Each week, hundreds of households turn to the St. Vincent de Paul Food Pantry for food. If you care about food security, helping your community and lending a hand to people in need, then join our volunteer team!

Requirements:

Ready to help? Apply now or contact Zoe Lavender for more information.

Open positions:

Help on Saturdays

We have reopened our pantry on Saturdays, 10am- 12pm! Lend a hand to load food outside, stock tables, check-in pantry users, and package food.

Load food outside

If you would prefer to work outside assisting with our drive-through food pantry, this would be the position for you! Your primary responsibility would be to load food into vehicles as they come through the drive-through.  This does require a bit more lifting and carrying, the items will be about 15- 20 pounds. (We do need a weekly commitment for this specific volunteer duty).

Control drive-through traffic

Have you always wanted to be a crossing guard? Is blaze yellow your color of choice? We have an opportunity you can’t miss! Join the St. Vincent de Paul Food Pantry volunteer team as a traffic controller. As the pantry gets busier, help cars navigate the line and keep everyone safe.

Pack food boxes

This position involves filling boxes or bags with canned and dry goods (between 15- 18 pounds). Package pantry staples, cooking supplies and nonperishable items. You will also stock and sort some food donations.

Stock shelves/tables

This position requires lifting and transporting cases of food. The cases can weigh up to 20 pounds, but many are not as heavy (between 10- 15 pounds). We have pallets of food stored in the back of the pantry and this job will entail taking a flat pushcart into the back and bringing up cases of canned and dry goods to stock the table that our food box packers are using to fill their boxes.

Sort and package food

We are in need of volunteers to assist with sorting food donations and packaging them into bags so they can be distributed outside in the drive-through. We are currently limited in morning availability however we are in need of volunteers for the afternoon shifts to help with a second round of bagging food once our pantry is in full swing for the day.

Fill online orders

We are in need of volunteers to help fill our online order requests. This job serves as a personal shopper. You’ll be given a list of items for an order and you’ll package them into bags and boxes accordingly. This will include various dry goods, dairy and frozen meat. Once the order is complete, you’ll label the orders and organize them onto shelves to await pickup.

 

Why volunteer? Learn new skills, build relationships and have fun:

9 Benefits of Volunteering

Non-discrimination Policy, October 27, 2020

The District Council of Madison, Inc., Society of St. Vincent de Paul does not and shall not discriminate in our employment, services and volunteerism on the basis of age, race, color, disability, marital status, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, arrest record, conviction record, military service, or use or nonuse of lawful products off the employer’s premises during nonworking hours, or any characteristic protected by applicable local, state and federal law. We are committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all members of our staff, clients, volunteers and vendors. Although the District Council of Madison, Inc., Society of St. Vincent de Paul does not generally consider religion in either hiring or the services it provides, because we are a Catholic charity, requiring liaison with the Catholic Church and its members, certain positions involving such liaisons are reserved for members of the Catholic Church. The District Council of Madison, Inc., Society of St. Vincent de Paul reserves the right to consider whether the conduct reflected in a criminal conviction demonstrates an incompatibility with the responsibilities of the specific job for which an applicant is applying.