Growing up, Nicholas moved often: Canada, Montana, Portugal, Japan. The son of an Air Force pilot, he went into military service himself after high school and settled down in Georgia later in life to raise his daughter. Through childhood, he grew to love the beach, the mountains and winter. But, it wasn’t until a recent trip that he decided to change his life.
“I was planning a trip and had been wanting to make a will for several years,” Nicolas said. “I knew I needed to have something ready and available, especially because I have kids.”
Wanting to know where his assets were going after death and feeling comfortable in his current financial state, he decided to finally write his will. He recalls looking at almost a dozen will-writing services online. The one he finally settled on was Freewill.
Freewill is a no-cost online estate planning tool that simplifies the creation of a will or trust. They partner with charities such as St. Vincent de Paul to encourage more people to document their wishes for those they love and the causes that are meaningful to them.
“I wanted something that was easy to find and go through; was simple and legit,” Nicholas said. “It was a very simple process. It was self-explanatory with easy steps to go through. I completed the will myself, printed the paperwork and got it notarized. That was it.”
Life experiences move him to care
Nicholas credits his time abroad and parent’s guidance for his philanthropic outlook and passion for giving back.
“When I was in the military, we were stationed in Haiti. It’s split into the tourist side and the local side where most people live in poverty. Guerillas were stationed in the mountains to keep local people away from the resorts. When you see things like that, you’re reminded how lucky you are. If you don’t look, you forget how lucky you really are,” Nicholas said.
Since he’s passionate about helping people when they need it, especially with basic life essentials: food, clothing, clean water, Nicholas included a bequest to St. Vincent de Paul — Madison in his will. Another charity close to his heart provides plumbing and clean water for families living in remote Guatemala.
“You must look at immediate needs first,” Nicholas said. “A lot of people are living month to month and need help. It’s so important that people have a place they can go for support and help; nobody likes to ask for charity. If you can get people the help they need without complications, that’s the way it should be.”
No matter what you have to offer, sometimes the smallest act of kindness can have a big impact, Nicholas affirmed.
“Don’t assume someone else will step in to help,” Nicholas continued. “Take the extra effort. Do something extra for somebody. If everybody did something one time for someone else, look how much help that would be around the world!”
Taking care of what’s important
Nicholas first heard about the Society of St. Vincent de Paul from his church. There were several active service programs at his church and one day a representative from the local St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Store spoke to the congregation. Nicholas recalls spending weekends shopping and helping sort goods at the store; always looking for a way to help. Since that initial encounter, he’s always been involved in some capacity with the organization and a proud supporter.
“I didn’t know that when you make a will, you have options to donate,” Nicholas added. “Until I did my own will, I had no idea. Freewill gave me a few options of places to donate, but it was an easy decision.”
“I know I’ll leave enough money for my kids to be okay,” Nicholas continued. “Since I was in the military my funeral will be covered. I shouldn’t have debt when I die, so why not donate it? It was very simple and easy to do.”
Learn more about Freewill here. Or, contact Eric Fleming: (608) 442-7220 x34 or email@example.com.
Thank you for everything you do for Dane County neighbors in need.
There is so much that the staff and volunteers here at the Society of St. Vincent de Paul — Madison do to help our neighbors in need. But it’s only possible because of the support from people like you.
Today, I’m writing to thank you for all your help and to update you on some of the recent achievements made possible by you, as well as challenges for the year ahead.
Families who are financially struggling are often hidden in plain sight. Many work multiple jobs to pay the rent, feed their families, and keep their cars running. Some have chronic health conditions compounding their challenges with limited mobility and isolation.
In the three months since I’ve been CEO, I’ve personally seen an alarming number of our Dane County neighbors hungry, without proper winter clothing, sleeping on floors, and failing in health because they cannot afford their prescription medications.
My recent letter about struggling families featured Roy and his son Jackson who needed help with groceries, clothes, beds, and life-sustaining heart medication. Roy and Jackson’s story moved many of our supporters.
I want to thank you for your donation to help our neighbors in need. Thanks to your support, I am very pleased to share that we surpassed our December goal of $400,000 to help Roy and the many families in Dane County who struggle to make ends meet. Your generosity is extraordinary!
Every dollar will be used as we acquire food and medicine from the most cost-effective sources and distribute clothing and household donations provided by generous supporters.
Thanks to people like you, we have been able to reach more neighbors in need than ever before with our food pantry, clothing and furniture vouchers, charitable pharmacy, and housing programs. I continue to hear from neighbors who are so grateful to turn to us during difficult times.
With your help, we have already achieved much for our neighbors in need. However, I know there is much, much more that we must do.
Working in step with the board, our staff, and volunteers we are adapting and strengthening our efforts for neighbors in need. I know how much we can improve the lives of many more struggling families.
My top priorities in 2023 are:
- Providing an alternative to predatory loan companies which prevent neighbors from achieving financial stability.
- Expanding customer choice by restoring the indoor food pantry along with operating the outdoor drive-through, online ordering, and delivery options.
- Stabilizing single custodial adults raising children through individualized support services.
- Increasing the number of patients without prescription drug coverage served through our Charitable Pharmacy.
These efforts would not be possible without your support during the past year. Thank you for everything you do to help our neighbors in need.
If you have any questions about the work you enable us to do please feel free to contact me directly at (608) 278-2920 x32 or firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d love to speak with you.
With the deepest gratitude,
CEO & Executive Director
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:
- Purchase extra food and baking supplies and drop them off at the St. Vincent de Paul Food Pantry.
- Make a monetary gift to purchase children’s toys, books and games which will be distributed to families who cannot afford gifts.
- Volunteer with your family, your coworkers or your friends.
- Make a New Year’s Resolution to advocate or pray for people facing financial hardships.
- Clean out your closet and donate goods to St. Vinny’s Thrift Stores.
- Purchase gift cards to Walmart, Woodman’s or other big box stores to donate to a family in need.
- Learn about the St. Vincent de Paul Charitable Pharmacy so you can refer any uninsured adult who needs help getting their prescriptions.
- Donate online now to support programs offering help and hope.
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.
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:
- No-cost: “I decided to use FreeWill because it was offered and it was free. I wanted to get organized and all of the necessary forms were there online.”
- Simple: “The process wasn’t too long or complicated and I was able to name my power of attorney and medical power of attorney to give my family security.”
- Protective: She wants to continue providing for her family, “I want to be able to show my children what they are getting and show them the completed will.”
- Urgent: “I had been procrastinating and wanted to finish the will. The longer you ponder something, the less likely you want to do it, but the more important it gets; especially in making things better for the family.”
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.
Due to rising costs of food and gas, more people are going hungry in Dane County and turning to food pantries for help.
On November 22nd, 2022 we plan to raise $22,000 in 24 hours to fund programs providing food, medicine, housing and more to neighbors in need here in Dane County.
Donate now to help people in need
Each day this month celebrate 24 Days of Thankfulness
Leading up to Our Giving Tuesday, take a moment to recognize everything you have to be grateful for, celebrate loved ones and share thankfulness! Download the 24 Days Of Thankfulness schedule here.
Read how your care, your compassion and your encouragement helped neighbors in need. Our periodic newsletter shares success stories of people using our food pantry, pharmacy, men’s housing program and other services.
- Lent 2023
- Impact Report 2022
- Thanksgiving 2022
- Summer 2022
- Spring 2022 (Annual Report)
- Lent 2022
- Christmas 2021
- Thanksgiving 2021
- Summer 2021
- Spring 2021 (Annual Report)
- Lent 2021
- Christmas 2020
- Thanksgiving 2020
- Spring 2020 (Annual Report)
- Lent 2020
- Christmas 2019
- Thanksgiving 2019
- Fall 2019
- Summer 2019
- Spring 2019 (Annual Report)
- Lent 2019
- Christmas 2018
- Thanksgiving 2018
- Spring 2018 (Annual Report)
- Lent 2018
- Christmas 2017
- Spring 2017 (Annual Report)
Who is it you know who typically does the most they can do for their families, friends, church or community – time and time again?
I’ll bet if we asked that question in a room full of people, the answer that would rise to the top would be, “my mom.” Dads would get some love, too, or maybe a friend we admire. But moms? They’re known for doing the most they can do for their families every day.
We hear people say all the time, “It’s the least I could do.” What if we were each to strive to do more – to reach for “the most I could do,” just like our moms? Your generosity has already helped the Society of St. Vincent de Paul — Madison do more. Thank you.
In these tumultuous times, the calls for help come every day, and we continue to do the most we can do to meet basic needs.
We’re reaching to do even more, and we need your help. Here’s how:
- Our Food Pantry remains unseasonably busy and still operates outside, per a federal public health order. We’ve served a monthly average of nearly 3,400 adults and more than 1,600 children since January. Those numbers have been increasing each month. We hope to return to indoor service by fall depending on when the federal health order expires. We’re building new systems of service that honor the dignity of our clients by providing both personal-choice and time savings.
- Our Charitable Pharmacy will be expanding hours to serve additional patients. When the federal health order expires, thousands of Wisconsinites, disproportionately people of color, will lose eligibility for medical coverage through BadgerCare. We must be ready to serve. Expanded opportunities with the UW-Madison School of Pharmacy will allow us to stretch resources further, while giving third-year pharmacy students valuable work experience with underserved populations in a community-health setting.
- The St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Program, successor to Seton House, has launched and will assist single custodial parents with minor children to mitigate and remediate effects of poverty. We’ll work alongside Catholic Charities and others to help families moving from homelessness into permanent housing achieve stability in that housing. Our case-management support will help families solve challenges related to transportation, employment, healthcare, childcare and more.
With her daughter, Stephanie* recently moved from Seton House into her own apartment! Your gift today can help us meet basic needs for people moving beyond poverty. (*Name changed for privacy)
In order to do the most we can do to serve our neighbors in need, we rely on the support of our generous community.
We leverage that generosity through careful stewardship of donated funds, volunteer support where possible and creation of partnership opportunities with other service organizations. Are you ready to do the most you can do? We hope you will consider a gift today to provide help and hope to local people coping with poverty.
Please consider one of the following ways to give:
- Make a one-time gift online today. Or, mail your check.
- Become a Sustaining Samaritan, one of our monthly donors whose ongoing gifts help even out our revenue through the course of the year. If you’re already a Sustaining Samaritan, will you consider increasing your monthly gift?
- Include St. Vincent de Paul — Madison in your will or estate plan. Don’t have a will? One way to get started is to use FreeWill.
- Learn more about other means of legacy giving, including gifts through retirement-plan assets (IRAs or DAFs); gifts of stocks, bonds or mutual funds; or gifts of property. For more information, contact Director of Development Eric Fleming at (608) 442-7200 x34, or email@example.com.
Imagine a community where each of us does the most we can do, even if it’s once in a while. We won’t all be a Mother Teresa, a Martin Luther King Jr. or a St. Vincent de Paul. We might not even be as giving as our own moms were to us. But wouldn’t Mom be proud to know that even for today, you did the most you could do? For considering what might be your way of doing the most you can do, we thank you.
Donate now to help us provide food for one more family or fill a prescription for one more uninsured patient.
Care Café 2022, our seventh annual fundraising event, is May 11th at 8:00am.
Register here to receive the link to attend the virtual event.
- Event theme: Our theme for Care Café is “Your Community Calling.” So many people are asking for help with life’s basic needs. We’re responding. Will you help too?
- Program: During Care Café, you will enjoy client success stories and an encouraging keynote speech from Matthew Gonnering. We will share our current vision and future plans as well as updates on our current client services.
- Our ask: We’re asking you to consider answering the call to help our community by attending our 7th annual fundraising event, this year we will meet virtually on May 11th at 8:00am.
- The reason: We provide food, medicine, housing, clothing and more to neighbors in need. We need your help to continue our programs helping thousands of Dane County families each year. We provided material goods and services valued over $2.8 last year alone.
Your gift will make an impact in the lives of so many people. Please consider making a financial gift during Care Café to support our programs to feed, heal, house and clothe people coping with poverty. Thank you for your support!
Meet our keynote speaker! Matthew Gonnering is the General Manager for Widen, an Acquia company. For the last 21 years, he has been active in building an organization that serves the most iconic brands in the world by helping them organize their images, videos and other digital content. He and he wife, Sarah, have six children and reside in the Madison area. Matthew enjoys time with family, reading, hunting and fishing.
How does St. Vincent de Paul — Madison help Dane County?
Watch our 25-minute presentation,
[youtube width=”348″ height=”265″ description=”2021 St. Vincent de Paul — Madison Care Café”]https://youtu.be/ko759QO9jn4[/youtube]
Care Café 2021, at right.
Click here to view our Donor Impact Report from 2021.
Learn how Neighbors Help Neighbors at St. Vincent de Paul — Madison, (filmed pre-pandemic).
Over the last few months, we have sent emails and shared Facebook posts about our partnership with FreeWill.
We want to offer you the gift of making your will online as a thank you for your continued support to the Society of St. Vincent de Paul — Madison! Now, hear from two of our supporters on why they chose to solidify their estate plan this year using FreeWill.
John and Heather Hagen had seen firsthand the challenges and headaches of not having a legal document that spelled out post-death wishes. From this experience, they were intentional about establishing a way for their assets to benefit future generations without burdening any family members.
“Our goal was to be as clear as possible on asset distribution and designating beneficiary charitable organizations,” John said. “Going through life and realizing life is so fragile, and not knowing how long we have to live, we wanted to have our affairs in order.”
By using FreeWill, you will have the ability to plan your legacy and make a sustained impact in our community! You will also have the opportunity to designate your giving to charity. We hope you will consider St. Vincent de Paul — Madison.
Learn more about planned giving here.
Leading up to Our Giving Tuesday on November 23rd, we are celebrating 25 Days of Thankfulness!
Each day this month, we are taking a moment to recognize everything we have to be grateful for, celebrate our loved ones and share thankfulness!
Make sure to tag us @svdpmadison, #ourgivingtuesday and give to a good cause on Our Giving Tuesday, November 23rd! Your support can directly help our neighbors in need.
To give your financial contribution right now, click HERE! Your gift can have double the impact! Generous donors will match giving up to $25,000!
Download and print the 25 Days of Thankfulness schedule here!