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The Society of St. Vincent de Paul — Madison is dedicated to helping our neighbors in need, and the establishment of La Conferencia Divina Misericordia (Divine Mercy Conference), the first Spanish-speaking conference in the Diocese of Madison, stands as a testament to this commitment. The conference, born out of a growing need for Spanish-speaking support, has quickly become a beacon of hope and assistance for many families in Dane County.

Conference Vice President, Leticia Rodríguez, was initially hesitant about committing to such a significant responsibility. However, with the encouragement of fellow Vincentian Alejandro Vergara and the shared vision of providing assistance to those in need, she embarked on this rewarding journey.

One of the core motivations for Leticia and other members is the opportunity to help others. For them, assistance is not just a material gift but a spiritual one, a way to connect with their faith and with those they help. Their home visits, now totaling about eleven each week, have become a cornerstone of their mission. They offer both material aid and spiritual encouragement (if desired) to each neighbor they visit.

Prayer is at the heart of their efforts. Prayer for discernment of how to assist, prayer for perseverance, prayer for a growing relationship with Christ and prayer that others will be inspired to join the mission. Members have received practical assistance, encouragement and spiritual guidance from their local pastors and Bishop Hying. Knowing that their priests are praying for them and for their mission gives them hope, Leticia said.

“La Conferencia Divina Misericordia, like all Society of St. Vincent de Paul Conferences, is important because it deepens members’ faith by encountering God in others and within themselves,” Gayle Westfahl, Membership Director, said. “Through friendship, service and prayer, members deepen their relationship with God. They open themselves up to experience the goodness of God within others and within themselves.”

The future of La Conferencia Divina Misericordia is bright! Leticia hopes to welcome more members into the conference, especially this month as the Catholic Church celebrates Divine Mercy Sunday – the conference’s namesake. Along with her fellow Vincentians, she strives to pass on the values of compassion and service to future generations.

“One day this conference will belong to our children,” Leticia continued. “We want to show them the value and goodness of helping others.”

The establishment of La Conferencia Divina Misericordia is not just a milestone for the Society of St. Vincent de Paul but also for the Spanish- speaking community in Dane County. It is a testament to the power of faith, compassion, and community in making a difference in the lives of those in need.

Want to grow in your faith through service and fellowship? Any Spanish-speaking adult in Dane County is welcome to join La Conferencia Divina Misericordia. Learn more here: /member-conferences/.

 


La Sociedad de San Vicente de Paul — Madison está dedicada a ayudar a nuestros vecinos en necesidad, y el establecimiento de La Conferencia Divina Misericordia, la primera conferencia en español de la Diócesis de Madison, permanece como un testamento a este cometido. La conferencia, creada por la necesidad del soporte de habla hispana, ha crecido rápidamente como un faro de esperanza y asistencia para muchas familias en el condado de Dane.

La Presidenta de la Conferencia, Leticia Rodríguez, en un principio dudaba en comprometerse a esta responsabilidad tan importante. Sin embargo con el ánimo del compañero Vicenciano Alejandro Vergara y al compartirle la visión de ayudar a los más necesitados, ella se embarcó en este viaje sumamente gratificante.

Uno de los centros de motivación de Leticia y otros miembros es la oportunidad de ayudar a otros. Para ellos, asistencia no es solo un regalo material sino también espiritual, una manera para conectarse con su fe y con los que ayuda. Las visitas en casa, con once cada semana, han llegado a ser la piedra angular en su misión. Ellos ofrecen ayuda material y anímico espiritual (si así lo desean) a cada vecino que visitan.

El rezo es el corazón del esfuerzo. El rezo es el discernimiento en cómo ayudar, el rezo para la perseverancia, el rezo para crecer los brazos de amistad con Cristo y el rezo para que otros se sientan inspirados para unirse a la misión. Los miembros han recibido asistencia práctica, ánimo espiritual de parte de sus pastores locales y el Obispo Hying. Con esto en mente, sabiendo que los sacerdotes  están rezando por ellos y por su misión les da ánimo, dijo Leticia.  

“La Conferencia Divina Misericordia, al igual que todas las sociedades de conferencias de San Vicente de Paul son importantes por que dependen de la fe de sus miembros encontrándose con Dios en otros y entre ellos mismos,” Gayle Westfahl, Directora de membresías, dijo. “Por medio de la amistad, servicio y rezos, los miembros dependen de la relación con Dios. Ellos se abren a experimentar la bondad de Dios en otros y entre ellos mismos.”

El futuro de La Conferencia Divina Misericordia es brillante! Leticia espera darle la bienvenida a más miembros para las conferencias, especialmente este mes que la Iglesia Católica celebra el Domingo de La Divina Misericordia – el nombre a la conferencia. Junto con los compañeros Vicentinos, ella se esfuerza en compartir los valores de compasión y servicio a nuestras futuras generaciones.

“Un día esta conferencia pertenecera a nuestros hijos,” Leticia continuo. “Queremos enseñarles nuestros valores y la bondad que es ayudar a otros.”

El establecimiento de La Conferencia Divina Misericordia no es solamente una meta a la Sociedad de San Vicente de Paul pero también lo es para la comunidad de habla hispana del Condado de Dane. Es el testamento del poder de la fe, compasión y comunidad en hacer la diferencia en las vidas de los más necesitados.

¿Quiere hacer crecer su fe por el servicio y el compañerismo? Cualquier adulto hispano hablante en el Condado de Dane es bienvenido a unirse a La Conferencia Divina Misericordia. Aprenda mas aqui: /member-conferences/.

Volunteering in even simple ways can help those in need and improve your health and happiness. Here are nine benefits of volunteering:

1. Provides you with a sense of purpose

You may be able to find your purpose through volunteering and becoming part of something greater than yourself. For instance, if you’re retired, unexpectedly unemployed or have lost a loved one, helping others can give your life new meaning and keep you mentally stimulated.

2. Provides a sense of community

Volunteering can help you feel connected to those you are helping in the community. This experience may make you want to get involved with other aspects of your community, such as local politics or advocating for programs you believe are important.

3. Helps you meet new friends

Volunteering is a great way to meet new friends as well as strengthen existing connections with friends, family or coworkers. As a volunteer, you’ll typically interact with people from diverse backgrounds, which allows you to learn other perspectives.

When you choose an organization or cause to volunteer for, consider the people you’re volunteering alongside did as well. Sharing a common interest will help you build closer relationships with those around you.

4. Increases your social skills

Volunteering gives you a chance to talk to new people and sharpen your social skills. By spending a lot of time working with others and using social skills, like active listening and relationship management, you’ll have the opportunity to develop your future personal and business relationships.

5. Improves self-esteem

Volunteering may boost your self-esteem and self-confidence. When you do something you feel is worthwhile and valuable for your community, it gives you a sense of accomplishment that may help you feel more fulfilled about your life and any future goals.

6. Teaches you valuable skills

The training and hands-on experience you gain while volunteering can help you learn new skills as well as build upon ones you already have. For example, if you advocate and raise awareness or funding for a cause that interests you, you’ll gain valuable communication, public speaking, marketing and other hard and soft skills. You can then put these skills on your resume to show employers how you build relationships outside of work in addition to any personal interests that can set you apart from other candidates.

7. Brings fun into your life

Many people use volunteering as a way to pursue their hobbies while making a difference. For example, if you’re interested in the outdoors, you might volunteer at your community garden or help out at a children’s summer camp. Volunteering for organizations or causes also may provide you with a renewed sense of creativity and motivation that carries over into your personal and professional life.

8. Can help you be happier

It often feels good to contribute to projects and organizations that mean something to you. These good feelings can help lessen the effects of stress, anger or anxiety in your life. Volunteering may provide you with the tools you need to be a happy and well-rounded individual. Building bonds and connections with people you volunteer with also may counteract any social isolation. Many volunteer opportunities also may involve physical labor to keep you active and reduce stress.

9. Gets you out of your comfort zone

Through volunteer work, you may overcome the personal challenges of leaving your comfort zone and doing something new with people you may not know. You may be faced with various problems to solve as a volunteer that require you to exercise critical thinking skills that aid your own personal development.

Want to volunteer? View food pantry positions and pharmacy positions. Contact Zoe Lavender, Volunteer Coordinator, at (608) 442-7200 x71 for more info.

The Madison St. Vincent de Paul Youth Service Council (YSC), a high school group that lives out its charism of service, spirituality, and friendship under the auspices of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul — Madison, has had a busy fall season. This fall, Youth Service Council members have had three exciting opportunities to live out the spirit of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul: to serve, to pray and to grow in friendship.

Friendship

This year, the Youth Service Council’s theme revolves around a quote from St. Vincent de Paul, “Charity is the cement which binds communities to God and to each other.” For a shorter slogan, the quote displayed on the group’s t-shirts reads: Love Will Hold Us Together.

Gayle Westfahl, advisor to the Youth Service Council, is familiar with the Matt Maher song by the same name and noted that there would be an upcoming concert in Waukesha by Maher himself. Matt Maher is an internationally known Catholic contemporary artist who has performed for three popes, a nine-time GRAMMY nominated artist and is a three-time GMA Dove Award winner. Westfahl waded through the artist’s management team to inquire if Maher would be willing to meet with the group.

“Matt was gracious enough to agree to meet with us, and even provided tickets for the concert at a greatly reduced price,” Westfahl recalled. “He spent about 15 minutes with us.”

During their meeting with Maher, Youth Service Council members gave him one of their t-shirts with the words of his song emblazoned across the front. He encouraged them in their service.

“Faith cannot be lived metaphorically,” Maher said. “We have to live it physically… Service manifests the presence of Christ.”

During the concert, Maher referred to his meeting with the group.

As an introduction to his song, “Love Will Hold Us Together,” he proclaimed,

“Love – it’s like cement. It holds everything together.”

Youth Service Council members met and talked with artist Matt Maher before one of his recent concerts in Waukesha.

Spirituality

Two Youth Service Council members attended the national meeting of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul this year in St. Louis. While there, they visited with Bishop Hying, former National Episcopal Advisor for the National Council of the U.S., Society of St. Vincent de Paul. Bishop Hying said he would love to come to one of the group’s meetings back in Madison.

On Monday, December 4th, Bishop Hying not only attended a Youth Service Council meeting, but presided at a private mass for the group at St. Vincent de Paul — Madison’s Middlecamp Center for Vincentian Charity. He stayed to share dinner with the group and listen to their plans. Members shared with him why they enjoy being in the Youth Service Council. Many of them commented that the service they do is not only valuable to their community, but it is valuable to them.

“When you help others, you get a good look at yourself,” Laura, a high school member, said. “It’s important to listen and be there for people.”

Another member commented that volunteering, giving back and thinking about other people in her community who might be struggling allows her to give a sincere gift of self. She explained that she likes helping people not to make herself look good but because it’s what’s needed.

Service

It was Society of St. Vincent de Paul primary founder (now Blessed) Frédéric Ozanam’s desire that “all young people with both head and heart to assemble for some charitable work.” 

One of the group’s fall initiatives was a Stuffed Sock Drive. They collected warm socks filled with hygiene products for those in need during the chilly winter months. Members conducted drives at their local parishes and returned baskets and bags overflowing with warm socks, mittens, shampoo, body wash, razors, deodorant, lotion, toothpaste and toothbrushes. They sorted the items for distribution through Vinny’s Lockers, the St. Vincent de Paul Food Pantry and other channels in the coming weeks.

The Youth Service Council’s Stuffed Sock Drive collected bags and bags and bags of personal care items to provide to neighbors in need at Vinny’s Lockers and the St. Vincent de Paul Food Pantry!

 

The St. Vincent de Paul — Madison Youth Service Council is open to high school students who have a desire to grow in service, spirituality, and friendship. Meetings occur one to two times per month during the academic year with events as scheduled by the group. Members serve as representatives for their parish or school and join through an application process. If you or someone you know are interested in joining the YSC, applications open for next academic year in February. Visit svdpmadison.org/join-us and select “Members” to learn about their current work and for the application link.

The St. Vincent de Paul Food Pantry is filled with some wonderful people: retired couples, college students, parents with afternoons to spare. Another group of valuable volunteers are groups! Whether corporate teams, church groups, or clubs, if you have time to spare, your help will be greatly appreciated. Lisa is a longtime volunteer at the St. Vincent de Paul Food Pantry. She shares how she got involved, what she likes about volunteering and how her workplace supports us as well.

1. How did you first become involved with the Society of St. Vincent de Paul — Madison?

In 2016, I joined AprilAire. Within the first week, my manager encouraged me to join a team of employees volunteering at the St. Vincent de Paul Food Pantry. The great experience I had helping people shop the pantry and getting to know my coworkers was the first of what became many evenings volunteering over the years.

2. How long have you been volunteering?

I’ve been volunteering since 2016. I volunteered at the food pantry during the pre-COVID years when people shopped at the pantry and now as people drive through to pick up food.

3. What do you do as a volunteer?

I have helped carry boxes of cold items as well as bags of bread, fruits, and vegetables to cars but my favorite job has been directing traffic into the pantry. When we are loading food into cars we don’t usually get to interact with people driving through, but when directing traffic you get a smile as people are moving into the final stretch of the pick-up line and often a wave when they have their food and are heading home.

4. Are there any special days that stand out to you as a pantry volunteer?

In terms of group volunteering I’m told Thursdays are generally the busiest day of the week and time for the pantry. It isn’t unusual to have a line of cars going down the street. Before holidays the line can even wrap back around as people wait to pick up food.

5. What do you do when you’re not volunteering?

I am a marketer and have my dream job working for AprilAire in downtown Madison. I was first attracted to working at Aprilaire for two reasons. First, because I feel really good about what we do. Our mission is to make homes healthy. We offer families all the components of a Healthy Air System to improve the air they breathe in their homes. Second, because one of the company’s values is being a “good neighbor.” Making a difference in our community is engrained in the culture and is genuinely supported at every level of the organization.

6. Can you tell me about AprilAire’s involvement with the Society of St. Vincent de Paul — Madison and group volunteering?

AprilAire and our parent company, Research Product Corporation, have been long-term supporters of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul – Madison. We provide two food pantry volunteers on Thursdays from 4:00- 6:00 pm, and periodically hold events for employees to donate personal care items for the food pantry or bedding, blankets, and other items to St. Vinny’s Thrift Stores. We also sponsor the annual Care Café fundraising event. In the past we donated backpacks filled with back-to-school supplies for families coming through the food pantry and this fall we are looking into a couple group volunteer events at Lacy Garden to help with the fall harvest and preparing the garden for next spring.

Join the volunteer team! Part-time, flexible positions are available on weekday mornings and afternoons – soon, Saturday mornings too! Visit /join-us/?selected_tab=volunteer-tab or contact Zoe Lavender, Volunteer Coordinator, at zlavender@svdpmadison.org or (608) 442-7200 x71 to help.

Spanish-speaking Catholics from several Madison-area parishes began working last fall to establish the first Hispanic Conference of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul in the Diocese of Madison. On April 24, the group adopted bylaws, elected a president, and chose the name, Conferencia Divina Misericordia, Divine Mercy Conference.

To be well-prepared home visitors serving neighbors in need, the new conference members attended a day-long training on April 22. They learned the history of the Society including its founding in 1833 and its spread to become the largest lay Catholic organization in the world.

These new members join more than 800,000 worldwide Society of St. Vincent de Paul members – organized in conferences – who help provide for the needs of neighbors coping with poverty. There are 18 parish-based conferences in Dane County.

In partnership with established conferences, members of Divine Mercy Conference will make home visits to Spanish-speaking neighbors throughout Madison and surrounding communities. They will assist neighbors in need by providing financial assistance, giving furniture and/or household goods vouchers, directing people to the St. Vincent de Paul — Madison Food Pantry and Charitable Pharmacy, or referring people to other assistive agencies. Most importantly, conference members will share the love of Christ with neighbors by offering a listening ear, kind support and their prayers.

“We are grateful to our newest members to have formed this conference,” Julie Bennett, CEO & Executive Director of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul — Madison, said. “It will be a gift to Spanish-speaking neighbors to receive care and support from home-visiting members who speak their native language and share cultural traditions. We see growing needs in our community for essentials like food, clothing and medicine. The Divine Mercy Conference will allow us to serve people who speak Spanish with a higher level of dignity and respect. I am awed by their commitment – as I am for all our members who go to people in need to offer help and hope.”

The Divine Mercy Conference invites any Spanish-speaking volunteers who are interested in joining the conference to attend one of their monthly meetings. The conference meets the 2nd Tuesday of each month at Holy Redeemer Catholic Church at 6:00 pm. For more information, please email Membership Director Gayle Westfahl at gwestfahl@svdpmadison.org.

Experts teach about systemic challenges

Members of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul — Madison gathered on April 22 to learn from a panel of experts about the challenges faced by people who are incarcerated and those who are re-entering the community after incarceration. Consisting of conference member volunteers, staff and panelists, the group discussed how they might help people individually within their parish conferences or whether the Society of St. Vincent de Paul — Madison might consider developing a program of support.

Panel experts and discussion topics included:

After hearing from the panelists, participants engaged in small-group discussions.

After hearing from the panelists, participants engaged in small-group discussions about what they had learned, how they might help people, and barriers to becoming involved. Society of St. Vincent de Paul – Madison Associate Executive Director, Amy Overby, facilitated the training and gathered reflections from participants.

“Our conference member volunteers want to better understand the challenges faced by our neighbors leaving incarceration so that we can better walk alongside them. This discussion will guide further steps in this area to address the Vincentian question that shapes all our work “what must be done?” Amy Overby shared.

In tandem with efforts of the Diocese of Madison and other local agencies, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul – Madison will continue exploring challenges faced by people who are incarcerated and those re-entering the community.

 

The St. Vincent de Paul Charitable Pharmacy dispenses prescriptions to Dane County adults who do not have health insurance. If you are passionate about helping people with their health, especially people who are underserved, then join the volunteer team!

Requirements:

Ready to help? Apply now or contact the pharmacy for more information.

Open positions

Welcome window

Be the friendly face that greets our patients! This position involves answering phone calls, speaking with patients, and greeting them when they enter the pharmacy. Additionally, when patients visit the pharmacy, you will ring up their medications and assist with over-the-counter medicine and products with the help or a pharmacist. You will use pharmacy software to access patient information, track and enter data. This position is ideal for outgoing, extroverted and eager individuals who want to connect with the community we serve.

Prescription filler

In this position, you will help prepare medications for patients. This includes counting pills, scanning, filling and labeling bottles to be checked by the pharmacists. You may also do some light cleaning, restock vials, keep medications organized by looking through expiration dates, and put medications back into their correct place. While no pharmaceutical experience is necessary, you must be detail oriented in this role.

Interpreter

We are always looking for interpreters; particularly Spanish-speaking volunteers, as we have a large number of patients who speak Spanish. As an interpreter, you’ll help patients who might have questions regarding their medication or the pharmacy process. Interpretation may be done over the phone or in-person at the pharmacy.

Updated: 12/29/23

A lifelong volunteer and health care professional, Kathy moved to Madison after nursing school. She spent the bulk of her working career in the NICU at St. Mary’s Hospital. She retired in 2013 and began volunteering at the St. Vincent de Paul Charitable Pharmacy.

“I knew about the stores,” Kathy said. “I first started in the food pantry and volunteered there for about six months. Then someone told me there was a pharmacy downstairs. So, I came down and stopped going upstairs,” Kathy laughed.

Above and beyond volunteer service

When she began volunteering, Kathy was the “welcome window lady.” She checked patients into the pharmacy and confirmed their prescriptions were ready for pickup. She continues this role now with the curbside process and fields questions from people about the certification process or the pharmacy in general.

Kathy always goes above and beyond her duties as a volunteer. She sees a problem and works to fix it.

For example, she regularly answers calls from people interested in donating items to the pharmacy. For medications the pharmacy can accept, she supplies the needed information for folks to do so. For medical supplies, the pharmacy cannot accept she coordinates with a friend, Mary Dowling, at Sharing Resources Worldwide to donate supplies to medical missions in Honduras.

A while ago, Kathy noticed the supply of expired donated medicines that the pharmacy couldn’t use. Kathy worked out an agreement with Officer Barret R. Erwin at the UW-Madison Police Department to safely dispose of the medications. Thanks to Officer Barret, the station accepts and disposes of the medications for free rather than having the pharmacy pay to dispose of them.

“I just had this thought; UW Police isn’t too far away,” Kathy recalls. “Since we’re a nonprofit, they’ll take the medications for free. I collect the unused medications and coordinate a time to drop them off. If there’s a simple way to take care of something that’s not terribly out of my way, I can do that.”

The best aspects of volunteering

Kathy is grateful the pharmacy accommodates her flexible schedule and that she doesn’t have to find a substitute when she is sick or on vacation. She is grateful for expanding her network, and the best aspects of volunteer have been the people and patients.

“It’s the people. The people you get to know,” Kathy said. “The patients who know your name, especially when they came to the window. They have all been very nice and generous. We laugh a lot.”

“My idea of retirement is that you work or you volunteer at a place so you can expand the group of people that you know,” Kathy continued. “ You have to keep active in retirement. Find your niche and volunteer to share your skills. Find what you want to do and find where you can be helpful.”

A heart to help people

If the pharmacy didn’t exist, it would be a daily struggle for patients with diabetes to find regular medications and more people would end up in the Emergency Room, Kathy said. The care that the pharmacy volunteers and staff provide helps lower patients’ stress.

“I think St. Vincent de Paul is a good organization that works with people who need help,” Kathy said. “Everyone involved is committed to improving the community and helping others. All of the places I volunteer help people with low incomes.”

Besides her longtime commitment to the St. Vincent de Paul Charitable Pharmacy Kathy has volunteered at Specialty Care Free Clinic in Madison since 2011. As the only free specialty clinic for uninsured patients in the state, the clinic sends numerous patients to the pharmacy for their prescriptions. She also volunteers at the Lacy Food Pantry Garden where she helps plant, grow and harvest produce for distribution at the pantry. She is an avid sewer and donates her handmade quilts to Open Doors for Refugees.

Join the volunteer team! Click here or contact Zoe Lavender, Volunteer Coordinator, at zlavender@svdpmadison.org or (608) 442-7200 x71 to help.

For Dan Millmann, volunteering has always been on his radar.

After retiring from a 37-year career as a CPA, he volunteers at several places throughout town: the Catholic Multicultural Center, Queen of Peace Parish, Madison Children’s Museum. He’s the president of Madison South Rotary and joined the St. Vincent de Paul Food Pantry team last fall.

“In my mind, I always knew that I would work and once I was done I would volunteer and give back,” Dan said.

Growing up in Wauwatosa, Dan’s father modeled volunteering. Dan also credits the Catholic education he received from kindergarten through high school for instilling the value of volunteering in him. He said it’s a shared mission to help our neighbors.

“Through high school, there was always something [volunteering] there,” Dan said. “My dad was active in the church and as a family, we would volunteer. It’s always been in my mind that you do things like that and I’m just wired that way.”

Volunteering is something Dan has modeled now for his kids, both graduating this year; one from high school, one from college. He acknowledges young adults and young professionals are often strained for time, as he was early in his career. Volunteering can fall down the priority list after raising a family, managing a home, or working full-time.

Yet, he’s impressed by the number of college students volunteering at the St. Vincent de Paul Food Pantry today. 

Camaraderie 

His awareness of the St. Vincent de Paul Food Pantry began at his church on the west side of Madison and grew after a tour of the pantry several years ago. Looking for a volunteer opportunity close to home, he contacted the pantry and called to see how he could help. He didn’t have any specific idea what we wanted to do, how he could help, or all that was going on, but the staff put him right to work!

As a table loader now for the outdoor, drive-through pantry, Dan gets to do an active role and connect with new people. He values the camaraderie of a diverse volunteer team.

“I was looking for something to itch the social side of me and connect with people,” Dan said. “What I do now does both of those things. This gives me the opportunity to give back. It makes me feel productive and I get to talk with a bunch of interesting people I never would have met. We’re all people looking to give back and it’s fun to be a part of and associated with this group of people.”

Helping people get food

Dan is passionate about helping people get food. He found that volunteering at the pantry was a natural and organized way to do that.

“Access to food and food insecurity – covering basic needs for families – were some things that were important to me personally,” Dan said “So giving people what they need so they don’t go hungry and have access to food. I wanted to do whatever I could to help with that.”

The need for food is great, Dan continued, and it’s everywhere. Just about every town across the county has a small pantry of its own, he’s learned. The work of the St. Vincent de Paul Food Pantry and all of the pantries in the area is so important; they’re filling a huge need.

“I don’t know what we would do without pantries like this,” Dan said. “I can’t imagine a country like ours having people who didn’t want to take care of their community.”

Join the volunteer team! Click here or contact Zoe Lavender, Volunteer Coordinator, at zlavender@svdpmadison.org or (608) 442-7200 x71 to help.

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