Coronavirus & What We Do

Update as of Fri., Mar. 26, 2021

  • All seven thrift stores are operating safely at regular shopping hours and our store events are back in full swing! Details here
  • Financial Donations: Your help is needed now more than ever, and funds allow us to direct your help to the most crucial areas of need at any given time. Please click here to donate now. Thank you!
  • Still doing free home pickup and now taking furniture: We are able to offer scheduled, no-contact home pickup of bagged or boxed clothing, shoes or other small household items, and have resumed picking up furniture!

We at the Society of St. Vincent de Paul council serving Dane County have been closely monitoring the situation regarding spread of the coronavirus and the COVID-19 illness it causes. Mask wearing is required at all 7 of our Dane County thrift stores in accordance with Public Health Madison & Dane County’s Emergency Order #8 along with social distancing. Masks will be free and available at all of our stores if you do not have one. The health and safety of the neighbors in need we serve and of our customers, members, volunteers and employees are what matter most to us so thank you for masking up with us.

As an essential non-profit business, we plan to continue running our programs and operations like they have been prior to the order. We will be following all the current rules as they continue to be updated and adjusted. All details are below.

Despite the challenging circumstances for public health, the many services we offer local households coping with poverty remain crucial – and even all the more needed now. To the extent possible, we are adapting the ways we provide service to meet those needs. This growing health crisis is fluid, and we will continue to make changes to our standard operating procedures as needed and will provide updates on this page. 

Some actions we’re taking apply across our areas of operation:

  • Wearing masks and social distancing
  • Encouraging clients, members, other volunteers and employees to stay home if ill
  • Promoting proper hygiene (see public-health recommendations below*) among clients, volunteers, and staff – and encouraging all to stay home if feeling sick
  • Frequent sanitizing of door handles, carts, keyboards, work surfaces, tables and other items commonly exposed to touch at our service locations

Other actions specific to our particular areas of focus are noted below: 

  • Food Pantry: We are maintaining normal WEEKDAY hours of operation, but we are closed on SATURDAYs. Click here for the latest on updates specific to how our food pantry’s services are being offered. 
  • Food Donations: We are NOT seeking food donations from individual households at this point. If you would like to help, please consider providing funds or personal essentials instead. To make a secure online donation, please click here.
  • Charitable Pharmacy: We are maintaining our regular hours for existing patients. On a case-by-case basis, we are taking steps to increase the period of supply (90 day instead of 30) when possible and are now operating using curbside pickup. 
  • Vinny’s Lockers: The Vinny’s Lockers building has been damaged by fire and is closed. For information about material stored at Vinny’s Lockers, please call 608-205-8276 during weekday daytime hours.
  • Housing Programs: The structure and assistance we provide through Port St. Vincent de Paul and the St. Elizabeth Ann Seton House program allow dozens of men and women and their children to find a safe and secure place to call home that offers guidance and support for taking next steps toward key life goals, including permanent housing. These programs continue to operate and to prioritize maintaining the health of program participants and staff.       
  • Thrift Stores: All seven of our Dane County (Madison (3), Sun Prairie, Stoughton, Verona and Waunakee) thrift stores are open and are requiring masks to shop. Both shopping areas and donation centers are operating safely, while following the current rules set in place by our county and state. Masks are available at each store for free. Check out for more details and for operating hours at all seven of our stores.
  • Goods Donations: All seven thrift store locations and their donation centers are open. We are also offering home pickup (now picking up furniture too!). Visit our Donate Goods page for more info on our store donation centers and on home pickup: We know that while safer at home, many of our supporters have been reducing what they no longer need around the house and are anxious to promote reuse & recycling through our stores. We are currently “upcycling” donations of gently used goods now into sales that will support our mission of helping our Dane County neighbors in need, especially now that the stores and donation centers are back open again.
  • Member Activities & Events: Please see communication directly from St. Vincent de Paul staff or email Gayle Westfahl ( for the latest information, or contact a leader of your conference (local member group) about its plans.
  • Home Visits: Our 18 member groups around Dane County typically go in pairs to visit the homes of people who have requested certain kinds of assistance, including help with furniture or utilities. Home visits have become phone visits for the time being.
  • Vouchers: for clothing, furniture or other goods are now being issued. Please call (608) 257-0919 for more information.
  • Volunteering: Due to the public-health crisis, we are NOT seeking additional volunteer assistance at this time at our food pantry and pharmacy. Current volunteers, please see communication directly from St. Vincent de Paul staff for the latest information about pantry and pharmacy volunteer efforts and scheduling. However, we are looking for volunteer groups to assist at our Lacy food pantry garden in Fitchburg. Groups of up to 15 are welcome for a safe, socially distanced way to enjoy the weather and harvest produce for our food pantry clients! Email Peg O’Donoghue ( for more information or to sign up.
  • Financial Donations: Your help is needed now more than ever, and funds allow us to direct your help to the most crucial areas of need at any given time. Please click here to donate now. Thanks!

*Please note that public health authorities recommend the following to help prevent the spread of COVID-19:

  • Frequent washing of hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, and — if soap and water are not readily available — use of hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol
  • Covering coughs and sneezes with a tissue or using the inside of the elbow
  • Cleaning frequently touched objects and surfaces
  • Social-distancing, including avoiding crowds and staying at least six feet away from other people
  • Staying home when sick

Stay up to date on the latest local news from the Public Health Madison & Dane County website regarding the coronavirus/COVID-19:

Questions and concerns may be directed to or (608) 442-7200.


“I’m so happy to have this. All here have been so helpful to me. ... Chris really treated me with dignity and respect.”
- David, Charitable Pharmacy Patient