St. Vincent de Paul can serve neighbors in need primarily because of the voluntary effort of hundreds of caring persons across Dane County. With support from a small core staff, volunteers provide the basic-needs aid we offer through a range of programs that assist people struggling with poverty.
Most of our volunteers donate time to make sure the St. Vincent de Paul Food Pantry, 2033 Fish Hatchery Road in Madison, can serve local households five days per week (including Thursday evenings and Saturday mornings). Pantry volunteers help with reception, hosting and stocking for our large, customer-choice pantry, and up to a few dozen individuals fill volunteer roles each day we’re open. Schedules are flexible, and groups and families are welcome to volunteer time together. More than 1,500 persons offer more than 26,000 hours of service annually at our pantry. Do you want to get your church, club or corporate group involved at the pantry? We appreciate groups of 5 to 10 people serving together for shifts scheduled well in advance; please call (608) 442-7200, x426 or click here to send an email about making arrangements. Click here for more about how volunteers make our pantry work. Have you already applied to help? Sign up for shifts or update your information through our Volunteer Portal.
Our volunteers also serve people in need by staffing our Charitable Pharmacy, tending the Lacy Food Pantry Garden, making lunch at Port St. Vincent de Paul, and operating our Vinny’s Lockers goods-storage program for people who are homeless, among other opportunities. Click the links to these programs to find out more. To apply to volunteer at our Charitable Pharmacy, please click the “Help in the Pharmacy” link above. Do you have questions about the range of our volunteer opportunities? Please call (608) 442-7200, x426.
Although most of our volunteers help us serve people in need without joining our Society, a core group of several hundred people in Dane County do serve as local members of the global Society of St. Vincent de Paul. These members join together to grow spiritually by providing person-to-person service to our neighbors in need. All services that our members and other volunteers provide through the Society are offered without regard to the religious beliefs, race or gender of those we assist.
In Dane County last year, more than 400 Vincentians – St. Vincent de Paul Society members and associate members – dedicated more than 14,000 hours toward helping our neighbors in need. Each year through 18 parish-based member groups around the county, these Vincentians − Catholics and non-Catholics − conduct hundreds of home visits with people who seek the Society’s assistance. Members also volunteer at our food pantry and in our other programs of service, and they work on special charity projects in their parishes and neighborhoods. A county-wide Youth Service Council of high-school-age members also helps out with special charitable projects. More information about membership in the Society of St. Vincent de Paul is available here. If you may be interested in joining with others to help our neighbors in need as a St. Vincent de Paul member, please contact us by calling (608) 442-7200, x440, or through email by clicking here.
“One of the volunteers out there that stocks and comes early always makes the bread look so perfect. When you go to a grocery store it (the bread) is all stacked – the brown, the white, the rolls. It is all stacked up like that and we deserve to have it look like a grocery store. That is a nice volunteer.”