The Washington Times-Herald

Community

January 31, 2014

St. Vincent de Paul helps those in need

Washington has many organizations that help individuals in need within the community.

Some of the organizations are well known for the efforts while others prefer to fly under the radar. One of those groups that likes to fly a bit more under the radar is St. Vincent de Paul.

A world-wide Catholic lay organization, there over 170,000 members in the U.S. alone and another 700,000 in 144 other countries. Members of the the organization strive to grow both spiritually and personally by offering assistance to those in need.

That assistance could be in the form of clothing and other personal items, help paying utilities and rent, visiting nursing facilities, or the offering of spiritual help.

The local St. Vincent de Paul Conference, or organization, has 21 active members who attend regular meetings and vote on necessary issues. Nearly three dozen associate members volunteer to run the thrift store, located on Main Street. The Conference also operates an assistance line for those in need.

“We are blessed to also have a Vincentian Youth Group comprised of high school aged members as well,” said Charles Wickman, a member of the organization.

Members of the youth group also sometimes volunteer their time at the store.

Washington is one of only a few Conference’s to have a thrift store. Out of the 4,600 Conferences in the U.S., only about 400 stores exist. Vincennes and Loogootee are also home to St. Vincent de Paul thrift stores.

The stores provide customers with gently used, clean merchandise at reasonable prices. All the proceeds from the sale of the merchandise goes to help those in need within the Daviess County community.

“The thrift store receives no money from the Catholic church,” said Wickman. “And no money is given to the church. This is sometimes misunderstood by the public. We do not receive government funding either.”

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