FAQs

What is the Society of St. Vincent de Paul?

The Society of St. Vincent de Paul is an international, non-profit organization that provides social services to people in need. The Society derives its inspiration from the philosophy and works of its patron, St. Vincent de Paul.

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Who do you help?

The Society of St. Vincent de Paul helps all people in need, regardless of creed, opinion, color, caste or origin. 

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What differentiates the Society of St. Vincent de Paul from most other charitable organizations?

The Society of St. Vincent de Paul is one of many quality charities in the world whose members strive to help the less fortunate. What separates ours from most other charities is the way in which volunteers provide services. Instead of only helping those who come to us, our members provide one-on-one service to the less fortunate, going into people’s homes to learn the extent of their needs before determining how to help. The assistance may include not only immediate help, but also assistance geared toward aiding individuals and finding ways to resolve issues that put them in a position of need in the first place. In addition, unlike many other organizations, nearly 100 percent of all cash donations made to us, as well as profits from the sale of donated items in our Thrift Store go to our programs to help the needy. For more information, please refer to our services.

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How do I volunteer?

Please refer to our volunteer page to select the opportunity that is best suited to you. Volunteers are needed at every level of our organization, beginning with the Parish Conference level to directly help those in need, as well as at the Society’s Thrift Store. 

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How do I donate money?

You can donate online or send money directly to:

 Sacramento Diocesan Council, Society of St. Vincent de Paul

P.O. Box 162487

Sacramento, CA 95816-2487

or you may contribute directly to your local parish Conference. A list of parish Conferences may be found here.

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How do I donate goods?

If you would like to donate goods, please drop them off at the St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Store, located at 2275 Watt Avenue, Sacramento.  Please note our donation hours: 

     Donation Hours:  Monday - Saturday, 9:30am - 6pm; Sunday, 10:30am-5pm

If you would like to arrange for your donated good to be picked up, please call the Thrift Store at (916) 972-1212. 

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How do I receive assistance?

If you need assistance, please refer to our Conference directory to select the Conference closest to you. If you call your local Conference, a Vincentian will speak with you by phone to assess your needs and determine next steps.  If you have trouble reaching a conference, please call (916) 972-1212.

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Do you have to be Catholic to receive services or to volunteer with the Society of St. Vincent de Paul.

No. You do not need to be Catholic to either receive aid or volunteer with the Society of St. Vincent de Paul. We help people regardless of their religious beliefs and welcome all volunteers regardless of religious affiliation. 

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Who was St. Vincent de Paul?

A: St. Vincent de Paul was born in 1581 in France. In 1625, he established the Congregation of the Mission, now known as the Vincentians, a community of priests who undertook to renounce ecclesiastical advancement and to devote themselves to work in small towns and villages in France. In an age of sectarian strife, he instructed his priests that Protestants were to be treated as brothers and sisters, with respect and love. Out of his community rose an order of nuns called the Daughters (or Sisters) of Charity, devoted to nursing those who were sick and poor. St. Vincent de Paul died on September 27, 1660. 

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Who was Blessed Frederic Ozanam?

 Frederic Ozanam was born on April 23, 1813 in Milan. Frederic was raised    in Lyon, France and was sent to Paris to study law. In 1833, he founded the  Society of St. Vincent de Paul with a group of other young men at the  Sorbonne University of Paris. Frederic Ozanam was not a priest, but a  layperson who was married and had a family. The Society spread very  quickly throughout Europe and the world. Under the strain of his work, as  well as serving the poor through the Society, his health failed and he died in  1853 at the age of 40. He was beatified by Pope John Paul II in Paris in  August 1997, on World Youth Day. 

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