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Society of Saint Vincent de Paul Long Beach has successful holiday food drive

Society of Saint Vincent de Paul Long Beach is a charitable organization which aids community members who qualify for long or short-term assistance on an as-needed basis.

The international charitable organization was founded in 1833 by six college students attending Sorbonne University in Paris, France, and has a mission of assisting anyone in need. Only twelve years after the founding of the Society, the United States’ Saint Vincent de Paul Society began November 20, 1845, in St. Louis, Missouri. The organization, created by laypeople, is still managed and operated by volunteers from each community. If anyone requests assistance from outside a Saint Vincent de Paul Society’s territory, they are referred to a council from the area in which they live.

Members of the Saint Vincent de Paul Society Long Beach say they are thankful for the Saint Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church parishioners and community members who donate to the Society. All assistance provided is a blessing for the Society and allows the group to meet the needs of people in the Long Beach community.

“We assist anyone who qualifies,” said Long Beach Saint Vincent de Paul Society President Michael Barry. “Donations to the Society are the only way we can provide help. We see the greatest need for aid during tough economic times. All assistance is highly confidential and never shared.”

“St. Vincent de Paul Society provides help in many ways,” continued Barry. “Each Society provides financial assistance for housing, utilities, food, medicine and transportation. The families receiving assistance are those who have the greatest need for aid in each community. [In addition], no charitable work is foreign to the Society. Vincentians respond to community needs, including disaster relief services.”

Saint Vincent de Paul Society Long Beach has their annual food drive in October each year. This year, the group said their Thanksgiving food drive was so successful that more than fifty families received assistance. Thanksgiving dinners provided included large turkeys, as well as more food than originally planned due to the large amount of donations.

Member Charles Fallo said that, even after providing the food baskets to famlies, the food pantry shelves are now full.

“The food and gifts [that were] donated will help feed [those who come to us] throughout the year, and provided gifts at Christmas. Food, toys and bikes were provided to families. An additional fifty gift baskets were provided to sailors at the Port of Gulfport working during the holidays,” said Fallo.

“The Saint Vincent de Paul Society is a blessing to the community,” said Fr. Vincent Ajayi, St. Thomas priest and St. Vincent de Paul Society spiritual leader. “We provide more than economic assistance. We offer encouragement, comfort and prayer to everyone who comes to us.”

For information on how to donate to St. Vincent de Paul Long Beach, visit the “Society of St. Vincent de Paul” page at www.SaintThomasLB.org, or mail a check payable to “Society of St. Vincent de Paul” to Society of St. Vincent de Paul, 712 E Beach Blvd, Long Beach, MS 39560. One hundred percent of every donation goes directly to the Society of St. Vincent de Paul.

Those who need assistance must live within Long Beach boundaries to qualify and are encouraged to call the church at 228-822-0609 or email help@SaintThomasLB.org.

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