Volunteer Opportunities

Volunteer Opportunities at St. Vincent de Paul

There are many ways that you can volunteer with St. Vincent de Paul. Whether you would like to serve once, coordinate a group project, or get involved on a regular basis, we are grateful for your time and talents.

We ask that volunteers schedule a date and time in advance to make sure that these opportunities are available on the day they would like to come. 

Click the links below to find out more about our volunteer opportunities:

Individual Volunteer Opportunities

Group Volunteer Opportunities 

Immersive Volunteer Opportunities

Annual Events

Holiday Volunteer Opportunities

If you’re interested in volunteering with St. Vincent de Paul or have any questions, please contact Rachel Nartker, Volunteer Coordinator, at 513-562-8841, ext 211, or rnartker@svdpcincinnati.org.

If you're ready to start volunteering, fill out our volunteer application here. 

Individual Volunteer Opportunities

Food Pantry

Volunteers are needed during pantry hours (Monday-Friday 8:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m. and Saturdays 8:00 a.m. to noon) to help stock the shelves, sort donations, and accompany neighbors around our choice food pantry. We have a special need during the week for volunteers who are available over lunch (11am-2pm). 

To volunteer in our food pantry, contact Rachel or visit our Sign-Up Genius page to sign up for a shift. Please note that neighbors receiving services from our pantry are unable to volunteer in this role. Contact Rachel for other available opportunities.

Help Line Advocate

Every day, an average of 200 struggling neighbors call St. Vincent de Paul for assistance. We need volunteers to return calls and assist people through the application process. We ask for a two-hour time commitment per week, but the day/time is flexible during the hours that the Outreach Center is open (Monday-Friday 8:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m.; Saturday 8:30 a.m. to noon).

Welcome Room Advocate

We have volunteer opportunities in our Welcome Room to engage with our neighbors who are seeking assistance, to holistically assess their overall situation, eligibility for assistance and to provide St. Vincent de Paul assistance and referrals for resources from community partners as necessary.   


Volunteers are needed to help maintain our gardens by watering, weeding, and harvesting.


Volunteers are needed to serve coffee to neighbors. For an added touch, feel free to bring a healthy breakfast/snack to make and serve those waiting for services.

Home Visits

Every Wednesday morning we send pairs of volunteers out into the community to visit the homes of our neighbors in need. These home visits allow us to better understand the needs of our neighbors and provide them help when necessary.

Thrift Stores

Volunteer help is needed each week to sort donations, create displays, straighten and stock shelves at our seven St. Vincent de Paul thrift stores. All our thrift stores have evening and weekend hours, so this is a great opportunity for individuals who work or go to school during the week.


Volunteers with maintenance experience are needed to do basic maintenance and facility upkeep at our outreach centers and offices.

Click here to fill out our volunteer application or contact Rachel Nartker for more information. 

Back to the top

Group Volunteer Opportunities

St. Vincent de Paul offers volunteer opportunities for school, business, church, and family groups. To sign up your group or find out more about these opportunities, contact Rachel Nartker.  

Food Pantry

Groups of less than 10 can sign up to help stock shelves and accompany neighbors around our Choice Food Pantry. Volunteer groups are needed daily from 8:00 a.m.-4:30  p.m. and Saturdays from 9:30 a.m. to noon. Volunteers must be high school aged or older in order to accompany neighbors around the pantry. Younger volunteers can push the shopping cart or hold bags for an adult volunteer.


Small groups can bring in supplies to make breakfast/a light snack for our neighbors who are waiting for services at the Don and Phyllis Neyer Outreach Center. Our Teaching and Hospitality Kitchen has two stoves and two microwaves, as well as mixing bowls and serving utensils. Volunteers can also serve coffee and pastries (provided by St. Vincent de Paul). 


St. Vincent de Paul has a community garden where we grow fresh produce to distribute in our Food Pantry. During the warmer months, volunteers are needed to help maintain the garden by watering, weeding, and harvesting.

Off-site Projects

We have a number of off-site opportunities that larger groups can participate in:

  • Hygiene Bags: Collect travel size hygiene items (soap, shampoo, toothpaste, etc.) and put together hygiene bags for us to give out to our neighbors. These personal care items are a huge need for us because our neighbors cannot use food stamps to buy hygiene items and they're not donated as frequently as other items.
  • Kids’ Bags: These are given to kids who are waiting for services with their parents. They could include a small snack (granola bar, fruit snack, etc.) and something to occupy the child (coloring page with crayons, Play-Do, a small toy, etc.).
  • Birthday Box: Collect and assemble bags with cake mix, frosting, and candles for us to share with neighbors celebrating birthdays.
  • Recipe Kits: Collect items used to make a specific recipe and put the ingredients in a bag (recipe included) to be given to a neighbor (for example, a bag with a pie crust and pie filling or a bag with beans, tomatoes, spices, and a recipe to make chili).
  • Host a Drive

Back to the top 

Annual Events

Our seasonal events and distributions require extra volunteer assistance before, during, and after the event. We ask that volunteers sign up in advance so that we can be certain that we have the amount of help we need to facilitate these events. 

“Prescription Fore Fun” Golf Outing & Wine and Bourbon Tasting

Date TBD 2020

Join St. Vincent de Paul for our annual golf outing and wine and bourbon tasting benefiting the Charitable Pharmacy. Volunteers are needed during the afternoon to assist with golfer registration, as well as in the evening to help with raffle sales, silent auction table monitoring, and registration for the wine and bourbon tasting.


Thursday, October 19, 2020

RetroFittings is annual fashion show fundraising event featuring the designs of University of Cincinnati’s Design, Architecture, Art and Planning (DAAP) program. Students from DAAP shop in any of the seven St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Stores with a budget of $50, turning items they find in the stores into runway fashion. RetroFittings also features an on-site boutique with items from SVDP thrift stores, as well as a silent and live auctions and raffles. Volunteers are needed in the following capacities: greeters, registration table, silent auction table monitoring, raffle ticket sales, and guest escorting.

Event Planning Committees

Volunteers are also needed on the planning committees for these events, specifically to help solicit auction items and sponsorships. The golf outing and wine and bourbon tasting committee meets monthly from March-July and the RetroFittings committee convenes on a monthly basis from June-October. In addition to attending monthly gatherings , committee members are expected to solicit in-kind donations and/or sponsorships  between the meetings. If you are interested in a committee role and/or for more information, please contact Renee Berlon at rberlon@SVDPcincinnati.org or 513-562-8854.

Back to the top

Holiday Volunteer Opportunities

St. Vincent de Paul hosts several coat, toy, and food distributions throughout the holiday season. These programs would not be possible without the volunteers and donors who give of their time, talent, and treasure. Contact Rachel Nartker with any questions or to sign up to help.

Coat Distributions

Volunteers needed for registration, hospitality, sorting and stocking, and assisting neighbors as they pick out coats.

Distributions are held in November and December at various locations.

Thanksgiving Food Distribution

Volunteers needed to sort, bag, and carry food.

            Tuesday, November 24, 2020 at the Don and Phyllis Neyer Outreach Center

Angel Toy Distribution

Volunteers needed for registration, shopping assistance, watching children, carrying packages, and wrapping presents.

            Saturday, December 12, 2020 at the Don and Phyllis Neyer Outreach Center

Christmas Food Distribution

Volunteers needed to sort, bag, and carry food.

            Date TBD at the  Don and Phyllis Neyer Outreach Center

Christmas Together

Volunteers needed in the morning to receive presents from sponsors and in the afternoon to load presents into the vehicles of the families receiving them.

           Saturday, December 19, 2020 at the Don and Phyllis Neyer Outreach Center

Help is also needed Friday evening (12/18/20) to receive presents from sponsors.

Back to the top

Looking for a more immersive volunteer experience?

Ozanam Center for Service Learning

The Ozanam Center for Service Learning offers day-, weekend- or week-long immersion experiences that challenge participants to see those who are struggling not as “the poor,” but as neighbors. The Center custom designs retreats, offers both faith-based and secular retreats, and engages diverse individuals in service, education, and reflection on spiritual values. Contact the Ozanam Center at 513-562-8841, ext. 231, or ozanam@SVDPcincinnati.org.

Vincentian Volunteers of Cincinnati

Rooted in St. Vincent de Paul’s mission and tradition, Vincentian Volunteers of Cincinnati is a faith-based, year-long, residential service program. The program provides young professionals in their twenties an opportunity to grow in faith, friendship, and service by giving deeply of themselves to their neighbors in need. To find out more about Vincentian Volunteers of Cincinnati, contact Charissa Qiu at 513-562-8841, ext. 239, or cqiu@SVDPcincinnati.org.

Join a Conference

The core of our Society’s work is done by more than 900 members in 59 St. Vincent de Paul Conferences across Hamilton County. A conference is a small group of volunteers, typically associated with a parish or school, who visit those in need to assess their situations and help however possible. For more information, please contact Margaret Rahn at 513-562-8841, ext. 234, or mrahn@svdpcincinnati.org

Getting Ahead

The causes of poverty are many, and each individual’s story is different. Personal choices and decisions certainly play a role. Equally possible is that there is a combination of causes for their poverty: they may have a lack of support systems or role models, or they may have been exploited by the many businesses that prey on people in poverty. Lastly, they may be trapped by political decisions and policies that are far beyond their control.  Looking at poverty as more than a financial condition is part of the “whole person” approach that St. Vincent de Paul takes. Integral to our mission are the face-to-face, one-on one relationships we create with those we serve. In this spirit, the Cincinnati District Council offers ongoing sessions of “Getting Ahead in a Just Gettin’ by World."

This program, developed by Aha! Process, is a 15- to 20-week process that invites people in poverty to build the resources they need in order to create a more stable and prosperous life. Vincentians and Social Services staff recruit “investigators” for the program. These participants are individuals previously assisted by the Conferences or the Liz Carter Outreach Center. The curriculum focuses on four goals: 

  • Accurately assessing where the investigator and family are right now in terms of resources and stability
  • Evaluating what barriers exist that keep them “stuck” in poverty
  • Educating themselves about resources that are available to them within themselves and in the community
  • Creating a SMART action plan that uses those resources to meet individually identified needs

Mentorship is another component of the program. Each investigator is assigned a Vincentian or volunteer mentor who follows up with them at least twice a month for six months after the conclusion of the program. 

We hope you become part of this amazing program! For more information, contact Sunnie Lain at slain@svdpcincinnati.org or 513-345-4966.  

Back to the top