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 help on a regular basis, during the holidays, or immerse yourself in the mission of helping the poor, we are grateful for your time and talents.
Click the links below to find out more about our volunteer opportunities:
If you’re interested in volunteering with St. Vincent de Paul or have any questions, please contact Erin Nowak, Volunteer Coordinator, at 562-8841 x211 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you're ready to start volunteering, fill out our volunteer application here.
Every year 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. Here is a list of the programs that we typically need help with:
Reds Food Drive
June 3 & 4 -- Volunteers will be taking food donations and greeting Reds fans when they enter the ball park, and offering them tickets to a future Reds game in appreciation for the food they donate.
(First two weeks in October ending with the event in mid-October) Fashion design students from the University of Cincinnati’s DAAP program team up with SVDP to prove that a good cause never goes out of style. The event consists of a fashion show, boutique and auction and we need volunteers to help set up for this event by hanging clothes and moving and assembling equipment.
Thanksgiving and Christmas Food Distributions
(November and December) Two of our largest distributions of the year, St. Vincent de Paul’s Thanksgiving and Christmas Food Distributions will help over 2,000 families with a full holiday dinner that they can take home and prepare. Volunteers help in a variety of positions to make these events possible.
(November and December) During the colder months, St. Vincent de Paul has 2 coat distributions to help provide warm and weather appropriate coats for our neighbors in need. Volunteers will sort and hang coats and help people pick and choose the one they want.
Christmas Angels Toy Program
(December) The Christmas Angels Toy program is a one-day event held at our Liz Carter Outreach Center in the West End. Parents “shop” for gifts for their families while volunteers engage children through holiday crafts and activities. Volunteers can help by volunteering during the event or before to help set-up the toys.
(December) Fulfill a child's wish list by adopting a family this Christmas. Volunteers will receive a list of a family’s Christmas wishes and then go Christmas shopping for your selected family. Volunteers can also help out by working on one of our two distribution days, receiving gifts from donors and handing them out to the adopted families.
Regular Volunteer Projects
Our neighbors in need rely on us at St. Vincent de Paul every day and we need your help to serve those in need. Projects range from working directly with those we serve, to doing some more of the preparatory and behind the scenes work - there is something for everyone to make a difference! 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.
Volunteers are needed weekly on Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays of each month from 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. to help stock and set-up food and supplies in the Choice Food Pantry at 1125 Bank Street.
Help Line Advocate
You can be the voice of hope for neighbors in need. Every day, more than 200 struggling neighbors call us for assistance and we need your help to return calls and assist people through the application process. This role is vital to our mission and you will provide direct hope & help to those who need it. We ask for a 2-hr time commitment per week, but day/time is flexible.
St. Vincent de Paul has a small library from which our clients are able to take books home for themselves and their families. Volunteers occasionally help sort through the donations of books we receive and to stock them on the book shelves.
We do our best to make our garden area a safe and beautiful place for people to feel welcome and comfortable. During the warmer months volunteers provide general upkeep for this area, whether it’s something like weeding or just keeping the area clean. We also have a community garden where we grow fresh vegetables to be distributed in our Food Pantry. Volunteers are needed to help maintain the garden by watering, weeding, and harvesting.
Our Development team is responsible for communicating with thousands of donors and community partners and always need help with their mailings. Volunteers help with preparing mailings for things like distributions, fundraisers, and newsletters. This keeps our community in touch with our mission and helps to grow our Vincentian family.
Volunteers are needed to serve coffee and hot chocolate to clients in the waiting room. For an added touch, feel free to bring a healthy breakfast/snack to serve those waiting for services.
Volunteers are needed to help record information of those we serve, as well as assist with general office needs such as filing, taking messages from our call center, and helping the Social Services team with their data entry. Volunteers must be 18 or older and be able to pass a background check to work with any private information.
Each week we send volunteers out into the community, to visit the homes of our neighbors in need, to better understand their needs and provide help when necessary. These appointments take place on Wednesday mornings and leave from the Liz Carter Outreach Center in the West End.
Volunteer help is needed each week to sort donations, create displays, straighten and stock our seven St. Vincent de Paul thrift stores.
Do you have a skill, hobby or passion that you’d like to share with our neighbors? We have volunteers conduct food demonstrations, financial planning workshops, and any other special service they might like to share.
Prepare Snack Bags and Hygiene Bags
Volunteers help put together snack bags for people who might be waiting in line for long periods of time and will not be able to leave or cannot afford something to eat. Volunteers also prepare personal hygiene bags for people who need them and cannot afford to purchase these items on their own.
Looking for a more immersive volunteer experience?
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
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 Maura Carpinello at (513) 562-8841 ext 239 or mcarpinello@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 Steve Crowe at (513) 562-8841 x 234 or scrowe@SVDPcincinnati.org.
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 will be 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 will use those resources to meet individually identified needs
Mentorship is another component of the program. Each investigator will be assigned a Vincentian or volunteer mentor who will follow up with them at least twice a month for six months after the conclusion of the program.
We hope you will be part of this amazing program! For more information, contact Sunnie Lain at email@example.com or 513-345-4966.