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St. Vincent de Paul embarks on ‘Season of Service’
by Bobby Tedder
btedder@neighbornewspapers.com
March 06, 2013 08:33 AM | 1396 views | 0 0 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Staff / Samantha M. Shal<br>
Volunteer Ashley McCollum, a student at Oglethorpe University, stocks shelves at the St. Vincent de Paul food pantry.
Staff / Samantha M. Shal
Volunteer Ashley McCollum, a student at Oglethorpe University, stocks shelves at the St. Vincent de Paul food pantry.
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Residents are invited to partner with a pair of faith-based entities in the celebration of the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. during the “Season of Service.”

The Society of St. Vincent de Paul Georgia and the Archdiocesan Office of Black Catholic Ministry are driving forces for the local charitable/humanitarian endeavor, which runs through March 31.

All are invited to participate in any of the service projects, including the following: 10-Ton Food Drive, Pennies Can Fight Hunger Drive, MLK Service Project and Hygiene Packet Project.

The results of each organization’s project will directly benefit individuals living in that local community.

Jim Verrecchia, director of development for St. Vincent de Paul, acknowledged the challenges of taking on projects like these in today’s economic climate.

“Though the economic times are difficult for everyone, the true level of charity is often found in times when there is such widespread difficulties and suffering,” Verrecchia said. “People who are still able to float find it within their own lack to share with those who have nothing.”

“This is the real motive for taking on a project like this at this time,” he added.

“This was the tireless effort of Dr. King and it is his teaching, witness and spirit that guide and support this particular effort.”

Overall, Verrecchia and company hope to heighten the awareness of poverty here and in neighboring communities.

In the process, reaching targeted results — raising ample supplies via 10-Ton Food Drive, $5,000 through the Pennies campaign and 1,000 personal hygiene packets — while amassing the necessary volunteer service hours are what ultimately define success for all involved.

That would include contributions from a cross section of people like Pat Smith, president of one of St. Vincent’s volunteer groups at Immaculate Heart of Mary. Her group participated in this year’s MLK Service project.

“Our volunteers at the SVdP truck collecting donations for both our SVdP Food drive in January and our SVdP Warm Clothing drive in February consistently hear the comment, ‘Thank you for doing this!,’” Smith recalled.

“At IHM, the parishioners are aware that there is great need and appreciate the opportunity to ‘do something real’ for their less fortunate neighbors.”

The church group collected 412 pounds of non-perishable food — despite very little time to promote the event on the heels of the holiday season, Smith noted.

“We see donations from parishioners who do not have much but feel compelled to give something for the less fortunate,” she said.

For more information about the MLK/SVdP Service Project, email mlk@svdpatl.org or call (678) 892-6182. To learn more about SVdP, visit www.svdpatl.org.
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