Thursday, December 31, 2015

Please join us!

1st Star Wars Sweepstakes Winner!

Edgar Anaya won our first Star Wars Sweepstakes! 

Edgar won the Jawas painting. Three more items to win! Come to the LA store and fill out a ticket at the security desk. May the Force be with you!

Photo Caption: SVdPLA Deputy Executive Director David Garcia presents Edgar Anaya with his painting.

Star Wars Gear Sweepstakes! Weekly Wednesday Winners!

Get a free light saber when you mention the secret password “sabers of the universe” with security at the Los Angeles location!  (While supply lasts)

Spiritual Advisers Help Volunteers Grow In Faith

It may be a surprise to many, but the primary purpose of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul is to increase the holiness of its members. Each Conference of charity volunteer group has a spiritual adviser whose responsibility is to help the conference reach a deeper faith.
The spiritual element of the Society’s work would never be underestimated. Without that foundation, the work of serving the poorest of the poor couldn’t be sustainable.  
“In order for us not to burn out we have to be aligned with prayer or we would not be able to do it for long,” said spiritual adviser Mark Stelly, on the Vincentian volunteers’ service to others.  Stelly is a Spiritual Adviser for the Los Angeles Council’s District of Los Angeles South.

A spiritual adviser to the entire Los Angeles Council, Rev. Pedro Villarroya C.M. said, “The spiritual adviser is the animator, soul, and conscience of the conferences.”
Santa Barbara District Spiritual Adviser Romeo Mabansag said he makes sure the Vincentians in his conference remember to pray before their visits with people in need.

“Some of the things we come into contact with are not so pleasant,” Stelly remarked. Rev. Villarroya agreed, “The spiritual adviser must help to find the secret of Vincentian spirituality: to see the face of Christ in the face of the poor person.”  

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

New Year's Eve Sale

OneLife LA Jan. 23, 2016!

Calling All Star Wars Fans

Enter the raffle at our Los Angeles location with security to win a new R2D2 necklace! 

Winner announced on Wednesday!

Sweepstakes rules can be found at

SVdPLA on "All Things Catholic" TV Program

Gorgeous vintage tea sets were just put out today!
Follow what others find in our store at SVdPLA

#vintage #tea #afternoontea #tealover #teaparty #teacup #hottea #thrift #thrifter #thrifting #thriftstore #thriftshop #thriftadventures #thriftbargains #thrifttreasures 
"God makes the interests of the afflicted his own."
- St. Louise de Marillac

“Dios hace suyos los intereses de los afligidos.”

-Santa Luisa de Marillac

"The Lord is close to the broken-hearted; and those who are crushed in spirit He saves."
-Psalm 34:18

“El Señor está cerca de los quebrantados de corazón, y salva a los de espíritu abatido.”
Salmo 34:18

Vincentian Services Department
Society of St. Vincent de Paul, Council of Los Angeles

Come Join Us

We’re excited to join so many other great organizations to embrace the beauty and dignity of all human life on January 23rd, 2016 in Downtown LA. 

Please Register for FREE today! We look forward to seeing you there! The event will begin with a walk starting on Los Angeles Street, up Temple Street, across Grand Avenue and down 1st Street, culminating in a family-friendly picnic in front of City Hall with music, entertainment, food trucks, and exhibits from community organizations.

Genevieve Geyser makes Christmas merrier for SY Valley's neediest

Genevieve Geyser starts preparing for Christmas in July. She's not an obsessive early shopper looking for gifts for family and friends. Geyser is in charge of the Christmas Basket Program at Old Mission Santa Ines.
An all-volunteer effort more than 25 years old, the annual Christmas Basket Program (CBP) provides gifts and essential food items for the Valley's working poor. This year, 156 families with a total of 637 people received assistance. 
"It was started by some women who recognized there were parish families who needed help at Christmas," Geyser said. "Later, Michelle Streeter really put it on the map getting it very organized, and when she was preparing to move out of the Valley in 2010, she asked me to take it over."
Geyser is loathe to assume much credit for the program, instead referring to the many volunteers who assist with the organizing and packing, and the many individuals and businesses who donate to it.
Families interested in benefiting from CBP must live in the Valley, be below a certain income level and have minor children. Each family is vetted. Income tax returns, pay stubs and the like are required.
"When I took it over I wanted the program to have a formal application process," Geyser said. "I want to be able to assure our donors and supporters about who they are assisting. These are the working poor. They work in the hospitality industry and in the vineyards. Their kids go to school here. These people are members of our community. They are not lazy people. They just need a hand up during the holidays."
Qualified families are "adopted" by donors, not by name but by an assigned number that designates how many adults and children are in the household and their clothing sizes.
Donors then deliver large boxes filled with the customized selection of wrapped gifts to Old Mission Santa Ines.
In addition to the box of presents, through cash and in-kind donations, each family receives a 18-gallon plastic bin filled with food. Bags of rice and flour, boxes of pancake mix and cereal, large jars of peanut butter and jelly fill the bins to overflowing. At the last hour before distribution, two fresh chickens donated each year by El Rancho Marketplace, are added. These food containers weigh in at about 60 pounds and the family gets to keep the bin.
Participating families are not required to belong to Old Mission Santa Ines or to any church, but the Valley's religious communities are annually among CBP's biggest supporters.
During packing day, the Rev. Dr. Randall Day, rector at St. Mark's-in-the-Valley Episcopal Church was on hand. Dozens of St. Mark's members sponsor families each year. The Mission's new pastor, Fr. Matt Elshoff, also dug in to help pack during his first CBP.
Geyser's own work starts in July with grant writing.
"I learned on the job," said the former office manager, who noted that the Santa Ynez Valley Foundation always comes through with a grant.
By Oct. 1, she's taking applications.
"I personally sit down with every family and handle the financial vetting. That's not something I want to delegate," she said. Families that qualify are notified of what the distribution day will be and given their assigned number.
Shopping for the food items means hitting big sales at Costco and other discount stores for the best prices on those food staples, which are then stored in Genevieve and Lew Geyser's garage.
"My husband has been so supportive of my doing this," said Geyser, as she laughs about his giving up his garage every year. That's where the CBP pantry items are stacked until the day they're brought over to the Mission for packing.
"He leads a caravan of trucks getting everything from there to here," she explained.
Another volunteer group that Geyser has involved for six years -- she calls them "the best workers I have" -- is the fifth-grade class from the Santa Ynez Valley Charter School.
On Dec. 15, two dozen fifth-graders jumped off the bus that brought them to the mission. Each child was given an elf hat, shown the exact order the food bins were to be organized and given an assignment.
All of them followed Geyser's instructions to a tee. That meant no running, and no tossing bags or boxes into the bins but carefully placing them to avoid breakage.
"I admit I was reluctant when the idea of the elf caps came up a couple of years ago. I didn't want to commercialize the effort. I later realized it gave the kids something to remember what they did this day," Geyser said. "That's important."

Louis Vuitton shoes were spotted here today!
Come in to see if they’re perfect for you or a loved one.

#svdpla #louisvuitton #louisvuittonlover #louisvuittonshoes #louisvuittonaddict #louis_vuitton #shoesoftheday #instashoes #shoestagram #shoes #loveshoes #shoesaddict #shoeswag 

ACC Staff, Students Give Generously During Toy and Food Drives in December

Thanks to the efforts of American Career College students, faculty and staff on two campuses, some local charities got quite the stocking stuffer this Christmas.
Staff and students at ACC-Long Beach helped raise more than 124 toys for Miller Children's and Women's Hospital in Long Beach. Miller Children’s is a not-for-profit, pediatric teaching hospital that treats more than 8,000 children each year and provides 84,000 children in the region with specialized care.
"Our goal was to provide comfort, enjoyment and support while they are receiving care during this holiday season," ACC-LB Financial Aid Manager Joanna Ruiz said.
ACC-Los Angeles donated nearly 800 pounds of dry, liquid and canned food to the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank in December, in addition to collecting almost 1,700 toys and gifts for St. Vincent de Paul. St. Vincent de Paul spokesman Chris Sariego said ACC-LA's donation would account for half of the gifts given away by the charity this Christmas at local parishes.
"We received so many toys and supplies, big and small. We have items for the kids ranging from color pencils, erasers, coloring books, puzzles, books, crayons and dolls to stuffed animals, sports items, tea sets, electronics and remote-controlled cars," ACC-LA Academic Retention Specialist Valentina Aslanyan said. "We wish we were able to see the children's faces."
Located in the center of downtown, LA Regional Food Bank provides food to 320,500 people every month and in 2014 distributed 59 million pounds of food. Society of St. Vincent de Paul, Los Angeles provides assistance to low-income individuals and families in need. St. Vincent de Paul also sponsors housing for the homeless and working poor, and camps for underservered children.
Aslanyan said donations came in steadily during the drive and wanted to thank everyone who helped make the event such a success.
"This was a campuswide involvement and we are grateful to everyone who demonstrated the true spirit of giving this season," Aslanyan said.

SVdPLA Sponsors LA5 Meeting on Homelessness

Gina Doyle, SVdPLA Director of Development and an LA5 Rotarian, , introduced LA5 Rotary’s Dec. 18, 2015 meeting on homelessness. Doyle talked about SVdPLA’s efforts to prevent homelessness though providing the needy with emergency rental assistance, food, clothing, housing and other forms of assistance.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

“Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign; the young woman,
pregnant and about to bear a son, shall name him Emmanuel.”
Isaiah 7:14

“Por tanto el mismo Señor os dará señal: He aquí que la virgen
concebirá, y parirá un hijo, y llamará su nombre Emmanuel.”

Isaias 7:14

A shot from the movie "Jesus of Nazareth" by Franco Zeffirelli (1977)

May the birth of Our Savior remind us, once again, that just like Him,
we are in this world to serve others. 
A very blessed and joyous Christmas to you!

Que el nacimiento de Nuestro Salvador nos recuerde una vez más,
que al igual que Él, estamos en este mundo para servir a los demás.  
¡Deseándoles una bendecida y alegre Navidad a todos!

Vincentian Services Department
Society of St. Vincent de Paul, Council of Los Angeles

Have a happy and safe holiday from St. Vincent de Paul of Los Angeles.

Our store will be closed Christmas day. 

Christmas Eve Sale starts tomorrow and goes till Saturday!

#svdpla #christmas #gift #sale #thriftstorebargains #thrifter #thrifting #thriftstore #thrift 
"I beg of you to show the poor great affection."
- St. Louise de Marillac

Les implore que demuestren gran afecto a los pobres.

-Santa Luisa de Marillac

The Creation of Man, Michelangelo

True affection comes from respect for the whole person.
Lord, grant that my service of the poor be rooted in reverence
for the dignity of the human person, your special creation.

El verdadero afecto viene del respeto hacia la persona completa.
Señor, permite que mi servicio a los pobres este enraizado en reverencia
por la dignidad de la persona humana, tu creación especial.

Vincentian Services Department
Society of St. Vincent de Paul, Council of Los Angeles

Gamma Zeta Boule Toys to SVdPLA

Gama Zeta Boule fraternity’s 2014/15 LAMP Mentor Program donated toys to St. Vincent de Paul of Los Angeles.

St. Vincent’s executive director David Fields provided the toys to Fr. Tesfaldet (Tes) Asghedom, pastor of Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Lincoln Heights. Fr. Tes will see the toys go to children in need during this Christmas season.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Congratulations again to thriftanisto for winning our Style & Win contest! Your outfit was stylin'!
We have another sweepstakes coming up soon! Check back to see what else we have in store.

#svdpla #thriftlover #stvinnythriftlover #contest #sweepstakes #contest #thrifter #thriftstore #thrifting #nonprofit

Santa Came to SVdPLA

Monday, December 21, 2015

"We must never be surprised at the little misunderstandings which arise.
The angels and the apostles disagreed and Our Lord permits it to happen in communities
for a greater good. But it rests with us to avoid these regrettable circumstances
and to become closely reconciled as soon as possible."
- St. Vincent de Paul

“Nunca debemos sorprendernos de los pequeños malentendidos que ocurren.
Los ángeles y los apóstoles tenían desacuerdos y nuestro Señor permite
que suceda en comunidades para un mayor bien.  Pero queda en nosotros
el prevenir estas desagradables circunstancias
y el volvernos a reconciliar lo antes posible.”
- San Vicente de Paul

When misunderstandings occur at home or at work, Lord,
I will try to be the first to make amends.

Cuando malentendidos ocurren en casa o en el trabajo, Señor,
trataré de ser el primero en aclarar las confusiones.


Vincentian Services Department
Society of St. Vincent de Paul, Council of Los Angeles

Friday, December 18, 2015

Allen Lund helps SVdPLA Feed Families

LA CAÑADA FLINTRIDGE, CA - With the spirit of the holidays in full swing, Allen Lund Company took to the neighborhoods with Navidad en el Barrio this December 12th, bringing Christmas dinner to those most in need throughout Southern California.

2015 marks the tenth year Allen Lund has provided transportation for Navidad en al Barrio, an organization established over 30 years ago to provide Christmas cheer to 15,000 families without a dinner on the table on the holiday.
Over the past 7 years, ALC has started recruiting its grower customers to help, and boosted the substance and nutrition of Navidad en el Barrio with fresh produce. For 2015, ALC was joined by companies including Taylor Farms, Grimmway Farms, Wonderful Citrus, Dayka & Hackett, Wada Farms, and Rainier Fruit, providing everything from apples, oranges, grapes, carrots, peppers, potatoes, bagged lettuce, and arugula for the Christmas feast.

"Rainer Fruit is proud to recently join the Allen Lund Company in their decade long service to the impoverished,” shared Blake Belknap. “We are happy to give back from the blessings we've received, whether in Eastern Washington or Southern California.” 

ALC provided its team as volunteers for the Society of St. Vincent de Paul in Los Angeles to assemble the dinners in bags and distribute, and for the 2nd consecutive year, Dayka & Hackett provided several pallets of product to Navidad en el Barrio.
"Working with the Allen Lund Company for transportation, we were able to provide a healthy addition to the Christmas dinner baskets provided to thousands of families in Southern California," explained Mike Weaver of Dayka & Hackett. ”We were happy to participate and so glad our grapes were included in the meal.”

Thanks to these 15,000 bags of dinner and the efforts of all the companies involved, thousands of needy families will have a little something extra to smile about, and a little more fresh produce on their tables during the holiday season.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

CHiPs For Kids at SVdPLA

St. Vincent de Paul of Los Angeles and the California Highway Patrol powered up some holiday smiles at the CHiPs For Kids annual toy giveaway

December 15, 2015

The Society of St. Vincent de Paul of Los Angeles and the California Highway Patrol teamed up for the 27th Annual CHiPs For Kids Toy Giveaway for needy children on Saturday, December 12, 2015. While police and community tensions have run high this year, local CHP officers wanted to remind Angelenos that they care deeply about the community they serve, especially during the holidays when all families should have food on the table and presents under the tree.  “We want kids to know that police officers aren’t the enemy,” said CHP Public Information Officer Edgar Figueroa, a sworn police officer. “We would much rather save a life, keep our community safe and bring happy smiles to children this holiday season.”

This year, families lined up around the block to receive toys, food and shoes for this holiday season. Approximately 951 toys, and 951 pairs of shoes were distributed to families, as well as 500 bags of food. It was a festive holiday event, and the Set Decorators Society of America attended the event and decorated the St. Vincent de Paul of Los Angeles Thrift Store windows and created a winter wonderland that would rival any major department store,
including an actual sleigh for kids to sit on and a gigantic mailbox that accepted letters for
Santa Claus.

The event could not have happened without the generous support and donations of the CHP, CBS/KCAL, Shoe Palace, Allen Lund Trucking, Navidad En El Barrio and the Set Decorators Society of America.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Congratulations to thriftanisto for winning $125 gift certificate from our Style & Win Contest!  

#svdpla #thriftlover #stvinnythriftlover #nonprofit #thrift #thrifting #thriftstore #thrifter 

Thursday, December 10, 2015

"Every good action is a grain of seed for eternal life."
- St. Elizabeth Ann Seton

“Cada acción buena es una semilla para la vida eterna.”
-Santa Isabel Ana Seton

Time seems to fly by these days and now I am painfully aware of the missed opportunities for good I could have done.
Help me to be less concerned about temporal matters and more about the things of the spirit.

El tiempo parece volar estos días y ahora estoy tristemente reconociendo las oportunidades perdidas en las que pude hacer una buena obra.
Ayúdame a estar menos preocupada/o por cuestiones temporales y más acerca de las cosas del espíritu.


Vincentian Services Department
Society of St. Vincent de Paul, Council of Los Angeles

More Than a Thrift Store


By Claire Padama

The Society of St. Vincent de Paul, Council of Los Angeles, is a known for thrift stores in Los Angeles and Long Beach. But the Society is more than a store. It is an organization with 2,500 volunteers who devoted 263,000 hours to calls for help from the needy last year. We assisted over 159,000 people with food, clothing, housing and other forms of assistance.

The Society also operated in Los Angeles, Ventura & Santa Barbara Counties:
·        The Cardinal Manning Center for homeless men
·        St. Vincent’s family housing for homeless families
·        Low-income housing for the working poor
·        A prisoner resettlement house
·        A seasonal winter shelter for the homeless
·        A free learning center from ESL and GED students
·        A camp for under-served children

“No Act of Charity is Foreign to the Society.” We are committed every year to finding new forms of assistance for the impoverished. And the need for our charity continues to grow.

Please join our mission of ending poverty and homelessness in Southern California. We are More than a Thrift Store. We continue our dedication to improving the quality of life for those less fortunate and offer our humble thanks for your support throughout the year.
Claire Padama is president of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul Los Angeles Council. 

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Christmas Basket Program underway in Solvang

Len Wood, Staff
The 15th annual Santa Ynez Valley Christmas Basket Program will support 156 local needy families. Each receives a large hamper of food, staples and toiletries plus a decorated box filled with wrapped presents for each family member, a gift card for a local grocery store and fresh chickens donated by El Rancho Market plus toys donated from the Alexander family’s annual Christmas display.

The program is organized by volunteers from Old Mission Santa Ines, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, St. Mark’s-in-the-Valley Episcopal Church and Santa Ynez Valley Presbyterian Church with support from hundreds of individuals and over 30 local businesses, churches and organizations. 

"We reach out to the community and ask them to help us convey the giving spirit of the season,” Christmas Basket Program director Genevieve Geyser said. “We want all local families to experience the magic of Christmas and this program provides a hand-up to struggling families.” 

Christmas Basket recipients must be residents of Ballard, Buellton, Los Olivos, Santa Ynez, or Solvang. The program is open to families with minor children who are struggling financially and are unable to provide for their families at Christmas. 

Applications were reviewed by the volunteer committee. One family receiving a basket includes parents who are each working two jobs in Solvang, have three children (one with autism) and are challenged every day to provide the essentials. 

The 2015 Christmas Basket Program is still in need of donations to cover the cost of the food in the hampers. For more information about contributing contact program director Genevieve Geyser at 688-2106 or

CHiPs for Kids and SVdPLA's Christmas preparations

Director of Development Gina Doyle with CBS/KCAL Meteorologist/Reporter Amber Lee talking about SVdPLA and CHiPs For Kids Toy Drive partnership. 

St. Vincent de Paul Store Operations Director Alfred Rodriguez with Santa Claus picking up toys collected by CHiPs For Kids in West Covina today.

CHP officers help load SVdPLA van with the toys they collected in West Covina today.  This is our 5th year partnering with CHiPs for Kids toy drive.

SVdPLA preparing to distribute 1500 toys to children from our local community.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Welcome Gina Doyle - Development Director

St. Vincent de Paul of Los Angeles is pleased to introduce our new Development Director, Gina Doyle, a lady with great compassion and desire to serve the poor, matched by a fun and outgoing personality.  If you haven't met Gina yet, please call and introduce yourself!

A Los Angeles native, Gina attended St. John the Baptist De La Salle Elementary and Notre Dame High Schools.  In 1996 she graduated from UCLA with a degree in Theater, Film and Television.  What began as a job serving at Lawry's The Prime Rib, Beverly Hills, turned into a 17 year career run with Lawry's Restaurants where Doyle rose to General Manager of Lawry's The Prime Rib, Beverly Hills and helped open Lawry's restaurants in Taipei and Hong Kong.

Gina is an active member of the LA5 Rotary Club in Los Angeles.  It was at a Rotary event where Gina was introduced to St. Vincent de Paul.  She is profoundly happy to find a home with the Vincentians and new work that makes a difference.  Gina resides in the San Fernando Valley with her husband, David Doyle, a Charter High School Principal, and her daughters Emmer, Sloane and Lauren.

Gina can be contacted at or (323)226-9643.

Monday, December 7, 2015

SVdPLA in The Tidings

The Society of St. Vincent de Paul of Los Angeles and Sysco LA Corporation Talked Turkey And Gave Away 300 Birds During Annual Thanksgiving Event

The Society of St. Vincent de Paul of Los Angeles teamed up with the Sysco LA Corporation and Shoe Palace on November 24th to ensure 300  families who are in need in Los Angeles had a turkey on the table and the traditional fixings on the side to enjoy their own moment of thanks this past Thanksgiving. Sysco, the world’s largest food distributor, generously donated 300 turkeys for the giveaway event at St. Vincent de Paul of Los Angeles, and Shoe Palace has made a generous contribution to help complete the meal for each family.

Each family who attended the event was pre-selected through their local Catholic Church and their communities to determine those most in need. Friends of the society and SVDPLA board members  made additional donations.
 “We believe it takes a village to take care of everyone in this city, and we are so fortunate to have donors such as the Sysco LA Corporation and Shoe Palace to help our families celebrate Thanksgiving as every family should – with a bountiful table filled with fresh food,” said David Fields, Executive Director of St. Vincent de Paul of Los Angeles. “We rely on the generosity of our donors to help feed our families in need, which is especially important at this time of year.”