Friday, July 29, 2011

Help make a difference for those in need this Sunday


Help the Society of St. Vincent de Paul Help others this Sunday. Donate your tax-deductible usable clothing, household goods, electronics and misc. items - as well as newspapers - to the Society's Bundle Sunday program at a parish near you.

St. Vincent de Paul donation trucks will be at the below parishes from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on July 31. We thank you in advance for your assistance, as your donation will help restore lives through our various local outreach programs.

* St. Frances of Rome: 501 E. Foothill Blvd., AZUSA
* St. Bartholomew: 252 Granada Ave., LONG BEACH
* Immaculate Conception: 740 S. Shamrock Ave., MONROVIA
* St. Thomas Aquinas: 1501 S. Atlantic Blvd., MONTEREY PARK
* Holy Cross: 13955 Peach Hill Rd., MOORPARK
* St. Mary: 1600 E. Avenue R4, PALMDALE

* Note - Large items of furniture, appliances and vehicles (running or not) can be donated by calling 323-224-6280 or 800-974-3571.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

If you haven't been, this is what you've missed so far at Circle V Ranch Camp


If you haven't been to St. Vincent de Paul's CIRCLE V RANCH CAMP this summer, you've missed a lot (click on photo flyer to enlarge)! Only three sessions remain. They include:

August 1-6 / Theme: Circle V’s Got Talent
August 6-11 / Theme: Disney
August 12-17 / Theme: Safari Adventure

Activities include swimming, hiking, arts & crafts, sports, music, archery, photography, miniature golf, beach trips, lodging, three meals a day and more.

A typical week costs $350 per child. However, due to a generous donation, the cost is just $60 per child (who qualify for a campership). Information: 323-224-6213. Call before its too late!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Boom time for thrift stores


July 27, 2011

By Steve Lopez
Los Angeles Times


The expansive parking lot at 210 N. Avenue 21 in Lincoln Heights was nearly full Monday afternoon, with yet more cars wedged into tight spots out on the sun-blasted street. Bargain hunters scaled the stairs like salmon going upstream, working against the satisfied shoppers on their way out with full carts.

Where was all this booming business? At the St. Vincent de Paul thrift store.

In case you needed more evidence of the gut-kick California's economy has taken, consider this: Sales records have been shattered at thrifts in Oxnard, Long Beach and the Lincoln Heights store, said David Fields, executive director of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul. In April, cash registers at the 95,000-square-foot main store in Lincoln Heights rang up $349,158 in sales. That was 16.5% higher than the same month in 2010.

Meanwhile, at Goodwill Southern California, marketing director Sasha Itzikman said the chain's 65 stores in Riverside, San Bernardino and Los Angeles counties are "seeing great increases" in sales. "We're on track to have a record-breaking year," she said, attributing the surge to high unemployment and general economic fears. "People are rethinking their spending habits."

At St. Vincent de Paul's three stores, said Fields, it's apparent that more first-timers are coming in. And regulars appear to be coming in more regularly, motoring past Target and Ross Dress for Less on their way to the thrift shop, where they can buy second-hand for less than half the clams.

"I just came from Big 5," said Ramon Soria, who doesn't throw his money around since retiring from a clerical job to look after his parents.

At Big 5, he said, he bought a pair of discounted sneakers for $16. But the weight-lifting set he wanted, to sweat himself back into shape, would have cleaned him out. So he did what he's been doing more and more: He came to St. Vincent de Paul, where he bought the $4.99 blue jeans he was modeling, and where he now had his eye on a set of weights.

Oh, yes. They've got an exercise equipment department, a housewares section, tools, rugs, tables, chairs, dressers, cabinets and enough clothing to dress everyone in Lincoln Heights.

You can buy a 99-cent book and read it on a $39 easy chair. You can pick up a $150 refrigerator or a $79 entertainment center, and you can look your best in good-as-new pants, shirt and shoes for under $20, total, some of them with designer labels.

Of course, you cannot walk into a thrift shop in Los Angeles without the threat of bumping into a hipster, artist, musician or even a bona fide celebrity who might not be there because of economic need. They go thinking it's cool to find a sport coat that looks like it was owned by a Russian ventriloquist, a dress that Betty Grable could have worn, or a serving bowl manufactured around the time when ridged potato chips were invented.

I spotted a few such treasure hunters, and then there was Gretchen Schofield of South Pasadena, who buys wool sweaters she turns into felted purses and pillowcases as a hobby.

But I was there to write about the economy, and Mary Foyer had something to say about that. A website writer who said she's unemployed more than not, Foyer was on a treasure hunt in women's clothing.

If you know what you're looking for, she said, a $20 bill will get you five or six items of better quality than a single $20 item at Target. And she has found ways not just to save money, but to make money, by shopping at St. Vincent de Paul.

"This here is from Anthropologie," she said, holding up a pink top with $4.99 stamped on the tag. "It was probably $100 at Anthropologie. Somewhere between $70 and $100, I'd say."

If it didn't fit her, it didn't matter. Foyer didn't intend to keep it.

"I can sell this on EBay for $25," she said, speaking with authority.

So she's done this before?

Her answer was a smile.

Retirees Alfred and Virginia Hurtado of El Sereno weren't there to buy, but to give. They donate goods regularly, they said, liking the fact that they can clean out the garage without filling up a landfill and help people in need at the same time.

Jose Sanchez, 27, dismantles equipment for a recycler and stops by the thrift store twice a week. On Monday, he was looking for a refrigerator, and he knew he'd find one for about one-third of what he'd pay retail. But there's another reason he does much of his shopping at St. Vincent.

Sanchez said that when he was unemployed, he wanted to make good use of his free time. So he volunteered at the store and learned that the money the store takes in is used to send city kids to camp, to provide food and shelter to the destitute, and to train volunteers for home visits to families in need of food, clothing, furniture, legal and medical referrals.

"When you shop here," Sanchez told me, "it helps a lot of people out."

According to Fields, donations to the thrift stores are somewhat flat right now. So if you've got something you don't need but someone else would love to have, call (800) 974-3571 to find out how to make your tax-deductible donation to St. Vincent de Paul.

"One man's trash is another man's treasure," Shauna Silver said as she pushed a cart of goods past the registers.

Yeah, especially in this economy.

photo by Bob Chamberlin, L.A. Times

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Children can camp in beautiful Santa Barbara


ONLY three summer camp sessions remain at Circle V Ranch Camp this season in beautiful Santa Barbara. The sessions include: August 1-6, August 6-11 and August 12-17.

PARENTS - Don't miss out on having your child experience the beauty and FUN of the great outdoors in a supportive environment! Swimming, hiking, arts & crafts, music, archery, sports, a beach trip and more for children, ages 7-13! Call 323-224-6213 TODAY to make your reservation. Camperships available for children who qualify.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Society seeks big-hearted volunteers

The Society of St. Vincent de Paul - Where your time will pay HUGE dividends for the homeless, hungry and working-poor.

* Click on flyer to enlarge.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Help make a difference for those in need this Sunday


Helping others in need is a rewarding feeling. But, don't take my word for it. Try it out for yourself. Please donate your tax-deductible usable clothing, household goods, electronics and misc. items - as well as newspapers - to the Society of St. Vincent de Paul this Sunday.

St. Vincent de Paul donation trucks will be at the below parishes from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on July 24. Just bundle your donations by Sunday and drop them off at the church nearest you.

* St. Mary Magdalen: 2532 Ventura Blvd., CAMARILLO
* St. Denis: 2151 S. Diamond Bar Blvd., DIAMOND BAR
* Resurrection: 3324 Opal St., LOS ANGELES
* SungSam Korean: 1230 N. San Fernando Rd., LOS ANGELES
* St. Hilary: 5465 Citronell Ave., PICO RIVERA
* St. Jude: 32032 Lindero Canyon Rd., WESTLAKE VILLAGE
* St. Bernardine of Siena: 24410 Calvert St., WOODLAND HILLS

* Note - Large items of furniture, appliances and vehicles (running or not) can be donated by calling 323-224-6280 or 800-974-3571.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Still time to attend summer camp in Santa Barbara!


Believe it or not, summer camp is beginning to wind down for this year. Don't miss out on having your child experience the beauty of the outdoors in a supportive environment in beautiful Santa Barbara! To see how your child, age 7-13, can attend, call 323-224-6213 TODAY. Camperships available for children who qualify.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Fun at Circle V Ranch Camp continues


Only four weeks remain for this year's Circle V Ranch Camp in beautiful Santa Barbara! For information on how your child, age 7-13, can attend, please call 323-224-6213 TODAY. Camperships available for children who qualify.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Donate your usable items to the Society on Sunday, July 17


Please Help Us Help Others by donating your tax-deductible usable clothing, household goods, electronics and misc. items - as well as newspapers - to the Society of St. Vincent de Paul this Sunday.

St. Vincent de Paul donation trucks will be at the below parishes from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on July 17. Just bundle your donations by Sunday and drop them off at the church nearest you.

* Holy Angels: 370 Campus Dr., ARCADIA
* St. Gertrude: 7025 Garfield Ave., BELL GARDENS
* Good Shepherd: 505 N. Bedford Dr., BEVERLY HILLS
* Sacred Heart: 344 W. Workman St., COVINA
* St. Raymond: 12348 Paramount Blvd., DOWNEY
* St. Raphael: 5444 Hollister Ave., GOLETA
* St. Madeleine: 931 E. Kingsley Ave., POMONA
* St. James: 415 Vincent St., REDONDO BEACH

* Note - Large items of furniture, appliances and vehicles (running or not) can be donated by calling 323-224-6280 or 800-974-3571.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Society's CSULA Conference to host public 'BBQ for the Hungry'


The Society's Cal State University of Los Angeles' Catholic Christian Conference will sponsor a free public 'BBQ for the Hungry' from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on July 16 at 6th and Gladys Park in downtown L.A.

Hamburgers, hot dogs and drinks will be served. 'Vincentian' volunteers wishing to assist CSULA help those in need by cooking and cleaning up, are encouraged to email svdp.csula@gmail.com.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Summer camp life at Circle V Ranch...




There is nothing like summer camp for today's young people. Spaces are still available for boys and girls, ages 7-13, to attend Circle V Ranch Camp this summer in Santa Barbara. For more information, call 323-224-6213.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Vincentians sometimes endure front line battles to help those in need


Thank you to our 'Vincentian' volunteers who, because of their dedication, focus and love for God, have been able to be loving servants under some of the most difficult situations. It's no different now than it was for St. Vincent de Paul during his days of helping the homeless and disadvantaged. St. Vincent's quote below says it all...

"You will find out that Charity is a heavy burden to carry, heavier than the kettle of soup and the full basket. But you will keep your gentleness and your smile. It is not enough to give soup and bread. This the rich can do. You are the servant of the poor, always smiling and good-humored. They are your masters, terribly sensitive and exacting master you will see. And the uglier and the dirtier they will be, the more unjust and insulting, the more love you must give them. It is only for your love alone that the poor will forgive you the bread you give to them."

~ St. Vincent de Paul

Monday, July 11, 2011

Happy Birthday to Executive Director David Fields



From all your staff to the close to 2,000 dedicated 'Vincentian' volunteers in the Society's Council of Los Angeles, we want to wish you a very HAPPY birthday! How does it feel to turn 29 again?

Happy Birthday, David! May it be a blessed day for you and your family!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Your so-called junk may be gold to others. Bundle your usable goods on Sunday in select cities


Please Help Us Help Others by donating your tax deductible usable clothing, household goods, electronics and misc. items - as well as newspapers - to the Society of St. Vincent de Paul.

St. Vincent de Paul donation trucks will be at the below parishes from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. this Sunday, July 10. Bundle your donations this weekend and drop them off at the church nearest you. It's that easy!

* St. Anastasia: 7390 W. Manchester Ave., LOS ANGELES
* St. Jerome: 5550 Thornburn St., LOS ANGELES
* St. John The Evangelist: 6028 S. Victoria Ave., LOS ANGELES
* St. Philip The Apostle: 151 S. Hill Ave., PASADENA
* Our Lady of Perpetual Help: 23233 Lyons Ave., SANTA CLARITA
* Holy Family: 1527 Fremont Ave., SOUTH PASADENA

* Note - Large items like furniture, appliances and vehicles (running or not) can be donated by calling 323-224-6280 or 800-974-3571.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

You're only a child once, so live it up at Circle V Ranch Camp


There's nothing like the warmth and sounds of children having fun at summer camp. Add the various activities, including the camp's refreshing swimming pool, and you have St. Vincent de Paul's Circle V Ranch Camp in beautiful Santa Barbara.

With camp in full swing, only five weekly summer sessions remain in 2011. Limited spaces are still available for children, ages 7-13. Call 323-224-6213 TODAY to reserve a camp spot before it's too late! Financial assistance is available for those who qualify.

Info: 323-224-6213 or visit http://svdpla.org/index.php/circlev/contents.

Photo: The reward for hiking this Circle V Ranch trail is the striking view of Lake Cachuma in the background.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

God's volunteers with St. Vincent de Paul are called Vincentians


Inspired by Gospel values, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, a Catholic lay organization, leads women and men to join together to grow spiritually by offering person-to-person service to those who are needy and suffering in the tradition of its founder, Blessed Frédéric Ozanam, and patron, St. Vincent de Paul.

As a reflection of the whole family of God, Members, who are known as Vincentians, are drawn from every ethnic and cultural background, age group, and economic level. Vincentians are united in an international society of charity by their spirit of poverty, humility and sharing, which is nourished by prayer and reflection, mutually supportive gatherings and adherence to a basic Rule.

Organized locally, Vincentians witness God's love by embracing all works of charity and justice. The Society collaborates with other people of good will in relieving need and addressing its causes, making no distinction in those served because, in them, Vincentians see the face of Christ.

Info: 323-224-6298

Monday, July 4, 2011

Friday, July 1, 2011

BIG Independence $ale for LONG BEACH and surrounding communities


The Society of St. Vincent de Paul will hold a storewide Independence $ale from 9:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Sunday, July 3 at its LONG BEACH store, 2750 Pacific Coast Hwy., 90804. Some exclusions apply.

Please see attached flyer. Directions to our store can be found on the right side of this blog.