Saturday, December 31, 2016

SVdPLA Episode on EWTN

Full half-hour episode here for your viewing pleasure, 
on national SVdP featuring SVdPLA. 

From the Society’s traditional home visits, food pantries and assistance with rent and utilities, to innovative health care, financial and mentoring programs, the Society’s Vincentians see the face of Christ in the people they encounter. 

Friday, December 30, 2016

Durbins Serve the CMC

The Durbin Family and friends served lunch to the homeless at the SVdPLA Cardinal Manning Center (CMC) on Skid Row recently.  Jeff Durbin is the CFO of Gavina Coffee. The company donates coffee to the CMC. 

A blessed New Year to the Durbins and Gavina Coffee.

Allen Lund, produce shippers, participate in Navidad en el Barrio

By Jim Offner 
The Allen Lund Co., La CaƱada Flintridge, Calif., based logistics firm, worked with Houston-based charity Navidad en el Barrio for the 11th consecutive year on a toy drive that benefited the Society of St. Vincent de Paul.
The event was part of Lund’s  “40 Acts of Kindness” celebration of its 40th year in business, according to a news release.
The toy drive on Dec. 17 attracted more than 700 needy families, according to the release. The event provided toys, shoes and Christmas meals through Navidad en el Barrio.
Kenny Lund, vice president of support services, said the firm felt “blessed” to participate.
“To be at St. Vincent de Paul and meet with the families who are benefiting from the gifts provided by such a great team of caring people, leaves me at a loss for words,” Kenny Lund said in the release. “This is the third year ALC has partnered with (Society of St. Vince de Paul), and I am confident this will continue to be an annual day of giving for ALC.”

 Allen Lund offices in Denver, San Francisco, Portland, Ore., Los Angeles (Dry/Reefer) and Orlando offices were able to secure fresh produce and dry goods to be donated for the Christmas meals, according to the release. Wanship Enterprises provided transportation services. The Allen Lund Co. also acknowledged Wada Farms, Grimmway Farms, Rainier Fruit Co., Garofalo Pasta, Dayka & Hackett, Wonderful Citrus, Mission Produce, Kagome USA, Penguin Foods and Taylor Farms for having donated carrots, potatoes, grapes, avocados, oranges, apples, mixed salad, spaghetti, chicken glaze, couscous, pancake mix and cornbread mix.

Haste Not Waste; Take Advantage Now!

Taxes are around the corner! Take the load off what you owe. Donate your car before end of the year and receive a tax write-off for 2016. 

To find out how to schedule a free pick up, click here:

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Christmas Baskets in Santa Ynez

  • Updated 
  • Lynn Wood - Pat Fallin coordinated the 55 Basket Program prepared by members of St. Mark's-in-the-Valley Episcopal Church. 

  • The annual Christmas Basket Program may just be one of the most collaborative charitable efforts in the Santa Ynez Valley. It is run out of Old Mission Santa Ines, coordinated by Genevieve Geyser and other volunteers from the lay Society of St. Vincent de Paul.
    Nearly 100 baskets were contributed by mission parishioners. About a third of the total baskets distributed were contributed by St. Mark's-in-the-Valley Episcopal Church parishioners in an effort coordinated by Pat Fallin. Four baskets came from the Ballard School and still more from members of Santa Ynez Valley Presbyterian Church. Each "basket" consists of a box of wrapped gifts, a hamper full of pantry supplies and a supermarket gift card. Fifth-graders from Santa Ynez Valley Charter School packed the food hampers.
    The Christmas Basket Program was started at the mission more than 25 years ago as a way for mission parishioners to help its own. Families no longer are required to be members of the mission parish. Any local family with minor children that is struggling financially and unable to provide can apply for a basket. 
    Geyser vets each family. These are the working poor seen every day in the Valley, laboring in the fields, busing tables in restaurants, making beds in hotels, she explained.
    "Some of the parents are working two or three jobs and it is still not enough to do anything special for their family at Christmas," Fallin said.
    Each approved family is anonymously "adopted" -- the only information given out are the ages, gender and sizes of each family member. The adoptive family then fills a large box with colorfully wrapped gifts and delivers it to the mission for distribution.
    Each family also receives a large hamper filled with staples like rice, juice, breakfast cereal and peanut butter, plus a supermarket gift card, all paid for with cash donations. The final item, packaged in the hours just before distribution, is a bag with two fresh chickens from El Rancho Market. 
    According to Fallin, St. Mark's jumped into the program a few years after the Rev. Randall Day took over as pastor there (in 2008). This was her fifth Christmas coordinating her church's effort.
    "Randall thought it was better for us to join in an existing program rather than doing one of our own at St. Mark's. That way we could make it stronger and better. At St. Mark's, we feel that it's more productive for us all to work together. It's more successful. We can serve a lot more people by all joining forces," Fallin said.
    Fallin moved to the Santa Ynez Valley five and a half years ago from Aspen, Colorado, where she'd lived for 40 years.
    "Forty years of shoveling snow was quite enough," she laughed.
    More important to her decision to relocate was proximity to family. She has a son in Los Angeles and a daughter, Ashley Brady, in Los Olivos. Anxious to be active in her new parish, she couldn't say no when Day asked her to take over organizing St. Mark's role in the Christmas Basket Program.
    In mid-November, Fallin received 50 numbered boxes from Geyser. Each one corresponded to a family available for adoption. She put them out at St. Mark's the weekend before Thanksgiving and they were all quickly spoken for. One parishioner with four children at the Ballard School requested additional boxes -- one for each classroom -- and helped organize the students in filling those boxes. Parents of children in St. Mark's Preschool wanted to be represented as well, bringing the total number of boxes from St. Mark's to 55. An additional $500 in cash donations came in. That money went to Geyser to make purchases for the food hampers.
    One of Fallin's favorite aspects of the program is the participation of the SYV Charter School's fifth-graders in packing those food hampers. It's a job the school has taken on for several years.
    "This is what the Christmas Basket Program is all about," said Fallin as she watched the kids -- each wearing an elf hat -- dutifully carry out their assignments. "They're so invested in this, in doing something for someone else."
    According to Geyser, 156 baskets were distributed this year.
    "They benefited 638 individuals, 348 of those are children," she said.

    Xmas Toy Giveaway’s Shoe Palace Video

    Thank you Shoe Palace for this recap!
     Because of you, we gave over 1,000 children a pair 
    of shoes for Christmas!

    Wednesday, December 28, 2016

    SVdPLA Combats Homelessness in Angelus

    St. Vincent de Paul of Los Angeles Awarded $18,000 to Combat Homelessness
    December 10, 2016 - By Angelus Staff
    St. Vincent de Paul of Los Angeles has received more than $18,000 in order to move the homeless of Skid Row off the streets and into housing.
    The $18,839 endowment from the LA5 Rotary Club Foundation was granted to St. Vincent de Paul as a second-place prize after four other organizations presented plans for ending homelessness in Downtown Los Angeles.
    David Fields, executive director of St. Vincent de Paul of Los Angeles, said the nonprofit was honored to receive the grant. “Our ultimate goal is to eradicate homelessness and ensure that every Angeleno has a safe, warm place to sleep, but until then this grant will be utilized to make a difference to the homeless on Skid Row.” 

    Wednesday, December 21, 2016

    What's Up Downtown? with Hal Bastian, Comes to SVdPLA

     What’s Up, Downtown? with Hal Bastian” is a series about the rebirth of downtown LA. Hal visits our LA thrift store near DTLA and finds out how we help the community!

    This video took place during our Thanksgiving Giveaway where families take home a dinner to cook. Learn what we do and how you contribute by shopping and donating!

    Join Hal by also coming by the LA store, to shop for new Christmas gifts for all! Many Christmas items now for sale at 50% off!


    A collaboration with the California Highway Patrol’s CHiPs for Kids, KCAL9-CBS2, Shoe Palace and Navidad En El Barrio

    What’s better than free toys at Christmas?  
    Click here to watch the video!

    Free toys, food and shoes.

    St. Vincent de Paul of Los Angeles’ CHiPs for Kids Annual Toy Giveaway to 1,200 needy children launched like Santa’s sleigh at St. Vincent’s LA Thrift Store December 17, 2016. There were toys from the California Highway Patrol CHiPs for Kids and local schools and businesses; Shoe Palace shoes and food from Navidad En El Barrio. 150 volunteers from schools, churches, businesses and organizations participated so families living in poverty could have a joyful Christmas.

    “Thank you for helping the people out that can’t afford toys,” said one little boy.  Another said, “I love that they are helpful and they care.”

    “This giveaway is a tremendous collaborative effort that hopefully shows many needy people love at Christmas,” said St. Vincent de Paul’s Executive Director David Fields.
    CHP Officer Siara Lund gives children toys with Santa at the CHiPs for Kids Toy Giveaway.

    CHP Officer Siara Lund said, “The communities the CHP serves are family. Being able to give back and see the smiles the toys bring to the kids
    faces is the ultimate holiday gift." 

    Shoe Palace’s Senior Vice President John Mersho agreed, "Family is everything for us at Shoe Palace and the communities that support us are our family. We take care of the communities we are a part of because they take care of us. Shoe Palace wouldn’t have achieved anything without the support of our Shoe Palace community."

    Mike Trueblood, board member of food provider Navidad En El Barrio explained, “Our mission has been to provide the makings of a complete, nutritious Christmas dinner for the families in-need. Major providers of food products donate the food items - chickens, cheese, fruit juices, rice, beans, tortillas, and lots of fresh produce including fruit, salad mix, potatoes, and even a glaze for the chicken. Each basket has a retail value of $35-40 and it's free to the families.”  

    A recipient family of toys at the CHiPs for Kids Toy Giveaway.
    Mike’s daughter Nora Trueblood, of Allen Lund Company, chimed in, “We have been thrilled with the development of our relationship with St. Vincent de Paul, specifically in assisting with the addition of a Christmas meal for families, made possible by our relationship with Navidad En El Barrio.  The synergies between SVDP, Navidad and ALC just work.  There is no time more important than Christmas to reach out to community.  We are proud that many employees from the Allen Lund Company give their time to special events, in this case working on a Saturday to assist in handing out toys and Christmas dinners to hundreds of families.”

    Buddhists from Tzu Chi Foundation also participated in the event. “Tzu Chi Foundation is deeply honored to be a part of the holiday celebration to give back to the community,” said Han Huang, Chief Executive Director of Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation. “This is a great example of faith communities like Tzu Chi Foundation from Buddhist faith and St. Vincent de Paul of Los Angeles from Catholic faith, working together to bring joyful Christmas to disadvantaged children and their families. “

    Event Participants:

    CHiPs for Kids
    California Highway Patrol
    Shoe Palace
    Navidad En El Barrio
    Allen Lund Company
    The City of La Canada
    St. Bede’s Church in La Canada
    Tzu Chi  Foundation
    Set Decorators Society of America
    Crespi Carmelite High School
    Sacred Heart High School
    Cathedral High School
    St. Francis High School
    Girls Scouts of America
    Regis College
    The Los Angeles Council of SVdPLA
    University Prep High School
    Sacred Heart High School

    Monday, December 19, 2016

    Fundraiser for Our Lady of Perpetual Help

    Volunteers from Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Downey have provided sandwiches for the homeless at the Cardinal Manning Center for over 30 years! A fundraiser for the group was held last weekend. Thank you Our Lady of Perpetual Help volunteers for 30 years of service!  

    Tuesday, December 13, 2016

    Thrift Thursday

    Thrift Store Thursday kicks off a day early! Wednesday (12/14) and Thursday (12/15) only, all clothing with a YELLOW tag is just 99 cents.

    Monday, December 12, 2016

    SVdPLA Combats Homelessness in Angelus

    St. Vincent de Paul Los Angeles Awarded more than $18,000 to Combat Homelessness

    December 10, 2016 - By Angelus Staff

    St. Vincent de Paul of Los Angeles has received more than $18,000 in order to move the homeless of Skid Row off the streets and into housing.
    The $18,839 endowment from the LA5 Rotary Club Foundation was granted to St. Vincent de Paul as a second-place prize after four other organizations presented plans for ending homelessness in Downtown Los Angeles.
    David Fields, executive director of St. Vincent de Paul of Los Angeles, said the nonprofit was honored to receive the grant. “Our ultimate goal is to eradicate homelessness and ensure that every Angeleno has a safe, warm place to sleep, but until then this grant will be utilized to make a difference to the homeless on Skid Row.” 

    Circle V Camp in Solvang Parade

    Solvang (meaning sunny fields in Danish) welcomed the sun again as it shone warmly Saturday, December 3, 2016 along the route of the annual Solvang Julefest Parade. More than 400 participants and 60 entries, including SVdPLA's camp,  marched, rolled, trotted, cruised and strolled along festively decorated Mission Drive, Copenhagen Drive and adjacent streets. This year’s Solvang Julefest theme is “Celebrate Together” and thousands of spectators from near and far enjoyed the parade as well as free, post-parade visits with Santa in Solvang Park.

    Thursday, December 8, 2016

    EWTN to Re-Air SVdP TV Program

    SVdPLA is featured in this TV program on national SVdP, 
    first broadcast last August 2016. 

    Tune in to "Our Faith in Action: Today's Society of 
    St. Vincent de Paul" on EWTN. 

    Monday, Dec.12 @ 6:30 p.m. EST (3:30 PT) 
    and Tuesday, Dec. 13 @ 2:30 a.m. EST (11:30 PT).

    SVdPLA on Santa Barbara TV

    Watch video here.
    This 15-minute “805 FOCUS” show is now airing as follows on Cox Cable Channel 71 in Santa Barbara.  Below are the December 2016 air dates: 
    Monday @ 5:30pm
    Tuesday @ 11:30am
    Thursday @ 11:45am
    Friday @ 5:45pm
    Sunday @ 5am & 7:30pm

    Wednesday, December 7, 2016

    Claire Padma in Los Feliz Ledger

    Local Receives L.A. Rams Award For Volunteerism

    Claire Padama of St. Vincent de Paul of Los Angeles and Our Mother of Good Counsel Church was awarded the Los Angeles Rams “Community Quarterback” award, in conjunction with Southern California Honda Dealers, in November for her volunteerism.

    Padama was given the award on the field of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, where the Rams currently play, during a pre game event November 6th. In addition, the Rams gave $5,000 to St. Vincent de Paul of Los Angeles, which the organization said would be used for clothing, food and supplies for underserved Angelenos.
    Additionally, Rams officials with Padama visited the Cardinal Manning Center on Skid Row November 1st to serve meals to the homeless.
    “We are so proud of Claire and the tireless work she has done for the organization,” said David Fields, St. Vincent de Paul of Los Angeles’s executive director. “The Rams Quarterback Award is a great honor for Claire and St. Vincent de Paul of Los Angeles.”
    The Los Angeles Rams Community Quarterback Award honors outstanding volunteers who demonstrate leadership, dedication and a commitment to improving the Los Angeles community through volunteer work.
    “I am honored to receive this award and to help generate awareness of the growing homeless population in Los Angeles,” said Padama. “There is so much to be done and we need as many helping hands as possible to help feed, clothe and shelter the needy in Los Angeles.”
    The St. Vincent de Paul of Los Angeles thrift store funded more than $7 million in charitable works last year, including hosting 1,255 disadvantaged children at the Circle V Ranch Summer Camp, 16,000 home visits to deliver food to the needy and 181,000 nights of shelter for the homeless, according to a statement from the organization.
    The organization was founded in Paris, France in 1833 by college student Frederic Ozanam, and for more than 100 years its volunteers have worked to ease suffering in Southern California.
    Padama is also known for helping Ed Dunst, a well-known formerly homeless Los Feliz man, find shelter in a convalescent hospital in 2013.

    Xmas Tree Blessing at SVdPLA

    Carols were sung and the tree blessed and ornamented here at SVdPLA’s LA administrative office, led by our new council president Ray Sweet. Merry Christmas to all!

    Tuesday, December 6, 2016

    Thrift Thursday

    Thrift Store Thursday kicks off a day early! Wednesday (12/7) and Thursday (12/8) only, all clothing with a GREEN tag is just 99 cents. New color tags are revealed every Wednesday.

    Friday, December 2, 2016

    Your Donation Helps

    Donating to St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Store is helping women and children get off the streets and into our Family Housing Program. Learn more about the program here.

    Thursday, December 1, 2016

    Giving Hope

    At Christmas time, Margot received the worst present of her life. Her abusive ex-husband gave her and their five-year-old daughter, Brittany, eviction notice from their Laguna Beach guest cottage. Days later, her ex-husband hired movers to clear out the cottage and throw away their clothes and furniture, plus Brittany’s baby pictures and favorite toys. Margot and Brittany moved to another cottage, but they couldn’t afford furniture. They slept on the hardwood floor. Margot asked St. Vincent de Paul for help. When the truck arrived from the Society’s Long Beach thrift store, it was filled with everything needed to make a home—furniture, household items and bedding. “St. Vincent de Paul gave me hope,” Margot says. These days, Margot owns a successful life-insurance business and Brittany is a happy college junior. Margot and her new husband, Glenn, recently donated a truck full of furniture and clothing to St. Vincent de Paul.

    To help SVdPLA help others, donate here.