Racial Justice and Creating a Culture of Belonging, Dignity and Justice
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St. Vincent de Paul and Catholic Schools of Western Washington Partnership
Overview: The Office for Catholic Schools is excited to continue our strong relationship with St. Vincent de Paul. We now have over 1,000 students, parents, and teachers visiting our Georgetown Food Bank & Community Service Center annually. We celebrate with you as St. Vincent de Paul celebrates 100 years of ministry to the poor.
Partnership Program Elements: We believe the partnership between St. Vincent de Paul (SVdP) and the Office for Catholic Schools strengthens and inspires our Catholic community, students, parents, teachers, and staff, to deepen our response to the Gospel call to serve our most vulnerable neighbors and to integrate this learning experience of encounter into the Catholic School’s faith formation curriculum. There are four core opportunities for engagement in this partnership:
- Missionary Discipleship Institute – Grade 7
- Immersion and Encounter Experience at SVdP Georgetown Food Bank & Community Service Center.
- Parent Ambassador Program (PAM) through Centro Rendu, SVdP– Supports Authentic Family and Community Engagement too welcome, train, mentor, and serve cultural communities, especially the growing Hispanic/Latino families throughout the Archdiocese of Seattle. Centro Rendu, an SVdP program in South King County, provides case management, literacy education, and advocacy to increase stability, parent engagement, self-empowerment, and civic involvement for Latino families. Centro Rendu served 958 individuals with direct services. This SVdP program has great impact and receives strong support as stated in this CCHD recognition.
- Collecting Clothing & Goods for SVdP Thrift Stores.
Service Work with SVdP: We work with teachers in advance to divide the participating students into groups to tour and work with our struggling neighbors at our Georgetown Food Bank and Community Service Center. Our staff, school personnel, and parents supervise all activities. On the field trip to SVdP, students are briefed on SVdP programs, guided on tours of the Food Bank and Community Service Center, given supervised hands-on experience in service to the poor at our food bank, and are listened to in a post-service discussion about their perceptions and feelings of poverty and homelessness, and their experience serving those in need. This opportunity is available for students second grade and older.
Clothing Collection – Drives: There are two ways we can support these efforts. First, we bring a truck to the school campus and provide materials and donation attendants. As parents drop off their kids, they can also drop off their donations. Second, schools can run a Donation Drive Competition or Campaign. SVdP will schedule to pick-up the donations at the end of the competition or campaign. We will provide St. Vincent de Paul Donation Bins and materials for the drives.
SVdP Facts at a Glance – Person-to-Person Home Visits: SVdP with 1,200 volunteers, made over 17,000 person-to-person visits. They helped prevent evictions, assisted with funds for utility shut-offs, distributed food, and more for over 40,000 neighbors.
Case Management: SVdP case management assists individuals overcome systemic barriers that perpetuate poverty including unemployment, histories of addiction, mental illness, inadequate education, and lack of affordable housing. Case management served 288 people.
Helpline: SVdP Helpline answered over 42,000 calls last year. For the past nine consecutive years, SVdP has been the #1 referral source for calls for help coming to the King County 2-1-1 Crisis Line, receiving well over 100,000 calls in that time period, more than any of the other agency in King County.
Georgetown Seattle Food Bank: The Georgetown Food Bank provides food and clothing every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday, to needy individuals and families. SVdP provided nearly 1 million pounds of food to 3,665 families. Additionally, SVdP served 1,094 homeless neighbors sith distribution of food and services. SVdP also offer a health assessment service in our Georgetown Food Bank. Last year, SVdP served over 1,000 neighbors with free blood pressure checks, medical advice, and other services.
Thrift Stores: SVdP five thrift stores generate revenues to fund programs. SVdP receives funds from recycling of unsold items from stores and divert hundreds of tons of goods from landfills. The stores also provide transitional employment and the conferences provide SVdP thrift store vouchers to neighbors in need.