ST. LOUIS, Sept. 19, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Walkers and runners across the country will take to the sidewalks, streets and trails on Saturday, Sept. 24 to raise awareness and funds for those living in poverty at the 9th Annual Friends of the Poor® Walk/Run, sponsored by the National Council of the United States Society of St. Vincent de Paul. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there are currently about 43.1 million people living in poverty. That is approximately 13.5 percent of the population.
"The Friends of the Poor Walk/Run brings together all of the Conferences (chapters) in our Diocese in one location," said Melissa Scarlata, events and communications coordinator for the Society of St. Vincent de Paul Diocesan Council of Rockville Centre, N.Y. "It is so great to see so many people come together, hundreds of Vincentians, family members and friends all walking for the same reason, to help our neighbors in need."
All proceeds and donations from the event stay in the area where they are raised and go directly to benefit people living in poverty in the communities served by SVdP. There are no administrative fees for the FOP Walk/Run. Anyone interested in learning more, participating or making a donation can visit www.fopwalk.org for more information.
The event in each community is designed and operated by the local SVdP chapter in that area. Therefore, details such as the date and time may vary by location. Most events will be held around Sept. 27, the feast day of the Society's patron, St. Vincent de Paul, who is the patron saint of all works of charity.
In 2015, more than 28,000 people participated in the FOP Walk/Run all across the country. Participants raised more than $2.9 million to aid those in need in their local communities. Since the event began in 2008, more than $14.4 million has been raised to help people living in poverty in the U.S.
"The FOP Walk/Run helps our members' ability to provide the necessary resources and funds to our neighbors in need," said Dave Barringer, SVdP's CEO. "While the Society provides immediate assistance to people in need, our focus is also on systemic change. We try to identify the underlying causes that have put an individual or family in poverty so that we can assist them in changing their situation. We work to empower people in poverty and give them the necessary tools to move permanently out of a state of extreme need. Events like the FOP Walk/Run help generate the resources to reach that goal."
One of the largest charitable organizations in the world, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul (www.svdpusa.org) is an international, nonprofit, Catholic lay organization of about 800,000 men and women who voluntarily join together to grow spiritually by offering person-to-person service to the needy and suffering in 150 countries on five continents. With the U.S. headquarters in St. Louis, Mo., membership in the United States totals nearly 100,000 in 4,400 communities.
SVdP offers a variety of programs and services, including home visits, housing assistance, disaster relief, education and mentoring, food pantries, dining halls, clothing, assistance with transportation, prescription medication, and rent and utility costs. The Society also works to provide care for the sick, the incarcerated and the elderly. Over the past year, SVdP provided over $1.2 billion in tangible and in-kind services to those in need, made more than 1.8 million personal visits (homes, hospitals, prisons and eldercare facilities) and helped more than 23.8 million people regardless of race, religion or national origin.
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SOURCE Society of St. Vincent de Paul