ST. LOUIS, Sept. 25, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- People across the country will hit the pavement on Saturday, Sept. 29 to raise funds and awareness for people poverty at the 11th 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 39.7 million people living in poverty. That is approximately 12.3 percent of the population.
The event in each community is designed and operated by the local SVdP Conference (chapter) in that area. Therefore, details such as the date and time may vary by location. Most events are held around Sept. 27, the feast day of St. Vincent de Paul, the patron saint of all works of charity.
One of the largest Friends of the Poor Walks takes place in Bethpage, NY.
"I'm always consistently amazed by the way in which the Friends of the Poor Walk unites our Vincentian community," said Erin Geier, of the SVdP Rockville Centre Council. "We have Conferences in 62 parishes across Long Island, each with their own needs and processes for helping neighbors in need. But the morning of the Walk, we truly become one Society, brought together by our passion for helping those in need. As more than 800 participants walk side by side down the streets of Bethpage, it is a reminder of how powerful we can be in the fight against poverty."
In 2017, more than 25,000 people participated in the Friends of the Poor Walk/Run at 243 locations and more than $3.1 million was raised to help those in need in local communities.
Funds raised by the walk help Vincentians provide immediate aid such as assistance with rent and utilities and food as well as long-term help with education and mentoring programs.
"The Friends of the Poor Walk/Run helps our members provide the necessary resources and funds to assist our neighbors in need," said Dave Barringer, SVdP National CEO. "While the Society provides immediate assistance to people in need, our focus is also on systemic change and long-term solutions. 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 such as the Friends of the Poor Walk/Run help generate the resources to reach that goal."
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 Friends of the Poor Walk/Run. Anyone interested in learning more, participating or making a donation can visit www.fopwalk.org for more information.
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 153 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 $3.4 billion in tangible and in-kind services to those in need, made more than 2.1 million service visits and contacts and helped more than 5.4 million people regardless of race, religion or national origin.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Office: (314)576-3993 ext. 209
SOURCE Society of St. Vincent de Paul