ST. LOUIS, Aug. 9, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- If you've ever talked about wanting to help those in need or living in poverty in your community, why not "walk the talk" at the 4th Annual Friends of the Poor® Walk/Run on Saturday, September 24, sponsored by the National Council of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul (SVdP): http://www.svdpfriendsofthepoorwalk.org.
All proceeds from the event will directly benefit the people served by SVdP in the communities in which the monies are raised, and there are no administrative fees associated with the event. SVdP's programs include food pantries and dining halls, housing assistance, disaster relief, job training and placement, clothing, transportation and utility costs, thrift stores, home visits, care for the elderly, medicine, and youth outreach.
Supporters also can become virtual walkers or runners, and make an online pledge. The event in each community is designed and run by a local SVdP chapter in that area, so the date and times may vary by location. The website features a "Walk/Run Locations" tab that displays a map showing the various Friends of the Poor® Walk/Runs around the country. Most are held near September 27, the feast day of St. Vincent de Paul, the Society's patron.
National sponsors of the event are: Ascension Health, one of the nation's largest Catholic and nonprofit health systems; Catholic Financial Life, a faith-based membership organization; and Scottrade, one of the leading online investment firms in the United States.
Last year, some 18,000 participants in more than 200 locations around the country raised more than $1.4 million. Since the event began in 2008, participants and donors have raised more than $3 million to support the mission and work of the Society.
"The outpouring of support for this event and our work has been very gratifying," said Joe Flannigan, SVdP's national president. "The economy has put a strain on our members to assist the people we serve, so it's important that we make this year's event even more successful."
Roger Playwin, SVdP's executive director, said: "There are a lot of events like ours every year, but I believe the big draw for this one is that the money we raise stays in the communities where each Walk/Run is held and we don't charge for the administrative expenses."
One of the oldest and most effective charitable organizations in the world, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul (http://www.svdpusa.org) is a Catholic lay organization of more than 690,000 men and women throughout the world who voluntarily join together to grow spiritually and offer person-to-person service to the needy and people living in poverty in 142 countries on five continents. With the U.S. headquarters in St. Louis, Mo., membership in the United States totals more than 172,000 in 4,600 communities. Programs include home visits, housing assistance, disaster relief, job training and placement, food pantries, dining halls, clothing, transportation and utility costs, care for the elderly and medicine. Providing more than $595 million in tangible and in-kind services, SVdP serves more than 14 million people in need each year, performs more than 648,000 visits to people in their homes, and delivers more than 7 million service hours to those in need, regardless of age, religion, creed, nationality or ethnic background.
SOURCE Society of St. Vincent de Paul