It was a chilly, windy day and a teacher noticed her young student wasn’t coming to school showered and appropriately dressed for the fall weather, and gently asked him about having a warm jacket that he might wear at recess? The boy said, no; and added that there was no electricity at home, and water had recently been shut off. Laundry wasn’t getting done. Meals were sandwiches and fruit. Moved with empathy, the teacher passed on the number for our local St. Vincent de Paul ministry to the family, and stopped by our food pantry on her way home to bring them groceries that didn’t need refrigeration.
As our SVdP volunteer soon learned, the parents, working three jobs between them, had prioritized paying the $4000 a month rent for their large family, and paid the utility bills on alternate months, hoping to be able to catch up at some point. In their home, they cared for their own 4 children, plus two teens from another family member who was struggling. Thanks to generous donations to this ministry, our SVdP volunteer was immediately able to pay the $500 City bill and get the water flowing again. But the PGE bill hadn’t been paid in months, was past qualifying for utility assistance programs, and stood at over $2500. Our volunteer sought additional help from grants and other sources – the children’s school staff even made a contribution, but in the end, after 8 weeks without electricity, SVdP paid the full bill and the power was restored.
Grateful tears from the parents greeted our volunteer when we were able to give the news that all was well. Sometimes, our struggling families get so far behind, it’s hard to see how they will ever catch up – but differences can happen if the community can come together when they see a child who is shivering on the playground or hungry for a warm meal. Our SVdP volunteers work hard and love what they do, but it takes donations from generous donors like you to keep our ministry alive. We are reaching out to you this holiday season to ask for your help!
One hundred percent of all donations collected during this Holiday Appeal will be used to provide housing, utilities assistance, transportation, and food to needy families living in Santa Clara County.
To support our appeal and donate securely online, [Click Here]
If you would prefer to mail us your donation, please mail your donation to:
Society of St. Vincent de Paul of SCC
P.O. Box 5579
San Jose, CA 95150
Please note Holiday Appeal on the memo area of your check.