October 2022
Annual Appeal

If I Could Change the World..

Dear Friends & Vincentians,

If I could change the world, no child would go to bed hungry. If I could change the world, no child would go to bed cold, or without clothing.

We all wish for a world of plenty for those in need. Those wishes mostly came true in the Chicagoland area because of you and your support of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul Chicago in years past.

Right in our own back yard, we see the faces of those suffering from poverty. No food, no heat, no clothing, and no hope in sight. Yet because of your generosity in years past, that landscape has changed. Many in need have been provided with basics, received hope of a better tomorrow, and have grown to overcome the poverty they once endured.


This is our Annual Appeal Letter and soon we will be requesting for financial support to help those who are in need. Yes, amidst the economic conditions many of us, if not all are facing, we are asking you to dig deep and help those that are without food and without a place to live. Together we can help those in most dire need to survive.

What happens when you give to the Society of St. Vincent de Paul Chicago?

Lives are changed! That is what happens.

Last year, because of your support, we; meaning you and us as a Society, accomplished the following in making lives better:

167 Families and Friends in Need were assisted with rent, transportation, car repairs, utilities, and funerals. Yes, funerals of loved ones; children included. 

We must not forget our Friends in Need from Highland Park who suffered tragically from July 4th mass shootings, that because of your generous offerings, the Society was able to assist over 50 families impacted by the horrendous events and provide over $7,500.00 in assistance to that one cause.

SVdP ADC has been called upon by City of Chicago and other non-profit organizations to help lessen the burden of those migrants who are arriving daily from Central and South American countries and who arrived with just the clothing on their backs. We will be supplying new socks, underwear, winter clothing, shoes, boots, and toiletries and deliver them to various shelters located throughout the Archdiocese. SVdP has sorted over 150 plastic bins according to types of clothing, gender, sizes and delivered them as well.

Your generous donations have allowed the St. Vincent de Paul Chicago Council to provide direct funds in the amount of over $67,000.00 to help our neighbors in need. Added to that is the $50,000.00 plus that has been given in material donations, our 33+ food pantries, and the work of our 90+ conferences covering the Chicagoland area; Cook and Lake Counties.

The Society of St. Vincent de Paul was the first charitable organization in the Chicagoland area and remains the forefront of helping our neighbors in need. Whether fires, life events, or hard times, your support has changed the lives of many during the past year.

Together we have the power to change many more lives, feed many more children, provide clothing, shelter and the hope of a better tomorrow.

These current times are rough on all of us. Just imagine being a child, or a working family that has no food, no clothing, or shelter. A few extra dollars from you will help us all take care of those in our own backyard. We will not only provide for a few days, but we will provide hope and continued support that the tomorrows will be promising, futures will be bright. At the very least, children in our community will not go to bed hungry, cold, or hopeless.

God Bless You All!
Harry Ohde
Volunteer President/CEO SVdP Chicago, ADC

"Ask Mike" - Our Q&A series addresses common questions Chicagoland Vincentians may have as they go about their work for the Society. Have a question? Email us at teresa@svdpchicago.org

Q: Mike, let's agree that no question is silly. I thought everyone thought that you count a home visit as one visit. I was recently in a discussion with one of the conferences and they count every time differently from my Conference. Let's say that you visit that home as follow up to the same initial call and the same case number. You may need to pick up a lease agreement or drop off groceries. Do you count each one of these follow up visits as a home visit.

A: Each visit counts, even follow-ups. The fact is that your time and resources are being used in the follow-up as well. Remember: even follow-ups require going in pairs.

Q: Our Conference frequently receives requests from a case worker or another charitable organization asking us to provide assistance to a another person. For example, this evening we received a message from our intake person listing this request: "Heather works at Resolution Care. She has a patient who is in need of rental assistance." I could be completely wrong - I'm in my mid-eighties - but I seem to remember hearing that the Rule or some other Society protocol requires that requests for aid are supposed to come from the person needing aid. Is there any guidance regarding requests from third parties?

A: There is no formal protocol established for this. It is always best for the request for help to come from the person in need. This avoids embarrassment and anger if the help was not wanted. To avoid this, tell the care provider or social worker to have the person in need request the help. 

by Mike Syslo
ADC Vice President

Save the Date: Annual Memorial & Awards Mass
Please "Save the Date" for our Annual Memorial & Awards Mass that will be held on Sunday, November 13, 2022, at 3:00 pm at St. Frances of Rome, 1500 S 59th Court, Cicero, Illinois. Following mass, will be an awards presentation and reception in the school hall.

We are still accepting applications for nominees. Applications are due by Friday, November 5, 2022. For more information and a nomination form, please click on the link below:


GivingTuesday was created in 2012 as a simple idea; It's a day that encourages people to do good. Over the past 10 years, it has grown into a year-round global movement that inspires hundreds of millions of people to give, collaborate and celebrate generosity.

At a time when we are all experiencing the pandemic, generosity is what brings people of all races, faiths, and political views together across the globe. Generosity gives everyone the power to make a positive change in the lives of others and is a fundamental value anyone can act on.

We all have gifts to give, and with social media, online giving, delivery, mail, and phones, there are limitless ways to use your generosity to support others.

Our Vincentians serve with hearts full of love and compassion and the Society helps anyone regardless of race, religion, political association, or gender.

How will you give this #GivingTuesday?

We are excited to announce that our St. Vincent de Paul Chicago ebay online store opened on September 30, 2022 and is ready for business! We have revamped our online store to offer you a wider selection of more unique and collectible items.

For those of you who are not familiar with ebay, it is not a physical storefront, but it is an on-line store on the internet. To go direct to our online ebay store to view our items, click on this link: www.ebay.com. This link will take you direct to all our listings. Here you can buy and pay for your item online and we ship it to you direct.

You can also just sign onto ebay.com and search for us. This is a simple process:

  • Sign onto ebay.com.
  • Top right is a blue "search" button.
  • To the right of the "search" button is the word ADVANCED. Click on that.
  • From there, you scroll down to almost the bottom to the word "Sellers".
  • There you will enter our ebay seller name: st.vincentdepaulchicago 
  • Lastly, click the blue "search" button at the bottom and you will be directed to all our items.

Please take a minute to check out what we have to offer and come back often as we will be adding items daily. All our items are shipped immediately upon payment and are packaged carefully to ensure that they will arrive at their destination intact.

Proceeds from our ebay sales benefit our friends in need. Today, more than ever, with grocery and gas prices escalating we want to be there for our friends in need and help as many as possible. Your support of our mission to build a better tomorrow for those in need is sincerely appreciated.

St. Vincent de Paul National Annual Disaster Appeal

Earlier this week we all witnessed Florida get hit with a massive Category 4 Hurricane which created havoc and mass destruction across the state of Florida. Lives, homes, businesses and so much more have been lost from this storm.

St. Vincent de Paul National and Chicago are ready to help those who need help now. In reference to the SVdP Thursday, September 29, e-Gazette, our SVdP National President, Ralph Middlecamp, is asking everyone to consider contributing generously to the SVdP National Council Annual Disaster Appeal. With this latest disaster so fresh in our minds, our SVdP National Servant Leaders, as well as myself, ask that you consider making a donation to our National Council Annual Disaster Appeal. Your support of this appeal will allow us to continue helping those in need during these unexpected natural disasters.

To make a donation using a credit card, please click on the button below. Otherwise, you can mail a check made payable to: National Council SVdP, and include a note that your donation is for the Disaster Appeal.

Their mailing address is:

National Council of the United States
Society of St. Vincent de Paul
66 Progress Parkway
Maryland Heights, MO 63043-3706

Thank you in advance for your consideration. 

Young Vincentians Making a Difference

On Monday, October 3, 2022, students from St. Linus/Our Lady of the Ridge gathered at Our Lady of the Ridge parish to celebrate these children as “Young Vincentians”. A beautiful mass was held and Fr. Ryan Brady and Deacon John Orzechowski presided. Students were selected to do the readings as well as read the petitions. Prior to the end of mass, students were called up by name and presented with a St. Vincent de Paul pin. Then the students and their families all went to the gym for treats and refreshments.

This young group of 61 students range from 5th through 8th grade. The 5th-6th Graders are called the “Mini Vinnies”, and the 7th-8th Graders are called “Young Vincentians”. They meet twice a month, on the 1st and 3rd weeks from 2:45 to 5:00 pm. 

Lisa Bartz, who is currently a Religious Ed teacher at St. Linus said that this group of young adults began well over 30 years ago at St. Linus and was founded by Dick Kress. This is by far the biggest group they have had over Lisa’s 6-7 years working with them and it is just continuously evolving. Their first meeting started out with 37 students and group to 61 by the 2nd meeting! This group is an extension of the adult SVdP group, but their activities are focused more on crafts for seniors and cards for those in the nursing home. The nursing home they visit has 146 residents with 115 of those residents never having any visitors. They children were touched by this and wanted to do something for those who have no one.

This year, Lisa created a schedule for the group. Lisa said the Young Vincentians in the UK have a great program and this is where she gets many of her ideas from. The theme this year for the 7th-8th graders is “Turning Your Concern Into Action”, while the theme for the 5th-6th graders is something similar. She said to the children “What would you say to your Congressman about the homelessness?” It’s things like this that the young adults are thinking about with this program. One of the students would like to do a food pantry for pets as there are so many people that can’t afford to feed their pets.

Some projects they get involved with include:

·        Earth Day – Clean around the School
·        Beautification Team – Cleans church garden over the winter
·        Nursing Home – They usually go for 1 ½ hours to visit and play games with the residents in wheel chairs. Play Bingo and give out prizes. The children really enjoy this! At Christmas time they sing carols and bring candy.
·        February – They will be mason jar night lights for the residents.
·        A collection is taken up in November and December at the local Jewel. Jewel then donates prepared meals for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Families call for meal assistance over the holidays and they are given precooked meals that the adults will deliver. 

Conference Spotlight: Our Lady of the Wayside - Arlington Heights, IL

David & Judy Kendzior, President & Secretary respectively, of the Our Lady of the Wayside Parish in Arlington Heights have been part of the SVdP Conference for 17 years now. Judy's father was an active Vincentian at St. Nicholas in Evanston so she was very familiar with the Society of St. Vincent de Paul and its mission. Our Lady of the Wayside has 12 active members in their Conference and everyone works well together!

These pictures are from their 2nd Annual 2022 Friends of the Poor Walk. They had approximately 100 participants as well as sponsors for this event. Judy said it was a real "community builder". Participants were broken down by groups: Children, Runners, and Walkers. A great time was had by all.

Our Lady of the Wayside does not have a food pantry, but they support local food pantries, the Village's pantry, Northwestern's Compass Program, and Catholic Charities. They also work with PADS, and local hospitals (Alexian Mental Health). They are the bridge that helps families over a 2-year timeframe by mentoring so that they can get back on their feet. They also have parishoners in their parish who are dealing with long-term illnesses and they are there to help them. The Our Lady of the Wayside Conference is always evolving in order to meet the needs of others as they happen. They work closely with other local parishes in the northwest suburbs. Other parishes know that they can rely on OLOW when they need assistance and the same goes for OLOW when they need some help.

When Judy was asked why she does what she does for SVdP, she replied "David and I do this because we wanted to "step out of our box". Judy admitted when she first started visits, she was "nervous". She said by being a part of the SVdP Conference it has "opened up her eyes to alot of different people. Different perspectives. It helped her grow as a person." "People have so much to give even when they don't have alot. It's very humbling".

Thank you to David & Judy and the entire Our Lady of the Wayside Conference for all you do every day for our Friends in Need.

Invitation to Serve Webinar: October 20 at 6:30 pm
Our next Invitation to Serve Webinar will be held on October 20 at 6:30 pm. All Vincentians are welcomed to attend.

To make your reservation to attend one of these webinars or for more information, please email Mike Syslo or call him direct at (602) 625-1078.

Ozanam Orientation: Two-Part Webinar - November 5 & 12
Our next Ozanam Orientation session will be held on November 5 & 12. All Vincentians are welcomed to attend.

To make your reservation to attend one of these webinars or for more information, please email Mike Syslo or call him direct at (602) 625-1078.

On behalf of Friends of Liz, we are asking for the community’s help to rally together and help our friend, Elizabeth Arreola, get back on her feet. Liz has been an active member of the St. Gall Parish in Chicago, IL, for over 20 years. She has volunteered hundreds of hours giving back to the community by serving at the weekly food pantry, coordinating donations for the needy, serving food during the Holiday season, and so much more. Through her endless giving to the community, Liz has put her personal hardships aside to continue giving back to others. At this time, Liz’s financial resources have been depleted and she is now in need of our help. Read more about Liz's story here.

Currently, the Friends of Liz Committee has coordinated a fundraising event on November 20, 2022, at 115 Bourbon Street in Merrionette Park, IL. Business sponsors have an opportunity to have their business name on our “Friends of Liz T-Shirt”. In addition, businesses who contribute a donation, monetary or tangible, will have their business name on a banner which will be displayed at the fundraising event along with their business information on a program/flyer that we will be handing out.

We humbly ask for your support to make this fundraiser a success. Attached you will find more information on who Liz is and her contributions to the community along with different forms on ways you or your organization can help. 
You can:

· Become a Business T-Shirt Sponsor - CLICK HERE
· Purchase a ticket to the Event - CLICK HERE
· Purchase a "Friends of Liz" T-Shirt for yourself - CLICK HERE
· Donation to the event (Monetary or tangible items)

Again, we would truly appreciate your help in getting Liz back on her feet. No donation is too small, every bit helps. If you have any questions, please contact FriendsOfLiz2022@gmail.com for more information.

NOTE: We cannot accept any St. Vincent de Paul donations from the Council, District or Conference funds.

Give the Gift of Thrift!

Did you know that both our Libertyville and Orland Park Thrift Stores sell gift cards? This is a great gift to give that college kid who might be looking for a piece of furniture for his dorm room, or maybe looking for some clothes for a school "Spirit Day". There are so many things you could find in a Thrift Store! Some people over the years have gone "thrifting" only to find that their $5 purchase was worth thousands! It could be books, artwork, crystal, dishes, jewelry and so much more! Below is a link from Money News about some of the things of value that you could find at your local thrift store and cash in on ...

Stop on by to one of our stores and get your Gift Card today!

We Want to Hear from YOU!

The SVdP-Chicago Newsletter is a highly anticipated monthly eblast that many look forward to receiving. With all the good work that our Vincentians are doing throughout Cook and Lake Counties, I am sure you have some stories to share and some pictures as well.

I am looking for material from you to showcase the amazing work you are doing with your Conference. Don't hesitate sending over articles (with or without pictures) whether it be a food pantry, clothing drive, back to school drive, etc. Do you have a "feel good" story? Send those over as well!

Please share your stories and pictures by emailing them to teresa@svdpchicago.org.

Save the Date: June 14-17, 2023

North Central Region Conference
University of St. Mary of the Lake - Mundelein, Illinois

The North Central Region 2023 Conference will be held at University of St. Mary of the Lake, June 14-17, 2023, at 1000 E Maple Avenue, Mundelein, IL.

As details become available, they will be shared in our monthly E-Newsletter, E-Gazette and our website.

We are excited to be hosting the conference next year and we look forward to seeing everyone there!

How Can You Help?
There are a number of ways that you can support SVdP Chicago this month!
Donation Events
We are always updating and adding to our 2022 Donation Drive Schedule. Stop and visit our website to find an event that works best for you! Please visit our website here to view the schedule.

If you would like to schedule a Donation Drive for your local community or parish, please click here to contact us via email or call Karen at 773-779-6700 x111.


If you already use Amazon.com for online shopping, you can link your account to AmazonSmile and support SVdP Chicago!
You will make a .5 percent donation with every Amazon purchase by using AmazonSmile.

Here are 3 simple steps to start donating today:

Step 1: Go to smile.amazon.com log in using your email and password as if you were at amazon.com.

Step 2: Search for the Society of St Vincent de Paul-Chicago and select us as your charity.

Step 3: Shop, Amazon Smile, and Amazon will donate 0.5% of your eligible purchases to SVdP!

SVdP Chicago Prayer List

Visit our website to offer prayers for those on our list or submit an intention for others to pray for. The power of prayer is very strong. We thank you for your prayers for our members while the Holy Spirit guides us in our work.

Vehicle Donation Program

Have a car, truck, boat, motorcycle, or RV that is past its prime? The National Vehicle Donation Program is coordinated by The National Council of The Society of St. Vincent de Paul and all donations can be made to SVdP Chicago!

Contact our Office Manager Elvia at elvia@svdpchicago.org with any questions or call 773-779-6700 x 107 to start your donation today!

Let's Get Social

One of the easiest ways to be involved with SVdP Chicago is liking us on Facebook (or Twitter, Youtube, or Instagram) and sharing our posts! We have accounts for each of the Thrift Stores also that you can follow, like, and share from.

This simple action has a big impact in helping to make others aware of the work we are doing to help those in need and how they can get involved!

Thank you for all your hard work and dedication to the mission of The Society of St. Vincent de Paul! We are working together to build a better tomorrow for those in need. “Let us love God, but let it be with the work of our hands and the sweat of our brows.” - St. Vincent de Paul
SVdP Chicago has been reaching out in our local communities throughout Cook and Lake counties for over 169 years. We have the experience of being a force of good throughout times of war, global pandemics, economic crises, and social changes. Our volunteers serve with hearts full of love and compassion and the Society helps anyone regardless of race, religion, political association, or gender. Learn more about what we do and who we help at our website.

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