September 18, 2019
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Following the Footsteps of St. Vincent

Following the Footsteps of St. Vincent

Society of St. Vincent de Paul® hosts 12th Annual Friends of the Poor® Walk/Run

PR Newswire

ST. LOUIS, Sept. 11, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- People across the country will walk and run to help the less fortunate on Saturday, Sept. 28 by raising funds and awareness for those in poverty at the 12th Annual Friends of the Poor Walk/Run. The event is administered 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 38.1 million people living in poverty. That is approximately 11.8 percent of the population.

The date and time may vary by location. The event in each community is designed and operated by the local SVdP Conference (chapter). Most events are held around Sept. 27, the feast day of St. Vincent de Paul, the patron saint of all works of charity.

The SVdP Conference at St. Joseph Catholic Parish in Cottleville, Mo., just outside St. Louis, holds a large Walk each year. 

"We support the Walk to serve our neighbors in need by helping to pay rent and utility bills and feeding the hungry," said Joyce Kluge, coordinator of the Walk at St. Joseph Cottleville. "We walk to help our neighbors gain independence. We walk to follow in the footsteps of St. Vincent de Paul in caring for people in poverty."  

In 2018, more than 25,000 people participated in the Friends of the Poor Walk/Run and more than $3.4 million was raised to help those in need in local communities.

Funds raised through the event help Vincentians provide short-term aid such as assistance with rent, 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 resources and funds to assist our neighbors in need," said Ralph Middlecamp, SVdP national president. "While the Society provides immediate assistance to people in need, we also focus on long-term solutions. We work with people to identify the underlying causes that have put them in poverty so that we can assist in changing their situation. We look 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 remain local and go directly to benefit people living in poverty in the communities served by SVdP. Anyone interested in learning more, participating or making a donation can visit for more information.

One of the largest charitable organizations in the world, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul ( 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 4,500 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 $1.1 billion in tangible and in-kind services to those in need, made more than two million service visits and contacts, and helped more than 5.4 million people regardless of race, religion or national origin.

For more information about this release, please contact:

Gary Stevens at (314) 576-3993 ext. 209 or (314) 378-5583 or e-mail or Michelle Boyer at (314) 576-3993 ext. 219.

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SOURCE Society of St. Vincent de Paul National Council

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