The Good News

The title of this section is called "The Good News" because this blog is about the amazing things people do to help others, and isn't that good news? I now have a few helpers of my own to keep this blog going. Hopefully you can use this as a resource when you are looking for ways to help or share your talents.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Food Boxes and St. Vincent de Paul

Part (the better part) of this week’s post was written by my good friend Renee.  Renee is one of the members of a 30-week compassion class I took at my church.  Recently, we (our group) started volunteering for a local parish who is involved with St. Vincent de Paul’s “food box” program. 
 I’ll give a quick rundown of what we do for the food box delivery program.  We contacted SVdP to get recommendations of parishes that needed volunteer help with the program.  Once we chose the parish, we contacted the person in charge of the program, in our case, Max.  On the day we deliver, it takes about 1 ½ hours from start to finish.  We pack a car of 8 to 10 boxes filled with food, drive around to the given addresses, ring/knock on doors, have people sign a sheet stating they have received their box, and bring the box to their door.  I have actually been mouthy enough to ask them to get their box and they comply with a smile when they see that I’m ready to give birth at any minute.
St. Vincent de Paul is an international organization that provides so many wonderful services including the following:
·         Hearts and Hands Day (a volunteer program for families!)
·         All other opportunities to serve are listed in this brochure:
Here is the website for St. Vincent de Paul:
How can we get involved?: 
  • Check to see if there are any programs such as these in your area as many organizations, religious and nonreligious have similar services
  • Especially if you’re local, take the time to read what Renee has to say about the experience and sign up!

Renee’s post is a wonderful tribute to the man who really runs the food box program for his church.  He’s seventy years old but has the spirit of a teenager.
Do you know how many hungry families there are in Phoenix?  No one really knows for sure; but, according to Max, the number has certainly risen in the past 5 years.  However, there is an organization that is doing something about it:  St. Mark’s Catholic Church.
Max, the coordinator, of St. Mark's Food Bank (not to be confused with St. Mary’s) in Phoenix makes sure that many people with few means don't go hungry.  Long before anyone arrives to assist him, Max sorts out the paperwork according to neighborhoods so that no time, effort nor energy is wasted.  Max organizes the food boxes so that everyone gets some of everything available, but that families get a little extra (food) to feed the little ones.  Max then patiently loads all the boxes into his spacious, but outdated truck.  Lastly, Max grabs a few refrigerated items to add to each box before he begins his deliveries. 
Max knows the neighborhoods well; so, with a little help, he's done distributing the boxes in about an hour and a half.  Of course, if he has no help, he takes quite a bit longer. 
Afterwards, just like many of the recipients served, he thanks everyone involved and then gets right back to work, as he knows that the number of hungry people in Phoenix will continue to grow…..

If you would like to help, St. Mark’s accepts donations of food and/or money M-F during regular business hours.  St. Mark’s is located at:  400 N 30th St., Phoenix, AZ 85008.  The phone number is (602) 267-0503.  Also, you may sign up for a timeslot to deliver at:

RESULTS:  You feel great, people in need are fed, hope is restored, families are empowered……
“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ 40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”                                                                                                                                                                                         Matthew 25
Save Thy people, and bless Thine inheritance, And feed them, and carry them to the age! Psalm 28:9

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