Our Commitment to Our Neighbors During COVID-19
*Periodically updated as services may change.
Dear St. Vincent de Paul Georgia Friends,
Like so many of you, we have spent the last several days and weeks closely monitoring the developments around the coronavirus (COVID-19) in Georgia and across the country. For St. Vincent de Paul Georgia that means understanding how it affects our neighbors, volunteers, staff, and partners, and then making the necessary adjustments to our services and operations.
St. Vincent de Paul Georgia is one the largest and most effective and impactful human services nonprofits in Georgia, helping over 129,000 people last year alone. We know that we must continue to serve the people in need who rely on us to help them with basic needs, especially during this time of incredible uncertainty and challenge. That is why we will do everything we can to continue to provide help and hope to those we serve.
But we also must take the spread of this virus very seriously as we serve our neighbors in need and at the same time protect the well-being and safety of our staff, volunteers and communities. As you may know, our organization is driven by thousands of dedicated volunteers who in many cases, fall within the vulnerable population of the coronavirus. With that in mind, we have made a few modifications to our services during this period:
- Our statewide local Conferences who typically perform home-visits with neighbors in need have moved to remote, phone-only assistance, as their volunteer capacity allows. Most of their local food pantry in-person servicing has been suspended by parish guidelines, so volunteers have been instructed to deliver food to neighbors’ doorsteps only.
- Our volunteer-run thrift stores across the state will be closed until further notice. At this time, all of the stores are accepting donations with some staffed daily and others that are checking in periodically to retrieve donations left at the door. Because the situation is fluid and ever-changing, we highly suggest that if you are planning a donation drop-off, to contact your local store before doing so.
- In-home donation pick ups of furniture and household goods has been suspended until further notice.
- Our Family Support Centers in Chamblee and Lakewood food pantry operations will cease until further notice.
- Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program will be held on an appointment-only basis, but appointments will be spread out in order to practice social distancing in the facilities.
- Our Food Recovery & Distribution Program in partnership with Kroger stores and a couple of Aldi and Sam’s stores has suspended the collection of food from the retailers. We will support other local food pantries outside of our network that are still operating to support those most in need.
- Our annual Regional membership meeting, Spring to Life, scheduled for April 4th, has been canceled and we will re-visit rescheduling as things progress.
- Our staff has temporarily moved to a remote work schedule, with in-office visits as needed. All staff will continue to be accessible via phone and email.
We anticipate a significant influx of neighbors in need over the next few weeks, and even months, as hourly workers are impacted by school closings and shift reductions, and are working internally together to help areas with direct-aid assistance funds where poverty may be higher. We have also set up plans to swiftly communicate government assistance and other resources for our local Conferences to share with neighbors in need as they become available.
We will continue to monitor developments around COVID-19 and adhere to guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Prevention, the World Health Organization and local public health authorities. St. Vincent de Paul Georgia is committed to providing our neighbors and communities with the best services we can during this time and will continue to keep you updated. Thank you for being a part of and supporting the SVdP family.
Please consider helping us continue to serve our neighbors in need during this critical and incredibly difficult period by giving today.
Donations will support all programs by St. Vincent de Paul across Georgia and will greatly supplement the decrease and shortage of food recovery donations, Conference income, and thrift store revenue that directly impact direct-aid assistance to neighbors in need. We believe that come what may, we must go on to help our neighbors facing new and changing difficulties, and I hope you are in a position to help ensure this is the case by giving a donation today.
Peace and God Bless,
Chief Executive Officer
St. Vincent de Paul Georgia