SVDP Hernando/Citrus District
Food Pantry & Thrift Store

What is the Society of St. Vincent de Paul?

It's an international lay Catholic organization of men and women dedicated to helping the poor and needy through practical works of charity.

When was it founded?

The Society was founded in the year 1833 in Paris, France, by a small group of students, led by the then 20-year old Frederic Ozanam.

How large is the organization?

There are some 880,000 members in 132 countries on five continents.

How many members are there in the United States?

There are about 60,000 within the eight regions of the country which encompasses 62 Diocesan Councils, 388 District Councils and 4,326 Conferences, as local chapters are called.

How many Conferences are in the Hernando/Citrus District Council?

There are 6, all are affiliated with Catholic parishes of the Diocese of St. Petersburg in Hernando/Citrus Counties.

Is St. Vincent de Paul part of the Diocese's Catholic Charities?

No. The Society is an independent, stand-alone organization. The Society and its members, however, recognize the authority of the Bishop of the St. Petersburg Diocese in matters related to their faith and the parish Conferences carry out their mission with the approval and cooperation of the local church's pastor.

What do the Conferences do?

Vincentians respond to anyone who asks for help. They offer emergency financial assistance, transportation and make referrals to other agencies when appropriate. They also visit people in hospitals, nursing homes and prisons.

What are the "Special Works" of the Hernando/Citrus District Council?

There are several including the Food Pantry, the Thrift Store, the Homeless Persons Aid Unit and the Scholarship Program.

How does the District Council manage all these activities?

The District Council which is made up of a representative from each of the parish conferences oversees the thrift store and it's many unpaid volunteers.

Do you have to be Catholic to be helped by the Society?

No. The Society offers material aid, emotional support and spiritual comfort to anyone in need regardless of religion, race, gender, age or national origin.

How does the Society obtain money to fund its charitable activities?

The Hernando/Citrus District Council is funded by individual donors, bequests, the revenue from the Thrift Store and members themselves.

How can I help?

You can help with your donations, bequests, memorials and by volunteering your time and talents.

Are my contributions tax-deductible?

The Society is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization. Contributions are deductible to the extent allowed under Internal Revenue Service rules.