We love it when we get referrals. It's a great way to grow our business and we always seek to give new customers better coverage and service than they've ever had before. With each referral, we reward the person who provided it and in turn, reward a charity as well. This year, we've decided to support the Society of St. Vincent de Paul and thought we'd share a bit about them with you.
Back in 1833, Frédéric Ozanam was a 20-year-old law student at the Sorbonne in Paris, France. When confronted by another student about practical applications of his faith, Ozanam was inspired to found a “conference of charity” to assist the poor.
The group adopted the name the “Society of St. Vincent de Paul” in honor of the saint revered for his work among the needy. The Society quickly established a relationship with Sister Rosalie Rendu, a member of the Daughters of Charity, who organized the distribution of aid in one of Paris’s most impoverished neighborhoods. Within a few years, the original group of seven grew to 600, spreading to 15 other cities and towns in France, numbering more than 2,000 members.
Twelve years later, in 1845, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul crossed the ocean to St. Louis, Missouri, where the first American conference was formed. The first members met at the St. Louis Cathedral Basilica, known locally today as the Old Cathedral. To this day, St. Louis remains the Society’s American headquarters, hosting both the National Council offices, as well as the local St. Louis Council.
Today, the international Society of St. Vincent de Paul is the world’s largest social assistance organization, with operations in over 140 countries on five continents. More than 800,000 Vincentian volunteers worldwide work to further Bl. Frédéric’s vision to “embrace the whole world in a network of charity.”
Here in St. Louis, the Society is one of the oldest and most well-respected charities in the area, assisting more than 250,000 people annually regardless of religion, race, ethnicity or age.
We are proud to be able to help them in their mission to build a more just world through personal relationships with and service to people in need.