Inspired by hope and service
A few years ago, a friend of Cathy McConnell’s invited her and some others to volunteer in the dining room of St. Vincent de Paul. She agreed and was immediately struck by the scope of the organization.
“We enjoyed it very much and were amazed at all the resources that St. Vincent offered just within the confines of the dining room,” Cathy said. Then they learned about how SVdP has several programs outside the dining room, which range from helping people stay in their homes with rental assistance to giving dog food to pet owners on the street. She was immediately drawn to St. Vincent de Paul's work, and knew she wanted to help support the organization.
"St. Vincent DePaul is probably the organization where I feel they're solving so many different problems in the community," Cathy said. “They see a need, they get creative… and they do it. It's an amazing organization.”
She and her husband, Steve, became a regular donor and helped support many different programs at SVdP, including some of the heat relief efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic.
One of the efforts that most interested Cathy was Angels on Call, an app-based technology platform that allows willing donors to provide direct assistance to families in need.
Then, about 18 months ago, SVdP launched the Angels on Call app, an extension of the program that connected willing donors with the stories of individuals and families in need so they could provide help. The Angels on Call app is St. Vincent de Paul's donor program to allow community members to be part of the solution in preventing homelessness.
When a family walks through SVdP’s doors and requests rent assistance, social work staff complete an assessment to determine eligibility and needs. Once confirmed, our staff identifies a family who could avoid homelessness and be stable with a little bit of rent help, their story is put into the app and the next Angel “in line” is notified and given the opportunity to help.
When Cathy heard about the app and learned about its importance from the donor program manager, Jasmine Smalls, she quickly supported it and has given to the program several times. She said she especially loves how the app lets her learn about the specific families she’s helping.
“The Angels on Call program, to me, is a huge part of St. Vincent's homeless remediation efforts,” Cathy said. “I think it's a great, great program.”
Inspired by her positive experiences with the app, Cathy wanted to support SVdP in a new and special way — one that would inspire others to become an Angel. She worked with Jasmine and the SVdP team to provide a matching gift to the Angels on Call program to kick off 2024.
For each new Angel who downloads the app and helps a family—at any amount!—Cathy and her husband, Steve, will provide a matching gift, up to $20,000!
Cathy hopes that the money raised from this campaign can go to helping those who are dealing with the cold nights. She hopes that this support — from many new Angels — helps families who are in a pinch and just need a hand-up and hope for a better tomorrow.
She also hopes that the campaign will convince people who’ve never been involved with SVdP to give it a try.
“There's a lot of people throughout the community who want to help others,” Cathy said. “I think, hopefully, it will encourage people who might want to give $100 but don't think it's that much money. Guess what? It is, and if it's matched with another $100, they might be more encouraged.”
Not only will the financial donation make a difference, but every person can find something unique about SVdP to connect with and find a new home and community.
Want to make a difference like Cathy?
Sign up to be an Angel on Call! You'll get the opportunity to learn about people's stories and help them out of life-altering situations. For now, every donation through the app is supported by Cathy's $20,000 match!
Working his way from homelessness
SVdP's Workforce Development program gave Dennis support and community in his journey to regain his stability
SVdP helps conduct the Point-in-Time Count
Last month, despite the cold and rain, volunteers from SVdP reached out to unhoused neighbors across the valley