The Society of Saint Vincent de Paul is a Catholic lay organization that aspires to live the Gospel message by serving Christ in the poor with love, respect, justice, hope and joy, and by working to shape a more just and compassionate society. Saint Vincent de Paul Society, 2020
“I would like to embrace the whole world in a network of charity.”
–Blessed Frederic Ozanam
Who We Are
We serve those in need regardless of belief or background. We are women and men of all backgrounds and cultures. We work in 153 countries worldwide. Worldwide we have helped over 30 million people. Globally, today we are over 800,000 volunteers – Vincentians!
We operate locally in lay-run “Conferences.” Our Lady of Light Conference is one of more than 4,600 Conferences in the U.S. and over 51,000 globally. Within our Conference, we are organized into volunteer teams each working a weekday morning. We are a “network of friends.”
The Society of Saint Vincent de Paul is also a part of the International Vincentian Family (FAMVIN), organizations inspired by the life and work of Saint Vincent de Paul. www.svdpusa.org.
What We Do
In Our Lady of Light Conference, we organize into teams each working a weekday morning to meet and speak with people in need of assistance. Our primary focus is helping people in need of:
- Rent/Mortgage Payments
- Utility Payments (Electric & Water)
- Prescription Medication Costs
Our founding activity, still practiced today, is the face-to-face Home Visit. In two-person teams, our volunteers visit the homes of local neighbors in need, to identify immediate and long-term needs. The Home Visit is how we best bring hope and financial resources to neighbors in need.
*During the COVID-19 pandemic, Home Visits have been temporarily suspended. Needs are being met via telephone and email communications.
The Society of Saint Vincent de Paul was founded in 1833 and is a worldwide organization dedicated to service neighbors in need. Frederic Ozanam, a 19th Century French lawyer, author and professor at the Sorbonne, was the primary founder along with a group of friends. His goal was to serve God and the poor.
In working to start the Society, Frederic and his friends were inspired by Sister Rosalie Rendu, a member of the Daughters of Charity of Saint Vincent de Paul.
The Saint Vincent de Paul Conference at Our Lady of Light was founded in 1990 as a non-profit charitable agency to assist those in need throughout the South Fort Myers and Estero communities. The Conference has distributed nearly $800,000 in aid to the needy in our area.
How We Helped
Thanks to Our Lady of Light parish, we have very low overhead for this ministry. We are blessed that $.97 from every $1.00 received was distributed as client aid to the needy.
Goes to the Needy
Number of families helped: 135
Average payment: $1,031/family
Total Expenditure/Value: $59,051
Number of families helped: 324
Average payment: $80.93
Total Expenditure/Value: $26,220
Food Card Distributed
Number of families helped: 361
Average payment: $22.16
Total Expenditure/Value: $8,000
Electric Bill Assistance
Number of families helped: 99
Average payment: $296.59
Total Expenditure/Value: $29,362
Water Bill Assistance
Number of families helped: 13
Average payment: $184.38
Total Expenditure/Value: $2,397
Prescriptions & Medical/Dental Care Assistance
Number of individuals helped: 16
Average payment: $124.63
Total Expenditure/Value: $1,994
Gas Cards Distributed
Number of families: 86
Average payment: $25.58
Total Expenditure/Value: $2,200
Step Forward Program
(Helping Disadvantaged Youth with Education Assistance)
Number of young people helped: 3
Average support/student: $667
Total Expenditure/Value: $2,001
The year 2020 was an unprecidented year of challenges worldwide, as well as for Our Lady of Light Conference of Saint Vincent de Paul. Yet we continued to be blessed with the time, talent and treasure from our supporters willing to help meet the greater demand we’ve experienced during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Total emergency assistance disbursed during Fiscal 2020: $148,993 responding to 790 requests for help
Total Volunteer Hours Served in 2020: 5,839
2020 challenges due to COVID-19 pandemic:
- 21% increase in the number of calls for assistance
- Payments for delinquent rent increased by 12%
- Payments for overdue electric utility bills increased by 62%
The following organizations have supported our mission with financial grants:
- Copperleaf Charitable Foundation
- West Bay Community Charitable Foundation
- Pelican Sound Charitable Foundation
- Florida Power and Light
Get In Touch
19680 Cypress View Drive
Fort Myers, Florida 33967