Letter from Co-Chair

Dear Friends,
Several years ago, Upward Spiral campaign co-chair Bart Kohler invited me to join him on a home visit on behalf of St. Vincent de Paul — Cincinnati (SVDP). The home visit was in response to a request for furniture assistance from a neighbor in need.

This was my first exposure to SVDP, and the visit was life-changing. After seeing this family living in such devastating poverty, sleeping on a makeshift bed of clothes, I was inspired to begin regularly volunteering with SVDP and ultimately join the Board of Directors.

Since then, Bart and I have witnessed the struggles of our neighbors who reach out to SVDP for help at critical moments in their lives. We have seen families living in empty apartments with no furniture; heard from parents who don’t have diapers for their babies; handed food to neighbors who would otherwise have an empty holiday table.

The number of individuals and families SVDP has assisted since the organization arrived in Cincinnati in 1869 is incredible. But the people who will forever remain in our memories are those we were unable to assist.

Because of space constraints in our Liz Carter Outreach Center in the West End, we are unable to provide all of our services consistently or simultaneously. Neighbors have to come Monday for help with clothing, Tuesday to visit the Choice Food Pantry, and Wednesday to receive their prescriptions through the Charitable Pharmacy.

For those with limited resources, returning day after day for various services can be a large, if not impossible, burden. Many neighbors must take time off of work to come on the right day and time and pay for the bus to get back and forth, only to find that not all of the assistance they need is available at that time. Imagine a new outreach center that could accommodate most of our services and programs at once, so a single mother in a time of desperation can receive emergency assistance when she critically needs it.

SVDP volunteer groups (Conferences) strive to support struggling families in over 70 local communities through our Homelessness Prevention Program. Unfortunately, many families must be turned away because the Conferences’ resources are extremely limited. Imagine a fund that would allow volunteers to keep more families in their homes and out of shelters.
Join me in generously supporting SVDP’s Upward Spiral Campaign, and you will help struggling families receive the support they need. You will positively affect the lives of thousands of your Cincinnati neighbors. In turn, you will help us all move upward together. Thank you for your support!


Becky Catino
Upward Spiral Co-Chair