WISCONSIN DELLS-- What happens when you need a friend and there’s no one there? Having no one to turn to in a moment of need is a trying experience for anyone, but especially for the poor.
For nearly two centuries, the poor and needy of the world have found a friend in the Society of St. Vincent de Paul. This year, on September 25, the society will hold its third annual nationwide Friends of the Poor Walk to celebrate its years of service to the poor and to encourage kindhearted Americans all across the country to become Friends of the Poor, too. Pledges made on behalf of registered walkers in a given community will benefit those most in need in that same community.
The Wisconsin Dells Conference of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul encourages all to participate in the Friends of the Poor Walk locally — as walkers, pledgers, volunteers, or all three. To register as a walker, to pledge support for a walker, or for more information, go to www.svdpfriendsofthepoorwalk.org
There are three other ways to register: pick up a registration form at the St. Vincent de Paul thrift store at W15210 State Hwy. 16, Wisconsin Dells; call 608-254-4011, ext. 6, and leave a message with name and address; or send an e-mail to
The Friends of the Poor Walk is a fun way for members of the community to become a friend of the poor, to get others to join in the spirit of giving, and to show the poor in our community that we really do care about them.
The 1.5 mile walk will begin at Bowman Park, Wisconsin Dells, at 9 a.m. with registration opening at 8 a.m. Upon completion of the walk, there will be light refreshments, live music, door prizes, and silent auctions.
The largest lay Catholic charitable organization in the world, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul was founded in 1833 by a French college student named Frederic Ozanam so that he and his schoolmates could put their faith into action through service to the poor.
Known and loved for its thrift stores, food pantries, and personal visits of its members to the homes of the poor, the society today has more than 690,000 members operating in 142 countries.
U.S. members donated nearly eight million hours of their personal time in 2009, aiding more than 14 million of their neighbors and offering services valued at nearly $573 million.