Annual St. Vincent de Paul Fundraiser Adds Festival Activities | Local News


ANDERSON — As she watched her son, Kolten, hesitantly hand out a handful of oats for an eagerly awaiting goat, Jessica Kay didn’t hesitate when asked why she brought her children to Highland Middle School Saturday morning.

“We want to contribute and help donate for those in need,” Kay said.

Dozens of other residents, city officials and business leaders have helped achieve these goals by participating in the Friends of the Poor Walk, an annual fundraiser organized by the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul, aimed at raising fund for Anderson’s needy families.

Organizers hoped Saturday’s walk – its seventh annual fundraiser – would allow the organization to replenish a significant portion of the estimated $50,000 it has provided since April to help customers with rent and utility costs. public services.

“In July, we gave away $14,000 in one month, and so (disbursements are) a little higher than usual,” said Becky Hull, event coordinator for St. Vincent de Paul. “Of course people need more because of the changes with COVID and that kind of stuff.”

High and persistent inflation is also pinching many family budgets, which means St. Vincent de Paul staff members are seeing more residents than usual asking for help.

“We’re dealing with some people who are so in need they don’t even have a vehicle,” Hull said. “What we’re finding now is that they can’t even get to work.

“If they go to work, it has to be somewhere they can walk. Often these jobs don’t pay them the kind of pay that allows them to pay their bills. »

Before setting off on the trail, walkers had the opportunity to browse display tables displaying small household appliances and purchase homemade pastries prepared by volunteers. The atmosphere of the festival was carefully planned, organizers noted, with the aim of introducing more potential volunteers to the work of the organization.

“We try to make it a family festival,” said Keith Olson, president of the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul. “With this we attract a lot of people here, a lot of people with a real desire to help us – that’s why they are here. They realize what we are doing.

Shortly before a short prayer was offered and the national anthem was sung, the sun broke through behind the clouds, prompting many onlookers to don sunglasses as they lined up behind an ancient flatbed truck that would drive them around the track.

Once the walk began, Olson watched the scene and smiled.

“It’s just a wonderful gift from God, to see this kind of situation,” he said. “All these people having fun, it’s really great to see. We hope we can continue with this as it really fills a need here in the greater Anderson area.

Follow Andy Knight on Twitter @Andrew_J_Knight, or call 765-640-4809.


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