On December 26, 2009, in Des Moines, IA, a winter snow storm put the roof of St. Vincent de Paul’s retail store to the test and won. The snow load caved in the roof, creating a devastating blow to staff, volunteers and most importantly those that depend on St. Vincent de Paul for support and fulfillment of their needs. The community was in shock. Carmen Winters a social worker with Mid-Iowa Family Therapy Clinics, shops regularly for her clients. “It’s a lot more than clothes…they have great resources.” More importantly, though, Carmen observes, “St. Vincent de Paul serves the entire community with a giving spirit, and they are culturally sensitive to the needs of the community.”
The Board of Directors met with insurance agents, contractors and community members to sort out and vision the possibilities for St. Vincent de Paul’s future.
A capital campaign was initiated to get the word out about the funding needs of not just reconstruction but re-visioning. The St. Vincent de Paul board relied on community input, surveys and their mission to make the decision to incorporate an Education Center in the new building structure. “If you’re digitally ‘illiterate,’ I cannot imagine how you’d cope with employment issues.” says Janet Witte. She has been there and knows the value of web based opportunities.
Helping others help themselves; this sign hangs over the entry way to the St. Vincent de Paul Store and is the mantra of our service and expectations.