As told by Steve Zabilski, St. Vincent de Paul Executive Director
About ten days before Christmas each year, St. Vincent de Paul closes its thrift store at Bell Road and 28th Street in Phoenix to everyone except area children, who are welcome to come and purchase 25-cent gifts for their family members.
We don’t really care if the kids have a quarter or not, although I’ve been told that I once almost ruined the program by children could select gifts for free. You see, they want to make the purchases. They beam with pride knowing they bought their mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters a Christmas present. (That’ll teach me!)
Last Christmas, St. Vincent de Paul was able to bring this kind of joy to more than 1000 children, and my heart tells me there were more smiles at each of their homes on Christmas day.
There are other activities for children at St. Vincent de Paul during the holidays too. For example, children who are often more fortunate than our clients visit our campuses to help in the dining hall and participate in various activities. Most of these children don’t even know the world is unfair yet, but they’re here anyway to pitch in with the blessings of their schools and parents.
I have pictures of each of these holiday happenings hanging in my office. Each speaks volumes alone, but side by side they remind me that SVdP offers many ways for everyone, no matter what their state in life, to contribute to our community.
How about you? What do you think? Any ideas how we can team together and make the Christmas season a happier time for those less fortunate?