St. Vincent de Paul: Feed, clothe, house, heal

Mesa Leadership class had a wonderful tour Tuesday, Dec. 6, of St. Vincent de Paul in Phoenix, just east of 7th Avenue and south of the I-17 freeway.

A worldwide nonprofit organization started in 1946, the main headquarters in the Valley is in Phoenix, with other locations throughout the east and west part of metro Phoenix. It is affiliated but not funded by the Catholic Church

“What do they do?” A good answer is “What don’t they do to take care of the homeless and working poor.”

They have so many charitable programs. Check them out here: http://www.stvincentdepaul.net/programs

They are funded by 80,000 individual and corporate donors and receive about $35 million annually to help the poor and needy in the community.

Here’s our tour in photos:

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Todd C. was our great tour guide!
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Giant warehouse of food. St. Vincent de Paul provides 450,000 emergency food boxes a year.
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Donated food is sorted and scanned here for inventory.
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The huge, walk-in refrigerator was cold!
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Thousands are fed in the dining room daily.
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More of the dining room. But what did I spy?
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Oh, my! I helped make this quilt just a couple of months ago – the one with the vintage looking fabric of blue and pink babies. I even picked the pink yarn to tie it with. It was made at our LDS church’s service group. Our all quilts are donated to A New Leaf in Mesa for their homeless and domestic violence shelters. I wish the quilt could talk! I wonder how it made it’s way to the donation pile in Phoenix. Didn’t look too used.
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At one end of the dining room is “The Dream Center” for children so they can read books and get an education to make their dreams come true.
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We were told this is the largest privately-owned kitchen in the United States. Here are the pizza ovens.
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The head chef with a big heart.

 

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More of the kitchen looking out into the dining area.
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I’m sure the biggest stand mixer one would ever see!
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These guys were opening a lot of cans of pork!
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More of the kitchen.
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Here is an area of clothing and shoes donations that needy people can pick from. There is also a shower area that I didn’t take a photo of.
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Todd showed us they recycle medicine bottles to fill with shampoo and laundry detergent for homeless to carry in backpacks.
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Warehouse full of donated items that will go out to 19 thrift stores in Arizona. They prefer people donate at the stores instead of here but they never refuse anything.
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Standing amongst the donated items.
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Offices in another building.
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Walking around the facility – inside and out.
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A peace garden for workers to relax. “We deal with a lot of hard things,” Todd said.
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A garden that supplies fresh veggies to the kitchen.
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Beautiful cabbage.
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Did anyone know that loofahs are the inside of a squash-looking thing related to a cucumber?
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They are growing them to sell. 
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Hydroponics garden, where plants are grown in water, without soil, using mineral nutrient solutions.
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Talipia fish live in the water and provide fertilizer to the plants.
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We were given cookies as a parting gift.

 

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Members of the Leadership Class who attended the tour.
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