The New Year brings new hope, and if you are like me you find yourself setting new goals. This year I have recycled a goal from last year. I am looking for more ways to serve those living in poverty in our city. Last year I joined the Ladies of Charity; they are part of the Vincentian family. If you are not familiar with the work they do, here is a little insight. What I have learned from being the executive director at St. Vincent de Paul is that small acts by many people working together can have a big impact on our city. Perhaps the Ladies of Charity could be a good fit for you? Founded by St. Vincent de Paul, patron of all charity, the Ladies of Charity responded to the needs of the poor in 17th century France. Together with St. Louise de Mariliac, they went quietly about their tasks, seeking no recognition, satisfied with the knowledge that they were serving Christ in the person of the poor. The Ladies of Charity, since their origin, have possessed the charism of their founder – daily prayer and personal service to the poor. That same Vincentian spirit characterizes the Association today. In 1857, St. Louis became the first city in the U.S. to have a chapter. The organization spread throughout the nation and, two months before the U.S. entered World War I, the Ladies of Charity formed a group in Evansville.
The Ladies ask for the personal gifts of self, time, devotion, sacrifices and perseverance in the effort to bring dignity to each person; and to respond with compassion to every human misery. Evansville’s chapter mainly serves the St. Vincent Center for Children & Families. The ladies also work closely with the Albion Fellows Bacon Center, a domestic violence shelter for women and children. They create and donate hospitality bags filled with basic necessities. We have learned from the leaders at AFBC that most women and children leave most of their belongings behind during a crisis situation. It is not usually safe for them to return to get the items later, so this is just a small way we can support the women and children being served through AFBC.
The Ladies raise money to support these charities with their two annual fundraisers. The first is a yearlong quilt raffle whose winner is selected at their Christmas party in December, and the other is the annual steak dinner and dance held each year in early November.
For almost a century, the Ladies of Charity have been working against poverty in the Evansville area, and they will celebrate their 104th anniversary in February.
The group meets bimonthly to develop ideas on how to further their mission and help serve Evansville to their fullest extent.
For more information about the Ladies of Charity, call 812-319-5969.