Breaking Ground, Celebrating Community

by Shannon Clancy

On May 12th, nearly 200 community leaders, donors, volunteers, staff members and other special guests gathered to celebrate a milestone event in the Society of St. Vincent de Paul’s history — the first groundbreaking on a new building on the campus in more than 25 years.

The event celebrated the first step in the construction of a new building that will house a relocated and expanded Ozanam Manor, the organization’s transitional shelter for older and disabled adults, as well as outreach programs for homeless and working poor individuals and families. The capital effort will also allow for the expansion of the medical and dental clinic and significantly increase food production in the organization’s innovative urban farm. To date, more than $15 million has been raised to support the $16-million campaign goal.

It was a morning of joy, hope and gratitude — proof of all that is possible when a community comes together to care about each other and lift one another up. Executive Director Steve Zabilski honored campaign donors, several of whom made significant commitments to support the project. Many donned hard hats and shovels to symbolically turn the ground that will become the hope and transformation of the people St. Vincent de Paul serves for many years to come.

St. Vincent de Paul’s enhanced campus will increase the organization’s ability to feed, clothe, house and heal those who are struggling in our community. Building on existing strengths and expanding collaborations with community partners, St. Vincent de Paul not only will serve more people but also will address some of the physical, economic and emotional barriers that prevent people from rebuilding their lives on their own.

“We have been truly humbled by the community’s generosity and support that will allow us to serve more people who have nowhere else to turn for help,” said Associate Executive Director, Shannon Clancy. “We have now begun a second phase of our campaign to create a $5-million endowment to support our continued work, launched by a $1-million commitment that will match all endowment gifts dollar for dollar that are made by December 31, 2017. We are blessed to live in such a generous, compassionate community that opens their hearts to those in our community who need a helping hand and a warm embrace.”

For more information about how to be part of this special community-wide effort or to share your gifts and talents as a volunteer to help feed, clothe, house and heal at St. Vincent de Paul, please contact Shannon Clancy at 602-261-6893 or email.

Shannon Clancy is the associate executive director & chief philanthropy officer at Society of St. Vincent de Paul.

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