Welcome to the new virtual home of VVC

“We are convinced that a knowledge of [social] reforms is to be learned not so much by pondering over books or by discussions among politicians, as by going to visit the garrets in which the poor live, by sitting at the bedside of the dying, by feeling the cold which they feel, and by learning from their own lips the causes of their woes.”
–Blessed Frédéric Ozanam, Founder of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul
 
Welcome to the official blog of the Vincentian Volunteers of Cincinnati!  We’re glad you dropped by.
Vincentian Volunteers of Cincinnati (VVC) is a faith-based, year-long, residential service program. The program provides young professionals in their twenties an opportunity to grow in faith, friendship and service by giving deeply of themselves to their neighbors in need.
But what does that mean?  Read on to find out more!
Our founder, then-20-year-old college student Frédéric Ozanam, was challenged by a classmate – there needed to be more to life than academics and there ought to be more to his faith than simply believing. Following in his footsteps, the VVC members do not do their work from a distance or simply sit together talking about the social problems and inequalities that plague our city and world, but rather dive in to the experience, entering into relationship with others, and living out their faith in tangible ways. These young adults regularly make home visits to our neighbors in need, live in the neighborhood in which they work, and strive to figure out what solidarity can mean for them in a world caught up in individual success, even at the expense of others.
Keep dropping by the blog to hear some stories that our Volunteers (and alumni) share about their experiences and encounters as they walk alongside our neighbors in need.
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Meet the Vincentian Volunteers 2013-14

Robert Sander

Rob Sander 2013-14

A native Cincinnatian, Rob has spent the past four years at the University of Dayton, where he earned a degree in Religious Studies and Education. Rob brings to the program deep experiences of community from a summer immersion program to his involvement with the Lay Marianist community of which he is part. This year, you will find Rob helping to plan and coordinate retreats and immersion experiences with SVDP’s Ozanam Center for Service Learning.

“I believe that there is good ion every culture, and there is a lot we can learn from them. They deserve the same respect and attention that our own culture gets… I am merely a guest in that culture; I do not know much about it, but I know that God was in that culture and people. I do not and cannot try to change who people are but I must serve them where they are with love, and without judgment.”

 

Mary Taylor

Mary Taylor 2013-14

Mary comes to SVDP from Elgin, Illinois via University of Minnesota, where she focused on communication studies and leadership. With a great passion for service and enthusiasm for life, Mary brings with her great gifts and experience in working with a diversity of people.  You will find Mary buzzing around the Social Services department, working with families and individuals who come to SVDP in need of resources and assistance.

“Solidarity to me is having purpose for your life and sharing your time and space with others who share that purpose… [It] means that though we may not all have the same story, or the same reason that we are doing it, we are doing it together because that unites us as one. Even though the Vincentian Volunteers have different stories, and may have different goals that they want to achieve by the end of the program, they are all joined in one, with Christ, to carry out the work of St. Vincent de Paul.”

 

Demar Lewis

Demar Lewis 2013-14
Having grown up in Denver, Demar joins us most recently from right here in Cincinnati, where he moved after receiving a degree in business from the University of St. Thomas (MN). He brings experience as a Vincentian with our own Cathedral/St. Xavier SVDP Conference.  Demar will be working with St. Vincent de Paul’s Charitable Pharmacy, assisting patients with the certification process for the program.

“Solidarity to me symbolizes unity and being a part of a collective community effort with like-minded individuals. It represents serving a purpose with people of diverse backgrounds, socio-economic status, and beliefs to make change in the world, as doing otherwise would be entirely intolerable… [It] is a unique immersion into the dark crevices of a society where few people voluntarily venture to address the inherent needs of the suffering or marginalized to advance the common good.”