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St. Vincent de Paul

Serving others as we grow in faith and fellowship

Our St. Vincent de Paul members (also known as “Vincentians”) are men and women who strive to grow spiritually by offering person-to-person service to neighbors in need.

Members of all ages, every race, and all incomes are welcome! We simply share an awareness that our blessings of time, talent, and treasure are to be shared with people in need.

We work very closely with Fr. Ambrose and Fr. Nivin to help meet needs of our parishioners and refugees.

Come and see

You are always invited to our  monthly SVDP meetings – generally the 1st Tuesday of each month at 5:30 PM in the St. Ambrose Parish Hall. Details are at the bottom of this page.

Local – Metro – National – Global

Our parish group (called a Conference) is part of an international movement that began in Paris in 1833 through Blessed Frederic Ozanam and Blessed Rosalie Rendu. The Society of Saint Vincent de Paul has grown to 800,000 members in over 150 countries!  Learn about the SVDP National Council of the United States

In Central Iowa, 13 parish-based Conferences form the Des Moines Council of SVDP– where professional staff plus volunteers operate free food pantries, back-to-work programs and more. The Council has worked since 1924 to help those in need become self-sufficient. The three SVDP Thrift Stores in Des Moines & Windsor Heights provide revenue to support these good works.  (Thank you for donating goods and shopping there!)

When a parish conference can’t meet an individual’s urgent need, we turn to other conferences in the metro for funds. This helps all of us better serve needs in our community.

food and hygiene items gathered at St Ambrose for SVDP food pantries

An easy way to give food and essential items to households in need

First Sunday every month: at Saturday & Sunday Masses

Food Pantry Weekend

Please bring items to Mass monthly that can be given to our neighbors in need through the metro St. Vincent de Paul food pantries! Simply place these items in the baskets near the altar:

  • Foods that do not need a refrigerator or freezer
  • Items to keep bodies and homes clean – like shampoo, dish soap, cleaning supplies, diapers and feminine hygiene productes
  • Cash to purchase food that’s most needed in the pantry

Thank you for your generosity and compassion! Each month, our parishioners fill a volunteer’s vehicle with things that people need! In the past year, together our parishioners gave items worth $4,000 – plus $2,000 in cash to purchase most-needed items!

November and December 2023

Fresh food delivered to parish families for Thanksgiving and Christmas

Thanks to the generosity of Capital City Fruit in Norwalk, St. Ambrose Vincentians were able to share fresh produce with 37 parish families (for a total of 156 individuals) on November 17.

Capital City Fruit provided large quantities of apples, cabbages, carrots, grapefruits and oranges, dried beans, onions, potatoes, squash, and more.  SVDP members divided the produce into packages according to family size and parish community leaders and volunteers delivered the food to the families.

Capital City Fruit is making another donation of produce for the Christmas season.  On December 15, we will pick up the produce and bring it to the parish hall to package it for delivery to 43 households, for a total of 172 individuals.

Huge thanks to Capital City Fruit, Father Nivin, Father Ambrose, Deacon Francis, our volunteers and community leaders for making it possible for us to share these gifts!

Volunteers take donations at SVDP truck April 2023
April 2024

Expect the donation truck in the Spring 

This autumn, we weren’t able to find a good weekend to bring the SVDP donation truck to the cathedral’s parking lot for your convenience. But we’re planning to do this again in the Spring!

Thank you to our many parishioners who helped fill the SVDP truck last April. The truck is huge, and the many bags of clothing and household items you brought filled the truck almost to capacity!  Your spirit of giving is beautiful. Our parish volunteers enjoyed spending the morning together helping load the abundant donations onto the truck. If you would like to help next time, please let us know.

Each donated item helps SVDP help those in need. Items are either given to needy people or sold in the SVDP Thrift Stores at prices people can afford. Funds from the sale of your donation help provide free food at the food pantries and free coaching or support for those who need work.

You can drop off your unneeded items now at any of the three SVDP Thrift Stores  – any day except Sunday, between 9 AM and 5 PM.  While you’re there, please look in the stores to find affordable clothes and home items you need. Thank you for helping others in this way! 

SVDP volunteers cooking a meal for a shelter 2022

Interested but can't make it to these meetings? Let us know. We'll invite you to volunteer from time to time.

You’re welcome at our monthly meetings

St. Ambrose SVDP generally meet the 1st Tuesday of each month at 5:30 PM in the St. Ambrose Parish Hall (609 High Street).

Expect a casual one-hour gathering: a small group of friends, beginning with prayer, and discussing the kinds of help and activities we’re feeling called to pursue. Coming to a meeting will help you see our SVDP in action – and there’s no obligation.

Email for details

SVDP volunteers cooking a meal for a shelter 2022

Interested but can't make it to these meetings? Let us know. We'll invite you to volunteer from time to time.

Do you know someone who needs help?

Let us know, and we’ll see what we can do. Leave a message at the parish office – 515-288-7411 weekdays – or email the SVDP President.

To receive food, clothing and help toward other services, make an appointment to visit the Food Pantry.

Visit the SVDP stores to donate items or buy affordable clothes, home goods & beds.

Get help toward a better job.

Learn more about handling money.

Do you know someone preparing to leave jail or prison? SVDP can help them.

Need to donate big things? SVDP donation truck can pick them up, and might be able to manage an estate or tag sale for you.

Where to find us

St. Ambrose Cathedral

607 High St, Des Moines, IA 50309

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