Experiencing Financial Hardship, a Hopeless Renae Reached Out
Not long ago, a St. Vincent de Paul Omaha Helpline Vincentian volunteer was monitoring incoming communications and took a phone call from a woman named Renae. Renae was calling our helpline, as she has recently been experiencing terrible financial difficulties and hardship, to the point that she was fearful of even possibly becoming homeless. Renae needed assistance – from someone, from anyone – and had pretty much lost hope that that might happen.
Renae’s experience with our helpline volunteer epitomizes the core values and mission of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul – which is for our Vincentians to be of service to, and to make a real connection with those most in need in the community – and to grow in holiness through this ministerial relationship.
Below is an email message from Renae, which our staff received, following her phone call to the St. Vincent de Paul Helpline:
I sent a message to your helpline not knowing who, if anyone, would respond. I think more than anything else I just need to get everything off my chest that was weighing so badly on my heart and body. Right away I got a message back, instructing me to call the helpline, which I did. A very nice woman with a soft-spoken, soothing voice answered almost immediately. I just want to say what a great feeling it was to have someone who – I could tell – actually cared about listening to me.
I’m not Catholic, but I am a person who is scared to death right now. I’m a single mom, with three children, am disabled, due to a car accident, and about to have a major back surgery. I lost my job during the pandemic and, to top it off, someone recently stole the catalytic converter from our car, and now it doesn’t run at all. My bills having been piling up, utilities are about to get disconnected and I’m feeling lost, so lost that sometimes I don’t even know if I should be in this world anymore because I don’t know what to do. I feel like my kids deserve better because there’s nothing I can do about my situation…physically, mentally, emotionally. I’ve felt 100% hopeless.
I had messaged countless places that claim to be able to help, only to go onto their websites and all you see is information on how to donate, where to donate, and how much money they have raised. But on those sites I could never find even a paragraph about how to get the kind of help I needed. I left messages on those sites, requesting assistance, but no one ever got back to me. Not one of them. I have never had to ask for help before, and having to do so has hurt my pride, severely. I walk with my head held down instead of up
But I do want to say to all of you at St. Vincent de Paul - Thank You! Thank you for listening, thank you for having volunteers and thank you to all of those volunteers that are there literally to listen and help…on their own free time. The nice woman I spoke with even shared with me a bit about her own life….that her husband had passed away, and she was volunteering because she enjoyed it so much.
By the end of our conversation, I did have peace of mind knowing that there are still good people in this world, and that I can have faith in humanity – something I was starting to truly question. Your kind volunteer gave me hope and rejuvenated me. And I just wanted to say thank you for that. Based on of my conversation with that St. Vincent de Paul volunteer, I am convinced that yours is the most genuine organization in this community!
Following that helpline phone call, Renae was put in touch with SVdP staff who have helped her obtain the financial resources she so badly needed, including paying her recent water and electric bills, as well as offering her $100 vouchers at our thrift stores, along with a Target gift card (which she used to purchase back-to-school items for her children).
The kind of situation that Renae found herself in could really happen to anyone – and often does – as our Vincentian volunteers know so very well.
Please consider making a gift to the Society of St. Vincent de Paul Omaha at this time, to help us serve people from our community in their hour of need. You can make your gift using our secure donation page, found HERE. Or, you can send a check to SVdP at 1715 Izard Street, Omaha, NE – 68102.
On behalf of Renae, her kids, and the thousands of individuals and families we serve each year, thank you for support of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul Omaha.
Gifts to the Society of St. Vincent de Paul Omaha are used to care for the people who turn to us during their hour of need and are greatly appreciated. All of our services are provided at no cost. All gifts made to the Society of St. Vincent de Paul Omaha are tax deductible to the full extent of the law. Our donor information is kept in strict confidence. Our donor lists are never rented, shared or exchanged with other organizations. The stories in our letters are real. Identifying details have been changed to protect the privacy and therapeutic interests of those we serve. For more information about the Society of St. Vincent de Paul Omaha, or to include us in your estate planning, please contact Development Director, Tim Sully, at (402) 779-8499 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.