The pandemic has made two things abundantly clear, according to St. Vincent DePaul, at least.
One, it seems there’s little doubt what people did once they were sent home: Cleaned. They channeled their inner Marie Kondo and cleaned their basements, their attics, their garages, their kids’ rooms, their closets, their cars. And then they apparently donated their unwanted items. Donations to SVDP thrift stores are typically strong, but since stores reopened donations have more than doubled.
And, two, being stuck inside at home must have given people an itch to get out and shop. As soon as SVDP stores reopened, shoppers reportedly returned in record numbers.
“We didn’t know exactly what kind of reaction to expect once the stores reopened,” said St. Vincent de Paul Executive Director Mike Dunn. “We didn’t know if they would be hesitant to return, or if they would put on masks and gloves and come back with abandon because they were excited about all of the new merchandise we had available. It turns out it they were excited.”
Proceeds from the thrift stores help fund the social services programs that St. Vincent de Paul offers, including providing nearly $800,000 in free clothing vouchers to those in need each year.
Fans, A/C giveaway extends to 19 years
SVDP is once again offering free fans and air conditioners to people in need, the 19th year the agency has helped area residents with proper cooling during the hottest days of summer.
The distribution process is different this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. To receive a fan, apply by phone (513-421-0602), and then schedule a pick-up appointment time. Appointments are made every 15 minutes during the day.
Each year St. Vincent de Paul gives away roughly 600 free fans and 350 air conditioners. This is done in partnership with Braun Heating and Air Conditioning.
“We helped over 950 families last summer thanks to the generosity of our local neighbors and community partners,” said Executive Director Mike Dunn. “Many of the neighbors we serve have children or are elderly with chronic health conditions. Having a fan or air conditioner is often the difference between living comfortably and a visit to the emergency room.”
Individuals receiving an air conditioner must be age 65 or older, or provide documentation from a physician of medical need, and are only eligible once every five years. Those acquiring fans are only eligible once every two years.
Interested in purchasing a fan or air conditioner for a neighbor?
- Make a financial gift by phone at 513-562-8854, or online at SVDPcincinnati.org/give. Fans can be purchased for $20; $115 provides an air conditioner.
- Donate a new fan or air conditioner at any one of the seven St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Stores. According to state law, donated fans and air conditioners must be new.