St. Vincent de Paul’s Thrift Store and Caring Center is growing and is in need of donations from the community.
The Catholic, charitable organization can be found nationwide, but also has a number of local chapters, according to trustees Jim Dwyer.
On Wednesday, March 28, La Campagnola Restaurant, which serves Italian cuisine and is located at 439 Oakshade Road, will be hosting a fundraiser for the renovation and expansion of the store, which is located at 1 Jones Road in Medford.
Affiliated with St. Mary of the Lakes Church in Medford, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul provides food, clothing, small household items, monetary assistance and spiritual help to people in need from Browns Mills, Pemberton, Medford Lakes, Medford, Moorestown and the surrounding area.
Dwyer said the organization has been in existence in the area for at least 20 years and that the Board of Trustees has been looking into opportunities for growth for the past several years.
The best prospect has turned out to be expanding the capacity of the facility.
“The building process is well underway,” he said. “We’re in the process of trying to raise additional funds,” as the construction costs are around $1 million.
On Oct. 10, a building announcement was distributed, which states that groundbreaking began in mid-October and was expected to be completed in the first half of this year.
“We’re doing everything possible to reach out to the community,” Dwyer said.
About 100 people are expected at each sitting of the dinner tonight. There are three time slots, 5 p.m., 6:15 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Tickets for the dinner are priced at $40 for adults and $20 for children.
It may be possible to still purchase tickets at the door, said Dwyer, and inquiries should be directed to (609) 654–1428 or (609) 654–1235.
The society is active in the community, conducting drives to collect food and providing for other needs.
“Often times, St. Vincent’s folks will collect from clients with resources in the community that can help them to find their way through difficult times,” said Dwyer. “In our area, it really grew out from a situation where there was a family that was in a fairly desperate situation.”
Parishioners from St. Mary of the Lakes Church in Medford recognized the need and created the society at that point.
“We rely on donations for all of our services and programs,” said John Kallelis, president of the Medford Society of St. Vincent de Paul board of trustees. “We still need to raise about $400,000 to meet our goal of $1 million for the renovation and expansion of the Thrift Store and Caring Center, which will double in size to 8,000 square feet. The expansion will offer our clients more privacy, including fitting rooms, and more pantry space for food.”
If you can’t make the dinner, it’s still possible to donate to the cause. Log on to smlparish.org/SVDP to do so.