At St. Vincent de Paul Appleton, when you donate quality items to our store, you know you’re making a difference in the lives of individuals experiencing poverty. All of our store sales support programming that is designed to address the root causes of poverty so that we can move toward systemic change.
Plus, when we have high-quality items in the store, individuals experiencing poverty have access to the comforts of home that we all deserve. Can you imagine how unstable or insecure you would feel in a home without a table for family meals or smaller details, like a coffee table with board games or books?
Donating your items can also enhance your family’s life.
According to Jennifer Strachan of In Its Place Organizing Services in Neenah, healthy routines start with sorting, purging, decluttering, and donating.
“Before the actual physical changes take place, the harder work needs to be done. That means that similar items need to be gathered and stored together as much as possible. This will help thin out unneeded and worn out items and create space. Going through this process allows time to contemplate how the space needs to work for a family. Many times, my clients contact me because they skipped the thinning out steps and jumped to buying organizational tools in the form of shelving, containers, etc. Sometimes, this can be quite costly such as in when they have closet companies alter closet/areas. When the sorting and thinning out doesn’t happen first the new closet systems and containers may not be effective enough.”
“After the hard work is done and they have new systems in place, maintenance becomes so important. It should be easier to maintain if they really worked at the thinning out and assessing what is needed to support their family. I believe that maintaining a space is 80% of being organized.”
“Remember, the 5 seconds it takes to put something away is a lot better than the 5-10 minutes looking for it.”
Cindy Wendzicki from Daily Details Concierge offers some additional tips.
“Rooms should be decluttered, sorted and organized, clear open spaces, have a drawer or basket to give your child for a quick pick up that they need to empty when there is free time, this will help with distractions when getting ready for school and for bed. Have your kids help with the process that will help them feel responsible to keep it kept clean.”
“Donate often, have a tub in the basement or garage for easy access to throw items in that are too small or that you don’t like anymore. Make it as easy as you can to let kids know it is ok to let go of items they no longer need and it will make someone else happy and feel special.”
Perhaps most importantly, heed these words from Stacy Hove—owner of Conquer Your Clutter Organizing, LLC: "The best things in life aren't things."
With that in mind, take the time to rid yourself of items that might save space in your life while adding value to another person’s world.
“Bedrooms should be kept simplified. Less is more in a person’s sleeping space adult or child. Create a nightly routine with this as well. Have the child/adult select clothing to be worn the next day and have it placed in the same place for easy finding.”
“Keeping your home clutter-free and controlling what you allow to come into your home is vital to a healthier, happier, less stressful environment. Less is more. Having things in place at home helps carry a person to other areas of their life as well.”
Position: Donation Center /Truck Driver
Employment Type: Full Time
Hours per week: 40
Work Hours: Hours vary between 8 AM – PM, including rotating weekend
Starting Salary Range: $11.00/hr. with paid healthcare benefits and holidays
The Truck Driver/Donation Center Attendant is responsible in assisting the direction of donated merchandise from donors, providing exceptional customer service while completing pickup and deliveries in the community, maintaining a clean, safe, and pleasant work site, and implementing St. Vincent de Paul’s mission, under the direct supervision of the Logistics Manager.
- Operating the truck.
- Fueling the vehicle.
- Keeping the truck a smoke-free area.
- Cleaning out truck cab daily.
- Using safe care and handling of donated goods at all times.
- Following established procedure when donor is not home and for rejecting items.
- Inspecting truck each morning.
- Ensuring hardcopies match electronic copies for daily pickups/deliveries.
- Properly unloading merchandise into appropriate storage locations.
- Partnering with furniture lead to help organize furniture in furniture area from daily pickups at beginning and end of each shift.
- Mapping out truck route for each day.
- Assisting in recycling efforts.
- Representing SVdP in a positive manner by providing exceptional customer service.
- Maintaining quality service by enforcing organization policies.
- Completing all job duties in a safe manner.
- Assuming additional responsibilities as needed.
- High School Diploma or equivalent.
- Warehouse experience preferred.
- Previous forklift certification preferred.
- Must be able to communicate effectively with staff, volunteers, and donors.
- Must be able to work a flexible schedule including some weekends and early evenings.
- Regularly lift and/or move objects that weigh more than 100 lbs.
- Valid Driver’s License.
When our volunteers make home visits, they can’t help but notice trends. One of these volunteers mentioned the many barricades single mothers face, and recent findings compiled by the Women’s Fund for the Fox Valley Region, the Fond du Lac Area Women’s Fund, the Women’s Fund of Greater Green Bay, and the Women’s Fund of the Oshkosh Area Community Foundation.
Their report on the Status of Women in Northeast Wisconsin revealed that female-headed households account for roughly one-quarter of all households in the region but more than half (59%) of the households below poverty. The 2:1 ratio hasn’t changed much since 2009, and it is consistent in our area as well as across the state.
Imagine any of the following scenarios:
- A woman who got married before finishing her college degree, stayed at home with her children, and then ended up divorced, jobless, without an education, and with a significant gap in her resume.
- A mother who left an abusive partner.
- A sexual assault victim raising a child or children while struggling with the trauma of the assault.
Once the single mother is on her own, her struggle doesn’t end.
Oppression is intersectional, and the barricades single mothers face are deeply entrenched in a culture that is patriarchal at best—and misogynist at worst. The types of jobs many of these women can find pay wages too low for them to pay for childcare, which means they either miss work or juggle part-time jobs instead—a solution that may help them make it through the day, even if it doesn’t support long-term security.
Fortunately, our community has programs like Harbor House’s JumpStart, which has empowered women to take on untraditional careers in ways that make them financially self-sufficient. There are innovative, exciting resources like this that agencies across the Valley have come up with to address issues related to access. We need to keep thinking creatively about how to meet people where they are with the tools they need to slowly build confidence, social cohesion, and resiliency in the face of social and economic obstacles.
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If we want to address systemic poverty, we need to work together. That's what we're so excited that two of our full-time staff members--our Mission Services Coordinator and our Next Step Coordinator--will have offices in LEAVEN's soon-to-open one-stop community resource center.
LEAVEN has worked closely with many basic needs-serving agencies to identify the gaps in service that individuals experiencing poverty face every day. Learn more about their work here, and about how their work with the POINT (Poverty Outcomes and Improvement Network Team) Project catalyzed their efforts to bring together a supportive network of resources in one place.
We're excited to be a part of LEAVEN's expansion--and so happy for our community. We know we'll see a shift in poverty as individuals have better access to the supportive services they need when crises prevent them from having access to the resources they need to meet their basic needs. The resource center will definitely remove some of the barricades individuals face, and it will help us all begin to understand what difficulties we still need to think about as we work toward our long-term mission and vision of ending poverty through systemic change.
In March, SVdP received support through the CRS Rice Bowl--a grant sponsored by Catholic Relief Services and the Diocese of Green Bay. These funds were collected and made available to aid immigrant and refugee people struggling to meet their basic needs.
We live in a community that has seen shifting demographic patterns. Although Wisconsin is less diverse than the United States as a whole, the Fox Cities has seen an increase by a little more than 2% over the past eight years, and the LIFE Study notes that the number of different nationalities represented in the Fox Cities region has increased slightly.
When families come to us from referral partners in need of furniture, clothing, and other items, we're able to make them feel welcome and included, and the items they can find in the store give them the tools they need to create a stable, safe home.
Being able to offer culturally-cognizant services to individuals experiencing multiple barricades to meeting their basic needs is critical if we want to ensure everyone in the Fox Cities has access to the quality of life they deserve.
In an article about poverty in India published several years ago, freelance journalist Gupta explained that "clothing and dignity go hand in hand."
While his observations of extreme poverty may not resonate for people in the Fox Cities, the sentiment does hold true that we can look within our community for resources to support and sustain people faced with economic adversity.
When you donate clothes at St. Vincent de Paul we make sure that everything goes back into our community: quality items are available to individuals identified by our community partners as needing extra support through vouchers--and they're also available for shoppers, whose money all goes back into programming. What we can't sell stays out of the landfill.
The right outfit doesn't fix a person's problems. It can, however, play a role in empowering an individual to feel stronger and more confident so that she or he can move toward self-sufficiency.
Last year, volunteers provided more than 34,000 hours of service in our store and for our programs. Without their help, we wouldn't be able to meet the needs of economically marginalized people in our community. We're grateful for all of their work--and for the bakeries that provide treats for them.
Atlanta Bread Company, Simple Simon Bakery, and Manderfield's all provide bread, bagels, and pastries for the people who make our programs happen. Thanks also to volunteers Helen and Pat Hart, and Gloria and Tom Hunt who pick up these items.
Kneading bread takes a lot of muscle, which makes it the perfect metaphor for the effort our volunteers put into meeting community needs.
Interested in joining our volunteer team? We're especially in need of help on weekdays from noon or 1 until 4 p.m. in clothing and sorting. Contact Erica if you'd like to find out more details.
When I am worried about whether or not my paycheck will stretch as far as I want--and need--it to, I toss and turn. My restless nights have taken a toll in the past on my sense of security, which is why I started getting serious about keeping a smarter budget. I've taken small steps that help me rest assured I won't find myself in a crisis situation.
It's hard for me to even imagine how many sleepless nights our neighbors in need have when they're dealing with economic adversity--and don't have a bed they can sleep on.
That's why I'm passionate about our Bed Program. Over 250 families in the Fox Valley needed this service last year.
Rest assured, every dollar--and every donation--makes a difference.
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