Responding to the needs of immigrant families

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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.  

"Clothing and dignity go hand in hand"

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.  

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Everyone in the world has a right to a dignified life, not just the chance to survive.  Clothing and dignity go hand in hand.
— Gupta