Fall 2022 Newsletter

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FALL 2022
WAY ST. VINCENT’S WAY Give Hope This Holiday Season
Society of St. Vincent de Paul—Cincinnati District Council


Cincinnati truly shined during last month’s BLINK light festival. Over two million people flooded the city streets to see magnificent displays of light – making it Cincinnati’s biggest event ever! BLINK is a celebration of art, technology and culture, but most of all it’s an opportunity for people from all walks of life to gather together and show off the qualities that make our city such a unique and special place to call home.

As the holiday season approaches, we will soon hear the story of another magnificent display of light —one that brought together both noble men and lowly shepherds to witness its glory. In the story of the Three Magi, we learn about a group of wise and distinguished men who saw the star and dropped what they were doing in order to be present to honor Christ. The shepherds, too, are visited by angels who illuminate the night sky and proclaim Jesus’ birth. They leave their flocks to seek out the good news.

As we prepare our hearts and minds for the birth of Jesus this Advent, I ask you to consider how you can be present to Christ this season. How can you show up for those who Christ calls us to serve –the lonely, the forgotten, the oppressed?

Every day, our Vincentians visit the homes of people in need across Cincinnati and Hamilton County. They provide material assistance to help meet basic needs, but even further they listen to neighbors’ stories, bear witness to suffering and injustices, and offer comfort and support, often through praying together.

Our Vincentians are the hands and feet of our ministry in the community, but you don’t have to be a Vincentian to make a difference in the life of someone who is struggling. We all have unique gifts we can share. We all have ways we can show up and be present for our brothers and sisters in need. Around the holidays at St. Vincent de Paul, the opportunities are nearly endless! I invite you to turn to page 7 of this newsletter for

a list of upcoming events, programs and initiatives.

Whether your involvement is by giving of your time, giving financially, or mobilizing your network for a drive/collection, we are tremendously grateful for your support, which enables us to respond when people reach out in need. You are the embodiment of our slogan, neighbors helping neighbors. Through every corner of this city, you shine a light on the best we have to offer–compassion, kindness, and hope.

P.S. The holidays are extra special this year as we welcome our new CEO, Brad McMonigle. Stay tuned for more details about Brad’s first days in office, coming soon!

St. Vincent de Paul Announces New CEO

St. Vincent de Paul – Cincinnati (SVDP) has announced that Brad McMonigle will assume the role of CEO, effective Nov. 28, 2022. McMonigle comes to St. Vincent de Paul from Talbert House, where he worked since 2013. Most recently, McMonigle served as Chief Clinical Officer, providing strategic leadership over Talbert House programming and staffing.

“I am grateful to have the opportunity to follow in the footsteps of Mike Dunn; he has led St. Vincent de Paul to great heights during his tenure. I am honored to be able to serve the leadership team, staff, Vincentians, and our neighbors in the community. Bringing my experience in the social services field and my faith together to help serve our community aligns with St. Vincent de Paul’s vision ‘to bring faith alive through service to others, one neighbor at a time,’” McMonigle says.

McMonigle will provide overall leadership in the planning, design, implementation and evaluation of all program components of SVDP.

“This is an exciting moment for St. Vincent de Paul,” Alison Zlatic, SVDP President says. “Brad’s strong commitment to his Catholic faith and proven track record as a servant leader will help lead our organization into its next chapter of growth and opportunity.”

You can help welcome Brad by sending him a note at BMcMonigle@SVDPcincinnati.org.

Cincinnati District Council President

SVDP Charitable Pharmacy Celebrates Milestone as it Moves Toward Expansion

In 2006, its first year of operations, the St. Vincent de Paul Charitable Pharmacy filled 7,000 free prescriptions for neighbors in need. Sixteen years later and that number has grown to over 70,000 prescriptions filled in the past year.

Last month, the Charitable Pharmacy reached a new milestone when it exceeded $100 million worth of medications dispensed since opening. It’s a huge achievement for St. Vincent de Paul – and for the many patients who otherwise would not be able to afford their lifesaving prescriptions.

“I hear those words to our staff every day: ‘you saved my life,’” says Dr. Rusty Curington, Director of Pharmacy. “It fuels us to keep going.”

While providing access to lifesaving medications is a critical service, the Charitable Pharmacy has always been about more than just dispensing medications. Its mission is to help patients improve their overall health and wellbeing. That’s reflected in each patient’s comprehensive medication reviews, screenings for social determinants of health, as well as the Pharmacy’s innovative clinical initiatives such as diabetes selfmanagement education and tobacco cessation counseling, all provided at no charge.

“It’s important to remember that behind every number is a person. The stability, dignity and health of our neighbors in need is the most important result the Charitable Pharmacy achieves each year,” Curington says.

The Charitable Pharmacy is a crucial resource for neighbors like Jeffrey who face challenges in managing chronic illnesses. Before turning to St. Vincent de Paul, Jeffrey recalls landing in the hospital 20 times in a year. When one

visit led to doctors surgically amputating his toes, Jeffrey says he promised himself that he would make changes to get his health in check.

“It has been a journey that’s been hard,” Jeffrey says. It’s a journey that has led him beyond taking carefully regimented medications. He has also quit smoking, lost weight, and – thanks to the Catino Choice Food Pantry –changed his diet to include plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables each day.

“I didn’t think I would live to 45, and certainly not 50. I recently celebrated my 62nd birthday,” Jeffrey says, adding: “I’m a walking miracle.”

This fall, St. Vincent de Paul launched the Prescribing Hope Campaign to expand the Charitable Pharmacy for more neighbors like Jeffrey. The $5 million campaign will improve patients’ access to care, broaden St. Vincent de Paul’s pharmaceutical programs and operations, and enhance the Charitable Pharmacy’s long-term sustainability. Specific campaign goals include:

• Opening a third Charitable Pharmacy location inside the Milford Thrift Store and expanding the Pharmacy’s reach beyond Hamilton, Butler, Warren and Clermont Counties to residents of Adams, Brown, Clinton and Highland Counties

• Enhancing nurse practitioner-led health services and strengthening clinical programs

• Growing SVDP’s procurement of donated medications

• Increasing weekly hour of operations at the Charitable Pharmacy in Western Hills

• Expanding navigation services to help patients access health insurance, prompting successful transistions out of the Charitable Pharmacy and creating room for new patients

• Expanding opportunities for pharmacy learners (fellows, residents, students) to participate in experiential education

Over $3.2 million has been committed to the Prescribing Hope Campaign so far. For more information about the Prescribing Hope Campaign, or to make a donation, please contact Claire Luby-Colton at CLuby@SVDPcincinnati.org or visit SVDPcincinnati.org/hope.

Pharmacy patient Jeffrey J.

“Hues of Hope” Light Up the Runway

“Hues of Hope”

For sixteen years, St. Vincent de Paul has partnered with the University of Cincinnati’s College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning (DAAP) to present RetroFittings, a fashion show fundraiser that ties together thrifted items and high fashion. UC fashion students transform pieces they find at SVDP thrift stores into runway masterpieces. Each design is then showcased during a high-energy fashion show, in front of more than 400 people at Music Hall.

This year, students worked under the theme “Hues of Hope” to create each look, drawing inspiration on the resiliency and strength of neighbors receiving help from St. Vincent de Paul. Third-year student Cierra Calameise closed out the show, strutting down the runway in a white, gold and teal gown.

Not only did Calameise earn the top honor from her professors for the

dress -- she was also the only student designer to walk the catwalk in her own creation. “I fully understood the garment, and by modeling it as well I had more control of the way [it] was presented,” Calameise explains.

Calameise’s design, which she dubbed the “goddess of hope,” portrays hope personified as a “woman born through wreckage, but who blossoms and rebirths.” Students were given a limited budget to shop at St. Vincent de Paul’s eight local thrift stores to source materials for their designs.

“I just sort of threw anything that had potential in my cart,” Calameise says. “The toy section is where I really took inspiration. I remember seeing a kids racetrack and initially I didn’t take it, but then I dreamt about it and went back to buy it.”

The racetrack, revamped with paint to match her garment’s theme, was

utilized in the neckpiece of Calameise’s dress. Also among her thrifted finds, a Santa beard was sourced to create a beaded portion along the top of the gown. The end result is a garment that Calameise says portrays “elegance and angel wings” while being “regal and powerful.”

“Hope is scary. Sometimes it can be scary to embrace it, but once you do it can be so beautiful,” Calameise asserts.

Ticket sales from RetroFittings, in addition to sponsorships, boutique sales, raffle tickets, silent auction bids and pledges made during the event, raised over $197,000. Funds generated through RetroFittings will support St. Vincent de Paul’s programs, providing neighbors across Cincinnati and Hamilton County with basic needs assistance, and ultimately hope.

Special thanks to our Presenting Sponsor, Protective Life.

Up the Runway
Cierra Calameise



Jane Weber, Treasurer at St. Matthias Conference, was presented the Top Hat Award for her exemplification of the spirit of our Society’s founder, Blessed Frederic Ozanam.

Kathy Nienaber, who nominated Weber for the award, commended her for her dedication to service and advocacy for neighbors in need. “Jane exemplifies what we all aspire to be at St. Vincent de Paul,” Nienaber says.

“I remember a case where one young man was ready to die. She got him food and his medicine on a monthly basis and even arranged with a surgeon at a hospital to waive his fee to get this young man well. In another case, a women lost her veteran daughter to suicide; Jane has taken her to visit the grave when the neighbor’s car was broken and bought her lunch out of her own pocket when this neighbor was at her lowest.”

Larry Hurley, President at St. Antoninus Conference, was honored with the Fires of Faith Award, recognizing his contributions to the spiritual growth of his Conference.

“On home visits, Larry always thanks neighbors for the opportunity to help them,” says nominator Michael Gideon. “He never talks down to people. He makes them feel important and truly cares about them. Larry always says a prayer at the end of the home visit thanking God for the opportunity to help our neighbors and asking God to bless them and their homes.”

Gideon adds: “When he tells people about the St. Vincent de Paul food pantry at Bank Street, and they say they have no way to get there, Larry responds with, ‘What time do you want me to pick you up? I’ll take you.’”


The Ozanam Award is awarded to a non-Vincentian who embodies the Vincentian spirit of love and service to others. This year’s Ozanam Award Winner is Bill Kuebler.

Kuebler has served the community for over a decade as a volunteer for St. Leo Food Pantry and St. Catharine School in Westwood. Describing Kuebler as a “mathematics kind-ofguy,” Stephen Lang of St. Ann Conference commends him for his routine pickups of meat, produce and baked goods that help keep St. Leo’s pantry running. Kuebler often does all of the calculations for product reports in his head.

Most importantly: “Bill makes people feel good all the time,” Lang says. “He is totally aware of the importance of each child or pantry visitor. Bill is constantly looking for opportunities to improve the situation.” Thanks to Kuebler, the pantry at St. Leo’s now helps stock pantry shelves at St. Ann, St. Boniface and St. Therese Little Flower.

Over one hundred Vincentians, staff, and friends of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul gathered for our Fall Fellowship mass and awards program on September 26. The ceremonies included the commissioning of five new Conference Presidents and three Vincentian Volunteers of Cincinnati (VVCs). We are delighted to highlight this year’s award winners. JANE WEBER LARRY HURLEY

Feeding Hungry Families

Did you know that over half of the families served by St. Vincent de Paul’s Catino Choice Food Pantry are first-time visitors? In the past year, 58% of neighbors who shopped in the Catino Choice Food Pantry relied on the service one time throughout the year, demonstrating the pantry’s role in providing emergency aid.

With your help, neighbors like Deanna will be able to visit St. Vincent de Paul food pantries this season, as added costs are tightening families’ budgets. Every gift you make to St. Vincent de Paul food pantries helps provide a nutritious meal for a family in need.

Financial donations can be made through the

for one week. Can you host a


‘PRESCRIPTION FORE FUN’ GOLF OUTING AND WINE & BOURBON TASTING Our 15th annual event raised over $106,000 -- all helping to ensure neighbors have access to their lifesaving prescription medications. Special thanks to Presenting Sponsor, Protective Life. envelope included, or visit SVDPcincinnati.org. Just $60 helps feed four families food drive St. Vincent de Paul at your parish, school or office? Contact Events
& Partnerships Manager Lilly Pinhas at LPinhas@SVDPcincinnati.org. HOPE TO DREAM Seventy-five children and their families were invited to the Cincinnati Reds Youth Academy for a special morning of activities as each received a new bed of their own, thanks to Morris Furniture Company, Ashley, Chick-fil-A and WCPO 9. TRUNK OR TREAT Students from SVDP Youth Conferences at McNicholas, Roger Bacon, St. Ursula and Mount Notre Dame hosted families for a fun afternoon of treats and crafts as we celebrated the spooky season.



We’re teaming up with St. Vincent de Paul of Northern Kentucky to collect new and gently used coats to distribute to thousands of neighbors across the Tri-State. Could your school, business, parish or sports team host a barrel for coat collection? Please contact our Events & Partnerships Manager, Lilly Pinhas, at LPinahs@SVDPcincinnati.org or call 513-562-8854. Coats may also be dropped off at any Great er Cincinnati St. Vincent de Paul thrift store. Special thanks to our partners for this year’s Coat Drive: WLWT, Warm 98.5, Gold Star Chili and Lemasters Consulting.


During our Coat Distribution events, we invite neighbors to hand select new winter coats for themselves and their families. We need volunteers to help sort and hang donated coats ahead of these events, as well as day-of volunteers to help greet and shop with neighbors. Please email volunteers@SVDPcincinnati.org to sign up. New volunteers are always welcome!


Every child deserves to have a present to unwrap on Christmas morning. That’s why we help match families in need of assistance with sponsors through our Christmas Together program. Sponsors are matched based on their family size preference, and can deliver presents directly to families’ homes, or drop off gifts to St. Vincent de Paul at our Neyer Outreach Center (1146 Bank Street). If you can help make Christmas merry and bright as a Christmas Together sponsor, please email ChristmasTogether@SVDPcincinnati.org to sign up.


Help us transform our Neyer Outreach Center into the North Pole during our Angel Toy Program! Parents, who are selected based on need, are invited to shop for their families in our toy room on certain days in December. We are currently seeking toy donations, as well as volunteers to assist neighbors selecting presents. Consider dropping off a new, unwrapped toy to the Neyer Outreach Center, or sign up for a volunteer shift by emailing volunteers@SVDPcincinnati.org.


St. Vincent de Paul, Kroger and Xavier University are once again partnering in an effort to help alleviate hunger in our community. Xavier Athletics will host a food drive prior to the men’s basketball game against Seton Hall on Tuesday, December 20. Fans who donate outside Cintas Center will receive a special ticket offer for the men’s basketball game against UConn, along with two free tickets to any women’s basketball game this season. Food collected will help stock pantry shelves at the Becky & Ted Catino Choice Food Pantry, as well as SVDP’s Conference food pantry network.

1125 Bank Street Cincinnati, OH 45214-2130 Non Profit Org US Postage Paid Cincinnati, OH Permit #1106 Visit SVDPcincinnati.org/coats for drop-off locations. Share the Warmth Donate A Coat Today!

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