Summer/Fall Newsletter 2023

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It Takes a Village

Your involvement spreads hope across Greater Cincinnati

Society of St. Vincent de Paul—Cincinnati District Council


There is a parable that I think of often. In the story, a boy and an old man are walking along the seashore when they see hundreds of starfish scattered along the sand. The boy begins picking them up, one by one, and throwing them back into the sea. The old man turns to him and asks, “Why do you bother to throw the starfish back? There are so many of them; you will never be able to save them all. Your efforts make no difference.” The boy looks up at the old man intently, throws a starfish into the sea, and says, “It made a difference to that one.”

During the past year, as we have moved through an inclusive and comprehensive visioning process to develop the plan that will provide our guiding path for the next three years, we find ourselves at a crossroads; while we see unprecedented need in our community, we also deeply recognize the need to reaffirm our commitment to individualized, relational service that leads to transformation in both those serving and those served.

Our Better Together Strategic Plan, which will guide us from 2024-2026, challenges us to focus on impactful service through four key pillars:

Together, we will Strengthen our Foundations by supporting and empowering our more than 55 Conferences, which are at the heart of our heritage and mission. We will do this through material support, faith formation, and accompaniment of our 1,100 Vincentians as they strive to serve our community during a time of unique challenge and opportunity.

Together, we will Build Resources and Relationships. In the coming years, we will take time to better understand community perceptions about our mission and grasp opportunities to introduce new community partners and supporters to our unique and critical work.

Together, we will Serve our Neighbors With Dignity by reaffirming the importance of relational, holistic service in our programs through a comprehensive review of and process enhancements to them, ensuring that we are meeting current needs and that we are serving with maximum impact.

Finally, together, we will Empower and Invest in our Team. Our employees are peerless, and they deserve nothing but the best. We commit to accompanying and supporting them as they grow professionally and spiritually.

We know that St. Vincent de Paul’s work is part of God’s plan for his people, and that we will be successful as we execute this bold and missional plan. As a supporter of SVDP, you are an essential part of this work. Please continue to pray for us, our mission, and the persons we are honored to serve.


APhA Foundation, the foundation of the oldest and largest national professional society of pharmacists in the United States, the American Pharmacists Association.

Mike Espel, retired Director of Pharmacy, and Lydia Bailey, Pharmacy Operations Manager, traveled to Washington, DC to accept the award on behalf of SVDP.

“The team is overjoyed to accept such a prestigious award recognizing excellence in the medication use process,” says Dr. Rusty Curington, VP of Pharmacy for St. Vincent de Paul. “We thank God for His divine intervention that brought together the right people, resources and need to not only dispense free medications but show positive health outcomes in an underserved population. Thank you to all involved at APhA for highlighting our outcomes-based community care model on a national level!”

The St. Vincent de Paul Charitable Pharmacy has received the 2023 Pinnacle Award from the

RetroFittings to Return to the Stage Oct. 19 Students Transform Thrift Store Finds into Extraordinary Designs

RetroFittings, presented by Protective Life, will return to Cincinnati Music Hall on Thursday, October 19. Each year, the fashion show fundraiser is St. Vincent de Paul’s largest event, drawing in nearly 400 guests as designs created by students at the University of Cincinnati’s College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning (DAAP) illuminate the runway.

Students are allotted $25 to a St. Vincent de Paul thrift store to source materials for their looks. This year, many students found inspiration in ordinary household items, such lamp shades, sleeping bags, faux floral arrangements, a deck of cards, VHS tapes, and even the pages of a Mirriam Webster dictionary.

RetroFittings is an opportunity for the DAAP students to put upcycling into practice – while simultaneously shining a light on the benefits of thrifting at St. Vincent de Paul. Shopping at your neighborhood St. Vincent de Paul thrift store not only helps to keep clothing and other goods out of landfills, but each purchase also generates support for St. Vincent de Paul’s outreach and assistance programs, providing aid, relief and hope to neighbors in our community.

Additionally, thousands of families and individuals are able to shop at St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Stores for clothing and essential housewares each year for free, thanks to our Voucher Program. Your donated clothing, furniture and other items are crucial to the success of this program, helping thousands of neighbors who face financial obstacles to purchasing these basic goods.

We are looking forward to another spectacular show at this year’s RetroFittings when these students’ imaginative designs will truly be brought to life. For more information, or to purchase tickets, please visit


Summer is for Serving

Celebration of Service, Presented by Protective Life

Over 350 people gathered at Anderson Pavilion and Carol Ann’s Carousel as SVDP honored Rob and Julia Heidt for their longtime advocacy and support of Cincinnati’s neighbors in need. Through gifts made in the Heidts’ honor, sponsorships, ticket sales, and a lead matching gift from the Heidts, $824,410 was raised in support of our Prescribing Hope Campaign, a record for this event.

Over the years, Rob and Julia Heidt’s generosity has been instrumental to the success of SVDP’s Homelessness Prevention Program, as well as the creation of the Heidt Family Foundation Health Services wing of SVDP’s Neyer Outreach Center.

Cincinnati Reds fans generously donated 8,900 lbs. of non-perishable food during the annual Strike Out Hunger food drive at Great American Ball Park, enough to provide 7,497 meals to neighbors in need!

The drive was a much-needed boost as more families accessed SVDP’s food pantry network than ever before. Notably, the Catino Choice Food Pantry served a record daily average of 90 families this summer. Thanks to the Reds, WLWT and 700WLW for ensuring Strike Out Hunger was a success, helping us to ensure food pantry shelves remained stocked for our neighbors in need.

As a record number of neighbors turned to St. Vincent grateful for your support. Your involvement helps ensure

Serving Our Neighbors

Vincent de Paul for assistance this summer, we are ensure our neighbors have access to basic necessities.

Prescription ‘Fore’ Fun Golf Outing and Wine & Bourbon Tasting

Thanks to the participation and generosity of our sponsors, silent auction donors and attendees, more than $105,000 was raised for the Charitable Pharmacy during our annual Golf Outing and Wine and Bourbon Tasting at Western Hills Country Club. Funds raised help ensure even more neighbors will have access to life-saving medications and pharmaceutical care. Special thanks to our Presenting Sponsor, Protective Life.

Fifty children are starting off the school year with a better night’s sleep, thanks to the generosity of Morris Furniture Company and WCPO 9. Children and their families, selected based on need, were invited to the Reds Youth Academy for the sixth annual Hope to Dream event.

Dozens of volunteers cheered as each child was presented with a new bed, mattress and comforter donated by Morris Furniture, plus sheets, backpacks, toys and other items made possible by our many sponsors and community partners. The event was followed by a telethon at WCPO 9, raising $27,400 to lift 156 more children off the floor and into a bed in the coming year.


Neighbors Helping Neighbors: Donors Find Hope in Giving Un-Used Medications

This summer, thanks to the passage of Ohio House Bill 558, St. Vincent de Paul Charitable Pharmacy began accepting community donations of un-used, non-expired insulin, inhalers and blood thinners. Accepting these donated medications, which may otherwise go to waste, expands SVDP’s capacity to provide free medications to patients in need across southwest Ohio. The Charitable Pharmacy filled a record number of prescriptions in May, and broke that record again in August, reaffirming this program’s significance


I remember looking for change under the couch cushions to find enough money for (my late wife’s) insulin. She wouldn’t want someone else to go through that.

as many neighbors continue to face obstacles to accessing their lifesaving prescriptions.

In addition to adding to our inventory, donors who brought us medications this summer have also brought us hope. We have been moved by the stories we have heard behind each donation – a reminder that both in receiving and in giving that we have the opportunity to be transformed. Here are quotes from just a few of those who donated medicine this summer:

doctor changed my meds. You helped me 10 years ago, and I finally have a chance to give back.
I just had to place my dad in a nursing home.
My dad passed away months ago, and I was waiting to donate.
6 SVDPCINCINNATI.ORG Interested in learning more about donating medications to SVDP Charitable Pharmacy? Call
My husband passed away yesterday. He would love to know that he is still helping others.



A good cause never goes out of style! Join us Thursday, October 19 at Cincinnati Music Hall for our 19th RetroFittings, presented by Protective Life. Students at University of Cincinnati’s College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning (DAAP) fashion program shop with a limited budget at our thrift stores to create unforgettable, fashion-forward designs. Proceeds from RetroFittings benefit the many programs of St. Vincent de Paul, helping to uplift thousands of neighbors. Secure your ticket today at


Since 2019, St. Vincent de Paul invites children from the West End community to the parking lot of the Liz Carter Center for trick-or-treat, games, and festive fall activities. Volunteers can bring huge smiles to our neighbors’ faces by dressing up and passing out candy from their trunks. To volunteer or donate candy, please email


Each year, St. Vincent de Paul hosts its Coat Drive to help ensure our neighbors stay warm throughout the winter months. Starting in mid-October, SVDP will collect coats, hats, mittens, scarves and other cold weather gear. Last year, thanks to over 100 schools, businesses and other groups, we were able to distribute over 2,800 coats to neighbors in need. Sign up to host a drive or find a location to drop off coats at


Help spread the joy of Christmas by donating to our Angel Toy Drive! Each year, thanks to the support from people like you, we collect thousands of toys for kids in our community. Families, who are pre-selected based on need, are invited to our Neyer Outreach Center throughout December to participate. Parents shop for presents while their kids are entertained with holiday activities and treats. More information on how to get involved in our Angel Toy Drive will be coming soon.



As we are met with unprecedented need from our neighbors, we have a unique opportunity for you to double your impact when you give on November 16. All donations made on November 16 will be matched, dollar for dollar, up to $100,000! Your support helps prevent more families from experiencing the trauma of eviction, ensures more children have a safe place to sleep at night, and puts food on the table for more neighbors struggling to make ends meet. New details about Double Your Donation Day will be released soon.


Holiday traditions so often include enjoying a homemade meal with our loved ones. Each Thanksgiving, St. Vincent de Paul distributes food boxes to neighbors, so that they can focus on what is important – time with family and friends. Last year, we served over 1,000 families during our Thanksgiving Food Distribution at our Neyer Outreach Center. To sign up to a volunteer for this distribution, either as an individual or with a group, please email

NOV. 16
1125 Bank Street Cincinnati, OH 45214-2130 Non Profit Org US Postage Paid Cincinnati, OH Permit #1106 DOUBLE YOUR DONATION DAY NOV. 16 Save The Date!
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