Volunteers have been at the heart of the work of the Société de Saint-Vincent de Paul de Montréal for more than 170 years 

8 April 2019

PUBLISHED APRIL 8, 2019 - This is National Volunteer Week and the Société de Saint-Vincent de Paul de Montréal (SSVP) is particularly proud to honour its volunteers, who play an essential role in our organization.

The SSVP has remained active for more than 170 years thanks to more than a thousand women and men who are committed, respectful and available to answer the call! Each day, SSVP volunteers are at work in the Montreal, Laval and MRC de L’Assomption regions to help their community. Some work at our second-hand stores; they sort, organize and touch up donations to generate revenue to fund our support activities. Other volunteers prefer to involve themselves directly with our clients, offering a sympathetic ear and referrals or providing food aid (supplies and grocery vouchers).

In other words, our model is based primarily on the involvement of volunteers. That’s how the SSVP can be active over a large area and offer more than 35,000 actions yearly. Our points of service are veritable hubs of citizen involvement and social action, bringing together people from different walks of life who all share the same objective: to help people experiencing difficult situations. These local centres offer concrete opportunities for citizens to get involved at the neighbourhood level.

We are proud to be an organization that has been creating social action in communities for more than 170 years. In the past, it was as charitable action at the parish level that many people chose to become involved with us. Today, our model has adapted to social trends, now focusing more on citizen action. We welcome everyone who would like to act on problems related to poverty (material deprivation, food insecurity, resource deficiencies, etc.), no matter their origins or social group, always implementing our values of acceptance and involvement. These values provide meaning for the volunteer activities which are the focus of our organization.

And of course, we are extremely proud of our volunteers and everything they accomplish each day. We are proud that their involvement is so meaningful and that they share it with the people who call on our services.

That’s why we believe National Volunteer Week is a wonderful initiative to underline the central role that these volunteers play in our society. Of course these people help fill the needs that are not met by the market or government institutions. In addition, this movement generates a sense of purpose in our society where such touchstones are often lacking.

About the Société de Saint-Vincent de Paul de Montréal

The Société de Saint-Vincent de Paul was one of the first mutual aid organizations, founded in Quebec in 1848, with strong roots in various neighbourhoods in Montreal, Laval and the MRC de L’Assomption. Thanks to more than a thousand volunteers, at about 69 points of service, the SSVP offers listening, referral, support and assistance services to the most vulnerable. Due to the community involvement of our volunteers and their willingness to create connections, our actions promote the dignity, autonomy and integration into the community of people through food support, school retention and social insertion programs, as well as by offering access to basic necessities.