Donor Spotlight: Daniel Gionet, Passionately Changing Lives!
For over 10 years, Dan has given of his time, talent and treasure to SVdP CARES! His volunteer work at the Community Thrift Store in St. Petersburg is invaluable as he tests and repairs donated electronics before they are put out on the sales floor. Sometimes he is literally bringing those electronics back to life. He makes it possible for the SVdP CARES Community Thrift Store to provide top notch electronics to its patrons. When sold, profits help fund the work to end homeless and obliterate poverty, one family, or individual at a time.
After serving in the Air Force, Dan went to University of Florida on the GI bill, and became an electrical engineer. After a rewarding career with several private companies, he retired in 2001. As a Vincentian, Dan volunteered with the St. John’s SVdP Parish Conference doing home visits to assist people who were struggling to make ends meet. Through his volunteering at the Parish Conference (for over 20 years!), his love for the mission of SVdP began.
That love and passion lead him to begin volunteering at the SVdP CARES Community Thrift Store in 2008. To this day, he spends hours in the back room of the Store fixing and testing all electronics that will be sold. He is truly masterful at his craft. The people SVdP CARES serve have definitely benefitted from his 45 years plus experience in electrical engineering.
Dan’s love for his family, his faith, and St. Vincent de Paul is palpable. He believes in the mission of SVdP CARES, and is making a true difference in the world. Thank you Dan for your investment in SVdP CARES, your dedication, and your service to our country!
SVdP CARES’ volunteers are a critical part of the team working with staff to help change lives. Consider being a part of the work to help end homelessness, and alleviate the challenges of poverty. Become a volunteer. Go to https://www.svdpsp.org/volunteer-application-1/
Donor Spotlight: Anne Marie and Chet Jordan
Anne Marie began her relationship with SVDP CARES by serving meals in our Food Center with her daughter Alexis during summer break over five years ago. She enjoyed the experience so much; she also began doing meal prep, food sorting and helping kitchen staff. "I was amazed at how the Executive Chef could create healthy, nutritious meals for so many people with such limited and unpredictable resources.” she remarked. “It was like witnessing God’s work with the 'Loaves and fishes’.”
The phrase refers to the Bible story in which Jesus blesses a small amount of fish and loaves of bread, resulting in the disciples having enough food to distribute to thousands of people. This is what we do every day.
“I was immediately impressed by how SVdP CARES approaches the problem of homelessness with such compassion and with deep knowledge of its complexities. They have built an efficient and dedicated organization having a solid impact on the lives of people in crisis.” Mr. Jordan notes.
Chet shares; “People could choose any number of organizations to support with their time and resources. We started to learn more about the organization and the extent of their programs. We learned about their success in people’s lives. They have a culture of fiscal transparency, efficiency and responsibility. That resulted in SVDP CARES being an organization we are proud to help represent.”
Anne Marie and Chet wish that more people were aware of both the great need in our area for the services provided by SVdP CARES, and of the great job that this precious organization does in alleviating immediate suffering and providing a path to a better future for people. Both have recently become part of our Donor Engagement Group to help deliver this message and increase the support of the good work done at SVdP CARES.
Chet grew up being ‘volunteered’ by his mother for such things as stuffing envelopes and for the causes she was involved with. He became aware of the Bridging Families program at SVdP CARES and wanted to learn more and support that initiative. He has served on various non-profit, corporate boards and business organizations while living in Maine. Newly retired, he is focusing on helping organizations providing support, education and skill building for families and children. Raised in Portland, Maine with his younger sister by a single mom in the 60’s and 70’s, Chet’s memories of his upbringing inform his desire to help others challenged with poverty.
Anne Marie has been involved in many nonprofits that include Rape Crisis organizations, ESOL tutoring programs, the American Red Cross, church outreach, Avian Rehabilitation, and Avian Education programs.
Birds have been Anne Marie's passion since her childhood in Augusta, Maine, and she currently has her own enterprise called Edufeathers. She provides no-cost wildlife education presentations featuring live, non-releasable birds and animals to nursing homes and ALFs.
Anne Marie also has lots of fun volunteering to provide these programs to the children in the SVDP CARES Bridging Families Program. Pictured here is Anne Marie with her owls (Basil and Scooter) in the Center of Hope Family Shelter here on campus. “Children always come up with the best questions!"
SVdP CARES is grateful to Anne Marie and Chet for making a difference through their gifts of time and talent, and through their generous financial support.
A home of their own
Nicole is the mother to four adorable boys. The journey here to SVdP CARES Center of Hope began when Nicole left a domestic violence situation with the father of her four children. Raising four children is a big job, but Nicole was left with no choice when her relationship with their father turned violent.
Nicole is a survivor, with four children to take care of. When the odds were stacked against this little family they also lost everything due to a house fire. Although they were able to stay with family, that period was short lived. Nicole found herself homeless, with four little mouths to feed.
Nicole works from home doing 2 jobs so she can stay with her youngest child who has Down syndrome. The children have always been her first priority. When Nicole ran out of options for housing, broke and scared, she brought her family to the Center of Hope.
Caring for four children alone while living in a shelter was not what she planned, but her life took some serious turns. Once she was able to have a stable living situation at the Center of Hope, Nicole worked diligently with our staff. As of result of her efforts, we learned that Nicole was a perfect candidate for our Rapid Re-Housing program called Bridging Families.
The Center of Hope Bridging Families Program works to stabilize families experiencing housing crisis by providing them with a safe environment to reside while they work to secure more stable housing in the community. Your gifts make this possible.
We are pleased to report that Nicole and her children are thriving in their new home. Her story is just one of many, where SVdP CARES Center of Hope has ended homelessness and alleviated poverty.
With the support of committed donors like you, we are able to impact thousands every year, and end their homelessness.
We are pleased to announce in conjunction with the Gulf Coast Community Foundation, that we are starting a new program in Sarasota County to address the homeless population. Michael Raposa, CEO of St. Vincent de Paul CARES, says the new program intends to remove as many barriers as possible to individuals, especially those who may be ineligible for other social services. “You don’t need to be clean or sober. You don’t need a job,” he says. “This is a holistic approach to ending homelessness for this client.”
The following links are the articles about this exciting new partnership in Sarasota:
Thank you to the donors in the Sarasota region for making this a reality, and to you, for being a part of the vision to help end homelessness, making it rare, brief and non-recurring.
You may have noticed when you read the articles that our CEO Michael J. Raposa used the name St. Vincent de Paul CARES (SVdP CARES). As SVdP South Pinellas expands and now covers five counties, we are in the process of upgrading our brand to St. Vincent de Paul CARES.
Although we are committed to our mission here in South Pinellas and the City of St. Petersburg, we are excited to include the counties: Pinellas, Pasco, Hillsborough, Polk and Sarasota in our efforts to end homelessness. It is our belief that the name SVdP CARES reflects our regional outreach beyond South Pinellas.