By Sarah Mouchet
staff writer 

Society of St. Vincent de Paul

Good News Tehachapi


October 14, 2023

The Society of St. Vincent de Paul (SVDP) was formed in Paris in 1833 by a group of lay Catholics. The society's mission was simple: to help those in need and follow in the philanthropic footsteps of their patron saint, St. Vincent de Paul.

About 190 years later, SVDP is active in 150 countries with over 1.5 million volunteers and 2,500 conferences, one of which operates in conjunction with the St. Malachy Catholic Church in Tehachapi. Since 2001, the St. Malachy Conference of St. Vincent de Paul has offered many forms of aid, including food and bills assistance, to the people of Tehachapi.

Home visits are one of the core aspects of the SVDP mission, which aims to provide personalized help and spiritual connection based on individual need. The St. Malachy SVDP expresses, "If we see a need, we fill it." Without restrictions from COVID-19, the St. Malachy SVDP has been able to return to doing regular home visits. They offer a variety of monetary assistance including utilities, rent and prescriptions. Unusual requests are always considered and often able to be fulfilled.

On Wednesdays and Fridays from 9:45 to 11:45 a.m., the St. Malachy SVDP runs a food pantry on the church grounds where people can receive a monthly grocery bag, as well as sign up for other kinds of aid. Because connecting with people at the home level is a core part of their mission, the St. Malachy SVDP has the ability and willingness to deliver food and aid to those who are unable to pick up food or supplies; to meet peoples' needs where they are able to be met.

The organization runs entirely on donations, mostly from the St. Malachy parish and Tehachapi community. Save Mart donates day-old pastries and bread and the St. Malachy SVDP often picks up food from a larger pantry in Bakersfield. As the holiday season approaches, winter clothing, food and volunteers will be desperately needed. New winter clothing, blankets, sealed food and cash donations can be dropped off at the St. Malachy Catholic Church at 107 W. E St., Tehachapi, on Wednesday and Friday from 9:45 to 11 a.m.

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