“It’s important to practice my faith, and I’m a hands-on kind of guy,” explained John de la Fontaine, Conference president at St. Dominic Parish, as he washed the dishes from their Hope Dinner.
Hope Dinner is the Conference’s weekly free meal program for low-income seniors and the community’s homeless. John, fellow Vincentian Volunteers and parish volunteers prepare 100 meals every Friday to feed the hungry who attend. Sometimes there is enough food left over for seconds and to-go boxes that people can take with them.
The dinner also serves as an opportunity for the hungry to sit in a safe place and share a warm meal in fellowship with their neighbors.
“The [volunteers] help a lot. They give us socks, soap, deodorant. A LOT of deodorants, like, what are they trying to say?!” exclaimed Jim, one of the dinner guests between bites of pasta. Laughter erupted from the rest of the people at the table, all of whom are also homeless.
Hope Dinner is just one of the Conference’s programs. They also provide daily sack-lunches, conduct home visits to provide assistance to those on the verge of homelessness and sponsor children for St. Vincent de Paul’s Circle V Ranch Camp.
“We try to do what we can, and when our resources are limited, we stretch them out and do the best with what we have. We care,” said John with a smile while drying the final dish.
To get involved with Hope Dinner or any of the programs hosted by St. Dominic’s Conference of Charity in Eagle Rock, CA please contact St. Dominic Parish at (323) 254-2519 and ask for their St. Vincent de Paul Ministry.
Not in the Eagle Rock area? To become a Vincentian Volunteer at a Conference of Charity closer to you, please contact email@example.com.