Society of St. Vincent de Paul-Indianapolis Archdiocesan Council, Inc.

Systemic Change

Have you ever wanted to make a lasting impact on someone’s life? Consider volunteering with our Changing Lives Forever program to help others learn to change their lives. The program is open to anyone who wants to live a self-sufficient life—financially and emotionally, while depending on God as the source of happiness and blessing. And we could use your help.

“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him forever.”— Anne Isabella Thackeray Ritchie, English Writer (1885)

The Changing Lives Forever program is a powerful tool for breaking the cycle of generational or situational poverty. The principles employed are part of SVdP’s Systemic Change Initiative designed to help people realize their true human potential as opposed to relying on others for basic needs. To learn more about the program, click here to hear Sheila Gilbert, President of St. Vincent de Paul-National, speak about this important work.

Changing Lives Forever

Our program graduates explain the journey best. Hear this graduate explain how her life was transformed and what she learned about herself during this program.

Changing Lives Forever Volunteer Opportunities

A truly gratifying way to spend your time and talents, this important program thrives because of volunteers like you who can offer encouragement, patience, good listening skills and a giving heart.


To share information through facilitating an 18 week program in your local parish after participating in training at the national and local level. Facilitators will lead discussion as class progress through the program workbooks and materials.

Subject Matter Experts

Share knowledge of specific areas such as finances, health and fitness, job search strategies, education and other topics of need.


Provide practical support and encouragement to a program participant for 12-16 months after graduation. Skills needed include patience, persistence, empathy, good listening, motivational, compassionate, sincere and committed.  Trusted Mentors, a long-time SVdP Indy partner, provides training and support to equip mentors with the best mentor-mentee pairing to ensure success.

Helping Hands

Minimally, brings lunch to one or more workshop sessions. Other areas of help could include bringing fresh fruit or snacks, setting up/tearing down and clean up. Help is also appreciated on graduation day, which may include food and cake preparation, decorations, set up/tear down and clean up.


Provides transportation for a participant to/from one or more sessions.

Child Care

When made available by the host conference, provides childcare at a specific location for one or more three-hour sessions during the 18-week program.


  1. Proper Dress
    Slacks, jeans, no shorts, modest tops. No sandals/flip flops.
  2. Be Respectful of Clients/Others
    We strive to see the face of Christ in those we serve, and serve with.
  3. Maintain Privacy/Confidentiality
    Our clients and volunteers deserve for their privacy to be honored.
  4. Be Aware of Hazards
    Keep work areas safe and free of trash.
  5. Report Incidents/Issues
    Please notify the Food Pantry leadership about issues of concern.

When God visits, he always calls us out of our house. He keeps knocking on our door in the faces of our brothers and sisters, in the faces of our neighbors, in the faces of those at our side.We are visited so that we can visit others; we are encountered so as to encounter others; we receive love in order to give love.
Pope Francis
To enable real men and women to escape from extreme poverty, we must allow them to be dignified agents of their own destiny.
Pope Francis
I take this opportunity to thank all those, of whatever religion, who have sought to serve the God of peace by building cities of brotherly love, by caring for our neighbors in need, by defending the dignity of God’s gift of life in all its stages, by defending the cause of the poor and the immigrant. All too often, those most in need of our help are unable to be heard. You are their voice, and many of you have faithfully made their cry heard.
Pope Francis
The poorest are those who suffer most for three serious reasons: They are cast off by society, forced to live off what is discarded, and suffer unjustly from the abuse of the environment. The fight against poverty and hunger must be fought constantly and on many fronts, especially in its causes.
Pope Francis
Our efforts must aim at restoring hope, righting wrongs, maintaining commitments, and thus promoting the well-being of individuals and of peoples.
Pope Francis


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If no email is available, please submit your request via phone: (317) 985-2149

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