The year 2010 will certainly be remembered as a year of new directions for our Indianapolis Archdiocesan Council, an all-volunteer organization! Our nearly 2,000 members in Central and Southern Indiana, along with thousands of ad hoc volunteers, continued to carry out Jesus’ challenge (Matthew 25:40) to share our communities’ blessings with the least of our brethren. Nearly 83,000 people received food from our Indianapolis Client Choice Pantry, nearly 11,000 people received much needed house- hold items from our Distribution Center, and another 5,300+ homeless people received a hot meal, clothing, and personal care items thru our Beggars for the Poor ministry.
However, even more meaningful to me, was our outreach effort to provide funding for our society parish conferences in Southern Indiana. With our help, we saw the St. Vincent de Paul parish conference in Bedford quadruple the income from its new thrift store, which directly benefits the people of Lawrence County. We’ve been able to assist the St. Agnes parish conference in Nashville to accomplish an “energy upgrade” to its distribution center building, which will surely free-up utility ex- penses for helping the people of Brown County. We’ve committed some matching funds to the St. Mary parish conference in North Vernon toward its new thrift store project, which will benefit the people of Jennings County. Finally, we welcomed the start-up of a new parish conference at St. Bartholomew in Columbus, which will serve the people of Bartholomew County. We are committed to strengthening and expanding our presence in southern Indiana during the coming year, to address the persistent poverty in our smaller Indiana communities!