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North Vernon’s St. Vincent de Paul Conference recently dedicated a new outreach service center along with a newly renovated thrift store that serves area residents in need of assistance.

The very well attended dedication ceremony took place inside the new outreach center. The attendees gathered for a celebratory Mass and witnessed the blessing of the building by officiator, Fr. Jerry Byrd, pastor of Sts. Anna, Joseph and Mary in Jennings County.  Several conference representatives addressed the group including South District Council President, Scott Alber, and Nora Campbell, North Vernon SvdP Conference President.

“The day was amazing in that God gave us beautiful weather as He did throughout the construction. We finished both ahead of schedule and below budget! We had wonderful attendance for the dedication service, and the blessing of the building by Fr. Jerry Byrd touched our hearts,” shared Nora Campbell.

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“This project succeeded through a combination of volunteer parishioners, paid sub-contractors and community donations. No matter the problem along the way, divine providence seemed to smile on us! We now have a legacy of charity available for future Vincentians and volunteers to come and do Gods’ work,” she added.

The outreach center serves about 150 families a month with about 50% of the relief being provided in food, and the rest in utilities, rent, prescriptions, clothing, furniture and occasional transportation. The thrift store relies on public donations and is the revenue center for its operation. The North Vernon conference provides about $77,000 worth of assistance annually and is supported by the efforts of about 90 volunteers.

“For the community in need, these improvements mean better availability and access for assistance, a larger food pantry, a safer and cleaner facility, and it offers more dignity for the poor that are served. Our community, especially the elderly are very excited about the changes,” Nora Campbell proudly shared.

The renovations were made in large part through the financial assistance of the St. Vincent de Paul Indianapolis Council.

Pictured above, members from the North Vernon conference and community-at-large attend dedication ceremony and open house, including L-R Conference president; Maggie Green, volunteer; Joanne Campbell, volunteer; Patrick Kirchner, contractor and vice-president of Force Construction; Fr. Jerry Byrd, pastor; Clyde Campbell, volunteer and building plan coordinator, shown outside newly-opened conference service center at dedication ceremony.