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By Paul Ainslie, President, SVdP Indy

As I start my second term as Council President, I would like to reflect on one of the more amazing aspects of our work: the sacred trust we are given to serve those in need. We are entrusted with the time, talent and treasure of our donors, volunteers and benefactors for one purpose only: to serve those in need in our communities.

As easy as this seems, it is often hard to remember. When the urgency or magnitude of need is great, and our resources are limited, we still must do what we can. With the local Conferences as our first line of help, often the needs can be met locally. But the District and Archdiocesan Councils are here to support the Conferences. We are one society. Everything entrusted to us is available to help. We simply need to communicate the needs, and rely on the providence of God.

We are not just delivering food or goods, however. We are also giving hope—hope that those we serve will see Christ in us as the servant we should be. The same sort of hope that the Good Samaritan gave the victim injured on the side of the road.

Our Mission 27 stores are an example of making the most of donations. Though it may seem we should never sell any donations, the reality is that we receive many more donated goods than we can give away.  By selling good condition donations we not only develop an engaged community of thrift shoppers, but also raise funds for programs like Changing Lives Forever. Salvage sales of rags has a similar benefit.

The daily challenge we face—and face gladly—is to ensure that all the time, talent and treasure we are entrusted with goes to help the most needs that we can. The Food Pantry is not a food bank. It is here to give away food as quickly and equitably as we can. The Distribution Center is not a warehouse. It exists to distribute donations (and sometimes purchased items like beds) to neighbors in need.

We are truly given a sacred trust: to care for God’s children wherever and whenever we encounter them.

One parting thought: I know many of you are considering making financial gifts on #GivingTuesday (Nov. 28). If you choose to donate to SVdP Indy, know that we are committed to making the most of your gift—that is, using it to serve as many as possible. Thanks to our bulk purchasing power, we are able to buy more food and mattresses, for example, with your collective financial donations, and in turn, serve more people than any of us could individually.