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By Paul Ainslie, President, SVdP Indy

Like most organizations in the modern world, SVdP suffers from communications issues. We don’t tell the right people the right information too often. We share selectively what others could benefit from knowing. And, though we always have plans to make improvements, communication seldom gets much better. We are just humans, after all.

One emphasis I have had throughout the last four years is to improve communications with all Conferences, particularly those outside of the Indy area. From the Annunciation Conference in Brazil to the Good Samaritan Conference in Richmond to our newest Conference at St. Augustine in Jeffersonville, many Vincentians are carrying out the good works started by St Vincent de Paul 400 years ago, but others seldom hear about them.

Our newly upgraded website at went “live” in late March. On this new website, each Conference has the opportunity to highlight their work. This is accomplished through the Conference reports collected bimonthly by the Districts for our Council Board meetings. The reports are indexed and placed on the website, so with a click or two anyone can read how the Bedford store is recovering from a fire, how many neighbors were fed by Boulevard Place Food Pantry, or how much furniture was distributed by the St Francis Distribution Center in Bloomington. One look at our newest Impact Report shows the difference we make in our communities.

But numbers are only part of the SVdP Indy story. I hope we share the stories we all hear as we are helping our neighbors, whether it be from a home visit (anonymously, of course), an interaction at a pantry, a Changing Lives Forever program, or an encounter with an unsheltered neighbor. Each individual we serve has a story they would love to tell, and we should listen.

Please take a few minutes to look over the new website and particularly the added emphasis on Conferences–both locations and news updates. I would like to hear of any impressions you have and, of course, ways you think we can do better. May God bless you for all you do for our neighbors in need.