Fulfilling the Great Commandments
by Barbara Oliverio
It is a rare organization that has no initiation fee, no dues, and no special qualifications to join, but the Society of St. Vincent de Paul is just such an organization.
Vincentians—as members are called—join the group with a desire to assist the needy in the community in any way possible.
“We’re there to give a hand up rather than a hand out,” explains Tim Jeske, president of the STM conference of the Society.
STM’s conference is a vibrant group of 50 men and women who volunteer their time, usually one day a month. After a caller is referred to the group, the volunteer on duty for the day,generally with another Vincentian,meets with the caller to discuss their needs and how they can be met. The assistance can come in the form of financial aid for groceries, temporary rent, or other bills associated with basic necessities.
“Sometimes people just find it hard to get ahead of the curve,” says historian Ed Meintzer, who has worked with the Society at STM for more than 25 years. Meintzer is also a past president and explains that his interest came when he moved back to Colorado and felt a need to give back for the good things that had happened in his life.
Twice a year the conference at STM sponsors a collection of household goods to be sold at the Society’s shop on Colfax Avenue. “When I was a teenager, I thought that the household goods collection was the only thing that the Society did,” says Jeske with a smile. “It wasn’t until I was older that I learned about the depth of all the activities that Vincentians actually provide and I thought, ‘I can do that.’”
STM’s conference supports a geographical area that includes St. Mary’s, All Souls, and Holy Name parishes as well. Though assistance is usually for the financial basics,the society will attempt to assist in other ways as well. For example, if there is a need for household goods,the conference can usually obtain them at a discount from the Society’s shop.
“If a person has a need and wonders whether we can help, they should make the call to ask,” says Meintzer.
To become a member of the STM conference of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, contact Tim Jeske at 720-212-8461 or tim.svdp@ gmail.com. Meetings are held twice a month in the Padre every second and fourth Tuesday of the month. Additional information is available on the website www.svdpden.org.