Date of publication: 16/06/2020

Vincentians care for those on the fringes

Council General International

Diana Blanco became homeless after both she and her husband lost their jobs and she had suffered a miscarriage. Family friends helped them get back on their feet. She wanted to pay forward the help she received through serving in a food pantry and thrift store. Carlos Benitez’ childhood experiences of racial discrimination and social injustice in the Bronx, coupled with his family’s example of charity, led him to help prisoners. They are Vincentians, from the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, and their work is a light to others, especially during this tumultuous time of pandemic. Together, they follow the Vincentian motto: “No work of charity is foreign to the society.”

Diana Blanco: “I know what it’s like to be homeless. If I hadn’t been helped by somebody, I could have seen myself and my husband living in a tent, just like everybody else. So, I believe I should pass that forward – and do everything in my power to help give another person a chance.” 

Carlos Benitez. “So, what has the pandemic done? It has created a sense of urgency for those that are in dire need. The institutions are releasing some without even having a concrete, physical place to stay and a lot of shelters are closed.”

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