What Can I Do To Help?

Several people have asked, “What can I do to help” in this difficult time. I am aware of three groups that really need your help in order to help the unfortunate low-income members of our community: St Joseph’s St Vincent De Paul Society Conference, Anawim House and GVD. Explanations of how you can assist each of these groups is below. Either through donations or through actively assisting them in distribution of food etc. Please take a few moments to familiarize yourself by reading the notes below, and then take action by donating time or money to the cause. In either case, ensure you take all precautions to protect yourself and the public from Covid 19.

Society of Saint Vincent de Paul of Vancouver Island

Society of Saint Vincent de Paul of Vancouver Island actively solicits donations going directly to help needy parishioners with food and other necessities of life. Currently four families and two individuals at risk of eviction at worst and malnutrition at best. There are 7 adults and 8 children currently assisted by St. Joseph’s Conference from contributor monthly donations. 

As well, the food bank at the Social Concerns Office of St. Vincent De Paul is experiencing a surge in requests for food from new clients and at the same time is seeing the return of past clients who have been self-sufficient until now.

I would direct donors to our website which will take them to www.Canadahelps.com.  With the link to Canada Helps, you have to get the name right and there are a lot of St Vincent de Paul’s listed on the site to scroll through.  Select the General Fund and in the comments note St Joseph’s Conference.

Try calling Administration if they wish to call in a credit card.  For your information, the admin staff are working a flexible schedule to ensure that we are able to maintain social distancing.  They will be asked to leave a message.

Cheques should be made out to Society of Saint Vincent de Paul of Vancouver Island 

The address is 4353 West Saanich Road not 4349 West Saanich Road


Anawim House

As you may know, COVID has forced us to close Anawim House to the public due to the safety of our staff and residents.  However, this crisis has resulted in the local street population having limited access to the necessities of life: running water, sanitation, shelter and food. Though our doors are closed to the local street population, we have initiated an outreach program and partnered with the Justice Van Society. We are preparing 50 meals, 3 days a week, and having the Justice Van deliver the food to where the homeless are. Due to a number of the food banks being closed or running on limited hours, Anawim is having to buy the food directly from the local grocers themselves. At this time, food and clothing donations are suspended in the attempt to minimize the spread of COVID to our staff and residents. If you would like to support us with this initiative you can donate at https://www.canadahelps.org/en/charities/the-anawim-companions-society/  . This donation will directly come to us and provide you with an instant tax receipt.

We are considering expanding the outreach program but would need more volunteers to help deliver the food. If this interests you, please contact me directly at 250-516-3480 or grecdan@gmail.com. 

On another note, Anawim continues to house 7 residents and employ 6 staff. We will apply to any federal or provincial program available to offset the current loss in donations. In the meantime, if you have the ability to support us help while we all get back on our feet, it would be greatly appreciated. Again the link above would ensure the funds come to us directly.

Thank you for your consideration. God Bless!

Dan Greco

Chairman of Anawim


GVAT Community

Below is a call for help getting food to the homeless in Victoria, as they're moved into camps supported by medical staff at Beacon Hill and Topaz Parks. If you're healthy and not taking care of anyone especially vulnerable to COVID-19, this is a good way to help out at a time of great need! -In Solidarity, Chet

 We are reaching out in hopes that you can help us. We are trying to identify community partners to help us coordinate meal distribution sites to feed our community members most in need.

 The DVBA is working with the Coalition to End Homelessness, the City of Victoria, and local businesses to provide our most vulnerable population, those living without homes, with evening meals. During our situation with COVID-19 this is more and more difficult, as many of our local organizations and facilities that usually address some of the needs of this population are being asked to close due to public health concerns.

The Meals – being coordinated, provided and delivered by our local commercial kitchens. Many of them by our incredible local restaurants who are not able to serve in their dining rooms at this time. 100+ meals are delivered in sealed containers to two sites in Victoria.

 The Locations – the sites have been identified by the Coalition to End Homelessness and ensure that safe physical distancing can occur. Site #1 is at Topaz Park. Site #2 is at Royal Athletic Park.

Your Help Needed – now what we need is your help! We are trying to identify partners who would be willing to provide 2 site leaders to help us with coordinating the efforts of volunteers to distribute the food. We are also looking for volunteers to help at each site.

This is not a large operation: just a few tables at each site, volunteers to hand out the food and help to enforce 6ft. physical distancing.

The coordinators/site leads would oversee set-up of the tables and one 10x10’ tent, safe line-ups of people arriving to receive meals, providing info to volunteers on the process of the site, then clean up and load-out.

 The whole process will be only an hour to an hour and a half. But it will provide over 100 people with a hot meal, each day. The site teams will need to arrive at 5pm to set up, and food is served at 5:45. All is finished by 6 – 6:15pm.

The DVBA will be coordinating the volunteers to hand out the food, but if your group has additional hands who want to help, please let us know!

Let us know if you have any questions. You can reply to this email: maggie@downtownvictoria.ca.

Thank you in advance. There are so many in need, and so many of us who feel the need to help in these trying times. This is your way to do just that!


Executive Assistant, Downtown Victoria Business Association.

St. Vincent de Paul

Ever wonder what St. Vincent de Paul is all about?

The St. Joseph's conference of St. Vincent de Paul has been working to help the needy for many years. We are a group of volunteers from this parish who gather each month to pray, plan our charity work for the upcoming month, and to report on the previous month's activities.

From the generous donations we receive through St. Joseph's, we are able to assist numerous families year round. We are proud to inform you that only approximately 2.6% of the donations that we receive are used for the purchase of donation envelopes, vouchers and mailing costs. All of the rest of the donations are used to directly assist the poor in the following ways:

  1. Conduct monthly home visits to needy families that have been "adopted" by our conference. We "adopt" families that are in real need of assistance and each month two members of our conference visit each family to provide them with support and assistance in the form of food vouchers (which excludes tobacco or alcohol), advice, and bus passes in some cases. We can also refer them to the Social Concern Office of the Vancouver Island St. Vincent de Paul for clothing and other items. Our overall objective is to assist these families to become self sufficient.
  2. Donate and coordinate funds for the Social Concern Office (located downtown) to purchase food that is distributed to others in need in the greater Victoria area. Some of our members also volunteer to help there every week.
  3. Hold occasional food drives within the parish and at St. Joseph's School. This food is also sent to the Social Concern Office for distribution. A food donation "shopping cart" is located in the lobby of the church for all other food donations.
  4. Provide assistance to our two "twin St. Vincent de Paul conferences" in India and Colombia. We try and send regular financial assistance.

In closing, we would like to thank everyone at St. Joseph's Parish for the generous donations to assist us in our work helping the less fortunate.

We would like to invite anyone who is interested in learning more about us to telephone Robert Strong 778-350-0676 or come to our monthly meetings, held every third Tuesday of the month in the old rectory. We are always seeking new volunteers.