Episode 104: Love Should be Your First Gift
In the podcast this week, Gayle mentioned the St. Vincent de Paul Youth Service Council. Two of the members of this council, Mary and Rachael, want to tell you why they participate and why you should too!
What is the St. Vincent de Paul Youth Service Council?
M: Saint Vincent de Paul Youth Service Council is an opportunity for like-minded teens to serve others, learn about the implications of homelessness and poverty in Madison, practice leadership and initiative, and grow friendships with other Catholic youth in the Madison area.
Why did you join?
R: When I first joined the St.Vincent de Paul youth service council I did it because my sister asked me to do it with her, but I didn’t really know what it was. However, half way through the first meeting I realized that it was something I wanted to continue being involved with. The people on the youth service council were so warm and welcoming that I didn’t feel awkward at all being the only freshman. In addition, I felt like I belonged because every person on the council shared my interest of helping others by giving of themselves through service.
What events do you put on for the community?
R: The St.Vincent de Paul Youth Service Council not only opened my eyes to the poverty right here in Madison, but it also gave me an opportunity to do something about it. The past three years I have enjoyed organizing fundraisers and awareness events, working in the food pantry, and many more opportunities that not only helped those in need, but that also helped me to grow as a person and in my faith.
M: Being a teen led group, our main focus is helping our peers faced with difficult family situations. Two springs ago we organized a walk for teen homelessness, in which we spent the week before educating others on the shocking statistics about teen homelessness and raised an impressive amount of toiletries and funds for the Madison teen shelter. Last year, our goal was to help one individual living in poverty to further their education with a college scholarship. It was truly surreal to see our work change the life of someone else.
What have you learned from being a member?
M: In my time serving on the Youth Leadership Council, I have grown a passion for service and a new perspective about the world around me. I am so honored to have taken part in the planning and participation in our various service events.
How does this organization inspire your daily life?
R: The St.Vincent de Paul youth service council has led me to want to pursue a degree in social work and I will forever be grateful for all that this group has done for me.
M: Our motto, “love cannot remain idle” resonates with me in my daily actions. It inspires me to serve the Lord through acts of love and kindness to others, no matter how small.