Society a blessing for those who need it
Wheel Cares: Okotoks chapter of St. Vincent de Paul offers a helping hand
Wednesday, Dec 20, 2017 06:00 am
A slightly-dilapidated deck was a small concern for an Okotoks woman as her husband battled a terminal disease while the family faced mounting bills.
However, when members of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul Okotoks took hammer and tools in hand to repair the family’s small deck, it was one less worry and something off the to-do list.
“We are usually the family who are helping others, but with my husband being ill we were not in a position to repair the deck at all, not financially or him physically,” said Janet (not her real name). “They came over and whipped up a little deck. For us it was such a blessing.”
The Society of St. Vincent de Paul Okotoks is one of eight recipients in the 2017 Wheel Cares campaign.
Providing small and not-so-small blessings is what the society is all about.
“St. Vincent de Paul uses 100 per cent of its funds to ease suffering and support those within our community who are marginalized and struggling with fulfilling their basic needs,” said Julie Heggenstaller, one of 24 volunteers with the Okotoks chapter.
The Okotoks St. Vincent de Paul has no paid staff.
Potential clients can phone the St. Vincent de Paul line at 403-938-0562. Representatives will then visit them.
“Our private visits minimize stress and our volunteers create a safe space for the vulnerable,” Heggenstaller said. “It is a sensitive and delicate time for many who access our services.
“We are the listening ear and compassionate heart.”
St. Vincent de Paul offers a hand, not a handout.
“We make sure they access other agencies that can help them — FCSS and the Okotoks Food Bank do a great job,” Heggenstaller said. “The kind of standard is we can offer sort of a one-shot deal to bridge the crisis or bridge the gap until they are again on their feet.
“It’s kind of crisis care.”
Janet was certainly grateful for the one-time assistance from the Okotoks chapter of St. Vincent de Paul.
“I just think having organizations like this and having people to access when need be, is such a blessing,” she said. “We are not those people who would ever ask for help.”
The other seven recipients in the 2017 Wheel Cares campaign are the Okotoks Food Bank, the Foothills Country Hospice, the Rowan House Emergency Shelter, Habitat for Humanity, Magic of Christmas, the Sheep River Health Trust, and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Calgary and Area.
To participate in Wheel Cares, please call the Western Wheel office Monday to Friday from 9-5 p.m. (403-938-6397) to make a donation using your credit card. We also accept debit, cash and cheques (payable to ‘Western Wheel Cares’), either dropped off at the office, #9 McRae Street or mailed to Box 150, Okotoks, AB T1S 2A2 (please do not mail cash). Or visit www.westernwheel.com to donate using Paypal. All donations of $10 or more will receive a 2017 official tax receipt at the end of the campaign.