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Not many organizations across the Windsor area have remained in place as long as the Society of St. Vincent de Paul.

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It was for that reason the local charitable help agency paused Monday to celebrate its 125th anniversary by staging an evening mass honoring the occasion at St. Alphonsus Church — the location where it all began back in 1896.

“How many organizations are still around after 125 years?” said Dave Leslie, council president for St. Vincent de Paul. “We are still here serving this community and helping the poor — as we always have been for the last 125 years.

“There is a real pride in what we have been doing serving generation after generation.”

We are really proud of what we do

Vincent de Paul, primarily through 25 area Catholic churches, offers food banks and food box home delivery to those in need across Windsor and Essex County. The agency has a bed program where it provides free beds with an average of donating 650 beds per year to people. It also has a bike program where refurbished bikes are offered.

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Society of St. Vincent de Paul, which is now open for in-store shopping, is pictured, Friday, May 22, 2020. Photo by Dax Melmer /Windsor Star

On top of that, are the agency’s six store locations where goods, clothes and other household items — received from the community as donations — are offered to anyone at a reduced cost.

“People can go in and purchase items and we make sure everything put out is in good condition,” Leslie said.

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“When we do our home visits (delivering food boxes) if we notice they need clothes for children or winter coats we write a voucher for them and they can get items for free.”

The St. Vincent de Paul stores and their warehouses have 35 full-time and part-time employees, along with a range at different times of the year of between 100 to 200 volunteers who provide assistance at food banks, deliver food boxes and support the agency’s efforts in other ways.

“We are really proud of what we do,” Leslie said. “After 125 years, it’s good to acknowledge all the things we have done over that time. The fact we are still here is a great testament to that.”

For more information about the Society of St. Vincent de Paul visit online at or phone 519-253-7481.

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