The Society of St. Vincent de Paul (SVdP), a non-profit 501(C)3 charity, invites members of the public of all ages to participate in the annual Friends of the Poor Walk/Run on Saturday, September 28, 2019, at River View Park, 151 Sycamore Drive in Buellton. This event is being held in Santa Barbara County for the fourth time; and nationally, is the 11th annual FOP Walk/Run. In 2018, more than 25,000 walkers raised over $3.4 million nationwide.

All proceeds and donations from this event in Buellton will directly benefit people in Santa Barbara County to ease the financial stresses of the working poor. On Saturday, September 28, 2019, registration opens at 8:30 a.m. and the Walk/Run will begin at 9:00 a.m.. Participants will be encouraged to walk/run laps around scenic River View Park until the conclusion at Noon. Dogs on leashes are welcome to accompany their humans. There will be free information about St. Vincent de Paul Society services available throughout the morning.

According to Marilyn Coyle SVdP Santa Barbara District President, “One of the beneficiaries of our fourth Friends of the Poor Walk/Run in Santa Barbara County is the SVdP Santa Barbara District Council Low Interest Loans for Low Income (LILLI) program designed to end poverty through systemic change. We want to assist victims of predatory loans through financial education and low interest loan conversions.”

Coyle said, “Year-round, our SVdP volunteers in Santa Barbara County provide housing and utility assistance, auto repairs, medical and dental assistance, food, furniture, clothing, and other needs. None of our works of charity could be accomplished without the generous support of many and the members of St. Vincent de Paul. We ask the community to participate in the Friends of the Poor Walk/Run this month in Buellton.”

Within the Santa Barbara District of SVdP, there are eight Conferences of Charity comprising more than 149 active volunteers from parishes including La Purisima Concepcion (Lompoc), Old Mission Santa Barbara, Old Mission Santa Ines (Solvang), Our Lady of Guadalupe, San Roque (Santa Barbara), St. Joseph (Carpinteria), St. Mary of the Assumption (Santa Maria) and St. Rafael (Goleta). In 2017, Santa Barbara District SVdP paid out $156,642 in direct financial aid and an additional $331,230 of in-kind goods and services to 2,281 neighbors in need.