Society of St. Vincent de Paul Announces New Executive Director

NEWS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

November 17, 2017

Media Contact:  Natalie Schrimpf  216.269.6525, x. 2520
or nschrimpf@svdpcle.org

CLEVELAND, OH – November 17, 2017 – The Society of St. Vincent de Paul (SVDP), Diocese of Cleveland Board of Directors announced today that it has selected John P. Patton as the organization’s new Executive Director. The announcement follows a two-month search after the previous Executive Director, John Litten, resigned effective September 1, 2017.  With an extensive career in medical device sales, Patton was St. Vincent de Paul Society’s incoming Board President and has been serving as the organization’s interim Executive Director since September. SVDP Vice President, Robert Reuter, will take on the role of interim Board President until the election of a replacement. Patton was one of more than 70 applicants for the leadership position.

“John’s business background and expertise in high level negotiations will be an asset to the Society,” Reuter said. “In addition, he brings to the role a thorough understanding of the organization’s mission. He has been a long-time St. Vincent de Paul Society volunteer at both Gesu Church in University Heights and at SVDP’s Fr. Wittman Hunger Center in East Cleveland.”

Patton said that his previous work in the medical industry and his new role at the charity are similar in the sense that he is moving from a position that improves patient outcomes to one that improves people’s lives. “I look forward to working with the Society’s Board, staff and volunteers to build upon the organization’s success and continue to make a significant impact on so many people in need throughout the Society’s eight-county service area,” he added.

Patton’s medical device background includes sales and business development positions in orthopedics, cardiology and ophthalmology for medical companies, including Arthrex Medical, Arteriocyte Medical Systems, Fortec On-Sight, and Zimmer, Inc. He holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of Dayton and is a graduate of St. Ignatius High School. A native of Fairview Park, Ohio, he resides in University Heights with his wife, Mary, and daughter.

 

Established in 1865, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, Diocese of Cleveland, is a local human services and welfare organization of neighborhood volunteer groups primarily residing in participating parishes (“Conferences”) throughout the Diocese of Cleveland’s eight-county service area. Volunteers (“Vincentians”) provide face-to-face emergency assistance to people in need, regardless of race, ethnicity or religious affiliation. Last year alone, more than 250,000 low-income individuals in Northeast Ohio received over $9 million in direct assistance and in-kind services, which included food at SVDP’s multiple hunger centers, clothing, school supplies and financial assistance with utilities and rent. SVDP’s Central Office is located at 1404 East 9th Street, Cleveland. For more information, call 216-696-6525 x. 3150 or svdpcle.org.

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Society of St. Vincent de Paul’s Woodland Food Center Receives Greater Cleveland Food Bank Bag of Hope Award

NEWS RELEASE

August 22, 2016

Media Contact: Natalie Schrimpf
216.696.6525 x. 2520 or nschrimpf@svdpcle.org

CLEVELAND – The Society of St. Vincent de Paul (SVDP), Diocese of Cleveland, was honored recently by the Greater Cleveland Food Bank for its commitment to hunger relief in Cleveland’s impoverished Central neighborhood. The Greater Cleveland Food Bank presented SVDP’s Woodland Food Center with its esteemed Bag of Hope Award in recognition of service to the community through both its emergency food program and its Seeds to Read early reading initiative to fight generational poverty. Will Skora, Woodland Food Center Operations manager, accepted the award at the Greater Cleveland Food Bank’s Sixth Annual Healthy Communities, Healthy Families Conference.

Located at 6001 Woodland Avenue, SVDP’s Woodland Food Center serves an area in which 90 percent of residents qualify for food assistance, according to the Greater Cleveland Food Bank. The Woodland Food Center feeds an average of 700 families monthly and has experienced an uptick in additional clients, including the working poor.   During the past 12 months, the Woodland Food Center provided nearly 320,000 meals and assisted more than 21,500 people.

In an effort to combat generational poverty within the Central neighborhood, last March SVDP launched its Seeds to Read early reading initiative at Woodland Food Center by distributing free, age-appropriate children’s books (targeted at newborns to five-year-olds) to youth and parents as they visit the center for emergency food. SVDP collaborates with local organizations to provide volunteer “librarians” who assist clients with finding the appropriate reading materials.

SVDP Cleveland has operated the Woodland Food Center since 2013. It previously was managed by the Capuchin Franciscan Brothers under the direction of Brother Walt Robb, but was in danger of closing when it was announced that Robb was leaving for another assignment.

“The St. Vincent de Paul Society is grateful for this award, but also grateful for the opportunity to help so many good people in need,” said John Litten, SVDP executive director. “It takes a team of players to combat hunger in the community, and we are one of many members. We’re blessed to have the support of incredible organizations like the Greater Cleveland Food Bank, as well as the help of our dedicated volunteers.”

“St. Vincent de Paul – Woodland Food Center has been a fantastic partner since they came on board with us about three years ago. When we learned the previous agency that operated the site would be closing, we were worried how the neighborhood, particularly one with such a high food insecurity rate, would continue to be served,” said Kristin Warzocha, CEO and president, Greater Cleveland Food Bank. “St. Vincent de Paul Society stepped up and took over right where the other agency left off, and has continued to build their programming to best meet the needs of the families in the Central neighborhood and surrounding communities. We value St. Vincent de Paul – Woodland Food Center’s partnership and their commitment to feeding our hungry neighbors.”

The Bag of Hope Award recognizes organizations that have made significant contributions in the hunger relief network through innovation and excellent service in their region.

Approximately 200 people attended the GCFB conference, which was held Friday, August 19 at the Intercontinental Cleveland Hotel and Conference Center.

Established in 1865, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, Diocese of Cleveland, is a local human service and welfare organization of neighborhood volunteer groups residing in participating parishes (“Conferences”) throughout the Diocese of Cleveland’s eight-county service area. Volunteers (“Vincentians”) provide face-to-face emergency assistance to those in need, regardless of their race, ethnicity or religious affiliation.   Last year alone, more than 240,000 low-income individuals in Northeast Ohio received over $7 million in aid, which included food at SVDP’s multiple food centers, clothing, school supplies and financial assistance with utilities and rent. SVDP’s central office is located at 1404 East Ninth Street, Cleveland.   For more information, call 216.696.6525, ext. 3150 or svdpcle.org. 

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SVDP Woodland Food Center Receives GCFB Award

SVDP Launches Pilot Early Reading Program at its Woodland Pantry

NEWS RELEASE

February 17, 2016

Media Contact:  Natalie Schrimpf
216.696.6525 x. 2520 or nschrimpf@svdpcle.org

(Cleveland, OH) — In an effort to combat generational poverty in Cleveland’s Central neighborhood, one of the city’s most impoverished communities, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul is piloting a new early reading program to introduce the power of books and the joy of reading to neighborhood children during their earliest stages of life.  SVDP’S “SEEDS to READ” initiative will kick off Friday, March 4 and will target youngsters from birth to five years old, which is the most critical period in brain development, according to experts.  To capitalize on this window of opportunity for learning and provide parents with the tools for instilling a love of reading in their children, SVDP will distribute free, age-appropriate children’s books to parents and legal guardians as they visit the SVDP Woodland pantry each month for food starting Friday, March 4.  The pantry is located at 6001 Woodland Avenue and is open Fridays from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., with the exception of holidays.
SVDP Cleveland is seeking financial donations to purchase books for the program.  Individuals, organizations or corporations wishing to make a financial donation may send a check/money order to St. Vincent de Paul Society  SEEDS to READ Program, 1404 East 9th Street – Third floor, Cleveland, OH 44114.  Donations may also be made online (please indicate that the donation is for SEEDS to READ) at svdpcle.org.

The SVDP Woodland pantry is one of the largest food pantries in Cleveland’s Central neighborhood and is situated in an area where 89 percent of residents live below 200 percent of the federal poverty line, according to the Greater Cleveland Food Bank.  Nearly one-third of the pantry’s clients are children.  Because the St. Vincent de Paul Society recognizes the challenge for some parents to help their children due to limited resources, it will also offer written instruction on ways to use the books.

“Studies tell us that people entrapped in generational poverty have limited education, poor verbal skills and frequently lack job skills with little hope of escaping their predicament,” said John Litten, SVDP executive director.  “While we know we aren’t in a position to fully eradicate this type of poverty, we’re confident that we can make a significant impact in the lives of many poor children by planting the seeds of learning at a young age with the ultimate goal of building a foundation for lifelong learning.”

 

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Family

Goodnight Moon

St. Vincent de Paul Society Woodland Food Pantry and Fortney & Weygandt to Distribute 1,000 Christmas Turkeys to the Poor, Wednesday, December 16

NEWS RELEASE

November 30, 2015

Media Contact: Natalie Schrimpf 216.696.6525 x. 2520
or nschrimpf@svdpcle.org

 

(Cleveland, OH)  The Society of St. Vincent de Paul, Diocese of Cleveland will distribute 1,000 frozen turkeys and five-pound bags of potatoes on Wednesday, December 16 at 8:00 a.m. while supplies last to needy residents in Cleveland’s Central neighborhood, thanks to the generosity of Fortney & Weygandt, Inc. This is the ninth year that the local commercial construction firm has supplied turkeys and potatoes – which were donated by the Fortney Family Foundation — to the SVDP Woodland Food Pantry. The pantry is one of the largest in Northeast Ohio and serves some 1,700 impoverished individuals monthly and more than 20,000 annually. The turkeys and potatoes will be distributed by Fortney & Weygandt employees and Woodland pantry volunteers at the Boys and Girls Clubs of Cleveland parking lot located at 2561 East 59th Street, adjacent to the Carl B. Stokes Building (6001 Woodland Avenue), which houses the SVDP Woodland Food Pantry. Although there is no advance registration, recipients will be required to show proper identification.

The Central neighborhood is home to some 10,717 residents living in poverty, according to Greater Cleveland Food Bank statistics. Formerly Brother Hubbard’s Cupboard, the Woodland pantry was previously managed by the Capuchin Franciscan Brothers from 2004-13, and provides approximately 543,000 pounds of food annually to residents. Fortney & Weygandt has been donating holiday turkeys and sacks of potatoes to the pantry since 2006.

“St. Vincent de Paul Society is extremely grateful for the continuous generosity of Fortney & Weygandt and its commitment to helping the many individuals and families in the Central neighborhood during the holidays,” said John Litten, SVDP executive director.

In addition to the Woodland Avenue location, SVDP Cleveland operates five other food pantries in Northeast Ohio: John Paul II Pantry, 8328 Broadway Avenue in Cleveland; Southwest

Pantry, 2145 Broadview Road in Cleveland; Father Michael Wittman Pantry, 13824 Euclid Avenue, East Cleveland; St. Agnes Pantry, 611 Lake Avenue, Elyria; and Fr. Hilkert Pantry, 93 Kent Street in Akron.

Established in 1865, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, Diocese of Cleveland is a local human service and welfare organization of neighborhood volunteer groups residing in participating parishes (“Conferences”) throughout the Diocese of Cleveland’s eight-county service area. Volunteers (“Vincentians”) provide temporary emergency direct assistance to those in need, regardless of their race, ethnicity or religious affiliation.   Last year alone, some 260,000 low-income individuals received nearly $5 million in aid, which included food donations from SVDP’s multiple food pantries, clothing, furniture, back-to-school supplies and assistance with utilities.   SVDP’s central office is located at 1404 East Ninth Street, Cleveland.   For more information, call 216.696.6525 ext. 3150 or svdpcle.org.

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St. Vincent de Paul Society Client to Throw First Pitch at June 24 Cleveland vs. Detroit Baseball Game

NEWS RELEASE

June 9, 2015

Media Contact:  Natalie Schrimpf 216.696.6525 x. 2520
or nschrimpf@svdpcle.org

 

St. Vincent de Paul Society Client to Throw First Pitch at June 24 Cleveland Indians vs. Detroit Tigers Game

(Cleveland, OH)  Each year, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul Cleveland helps thousands of Northeast Ohio residents in need with emergency assistance.  But for one lucky client, SVDP is also giving him a chance of a lifetime to toss the first pitch at the Cleveland versus Detroit baseball game on Wednesday, June 24 at noon at Progressive Field.   The Society’s afternoon at the ballpark is in celebration of its inception on that date 150 years earlier.

William Royce, a lifelong Cleveland Indians fan, turned to SVDP more than a year ago when he was unable to pay his electric bill and his power was in danger of being shut off.  He currently relies upon the organization to supplement meals via its food pantries while he is unemployed.   Royce is incredibly excited about the opportunity to throw the first pitch and was in disbelief when he received the Society’s invitation.

“Baseball has always been a part of my life.  I used to collect baseball cards and started playing on a team when I was six years old,” he recalled.  “I then progressed to playing hard ball in my hometown of Lakewood and even played on several championship teams.”

As grateful as he is for the chance to toss out the first pitch at a major league game, he is equally thankful for the fact that SVDP has been there when he needed help the most.  “They have come to my rescue with help for survival, whether it’s with the electric bill, food or other basic necessities.  They keep everyday life in focus because they’re there for my living needs,” he said.

The Society regarded the opportunity as a fun way to brighten up a client’s day, according to John Litten, SVDP executive director.

“We were so excited when the Cleveland Indians allowed us this opportunity on our 150th Anniversary. As an organization that puts the people it serves first, it only made sense to give this experience to someone we’ve helped,” he said.

Established in 1865, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, Diocese of Cleveland is a local human service and welfare organization of neighborhood volunteer groups residing in participating parishes (“Conferences”) throughout the Diocese of Cleveland’s eight-county service area.  Volunteers (“Vincentians”) provide temporary emergency direct assistance to those in need, regardless of their race, ethnicity or religious affiliation.   Last year alone, some 260,000 low-income individuals received nearly $5 million in aid, which included food donations from SVDP’s multiple food pantries, clothing, furniture, job training, back-to-school supplies and assistance with utilities and rent.  SVDP’s central office is located at 1404 East Ninth Street, Cleveland.   For more information, call 216.696.6525, ext. 3150 or svdpcle.org.

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St. Vincent de Paul Society Celebrates 150 Years of Helping the Poor in Northeast Ohio

NEWS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

January 1, 2015

Media Contact:  Natalie Schrimpf  216.269.6525, x. 2520 or

nschrimpf@svdpcle.org

 

(Cleveland, OH) — For 150 years, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, Diocese of Cleveland, has been helping and healing community members in need.  Since its modest beginnings in 1865, SVDP Cleveland’s volunteer network has expanded to 1,000 individuals of all ages, ethnicities and economic backgrounds from 63 Diocesan parishes in its eight-county service area, who provide face-to-face, temporary emergency aid to disenfranchised residents.  This vast array of help takes numerous forms — from assisting the mentally- and physically-challenged with job training – to offering emergency financial assistance with utilities and rent, as well as food, clothing, beds and school supplies to families.  Each month, the Society’s six food pantries alone feed more than 10,000 hungry men, women and children.  And as part of the larger Northeast Ohio social services community, it also partners with area nonprofits in efforts that include supplying free blankets to homeless shelters and collaborating with the Red Cross to help local disaster victims.

To commemorate its Sesquicentennial and raise additional funds for its charitable programs, SVDP Cleveland will host several special events throughout 2015.

“The Society is proud to have reached this milestone as an integral part of the region’s social services fabric for these past 150 years,” said John Litten, executive director. “We look forward to assisting even more people in need, in addition to forging new partnerships with civic-minded individuals, organizations and businesses in Northeast Ohio to make an even greater impact.”

Last year alone, SVDP Cleveland served more than 200,000 people residing in Ashland, Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake, Lorain, Medina, Summit and Wayne counties. This emergency help translated into some $4 million in direct assistance and in-kind services. The local organization is affiliated with the international Society of St. Vincent de Paul, one of the oldest charitable organizations in the world. Originally known as the “Conference of Charity,” the international society was founded in 1833 by French scholar Frederic Ozanam and his fellow students, who helped thousands of poor residing in the slums of Paris during the cholera epidemic.  SVDP Cleveland’s central office is located at 1404 East Ninth Street, Cleveland.  For more information, call 216.696.6525, ext. 3150 or http://www.svdpcle.org/.

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SVDP Woodland Food Pantry and Fortney & Weygandt to Distribute One-Thousand Christmas Turkeys to the Poor

NEWS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

December 8, 2014

Media Contact:  Natalie Schrimpf  216.269.6525, x. 2520 or

nschrimpf@svdpcle.org

 

(Cleveland, OH) —  The Society of St. Vincent de Paul, Diocese of Cleveland will distribute 1,000 frozen turkeys and five-pound bags of potatoes on Thursday, December 18 from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. to needy residents in Cleveland’s Central neighborhood, thanks to the generosity of Fortney & Weygandt, Inc.  This is the eighth year that the local commercial construction firm has donated turkeys and potatoes to the SVDP Woodland Food Pantry, which is one of the largest food pantries in Northeast Ohio and serves some 1,700 impoverished individuals monthly and more than 20,000 annually.  The turkeys and potatoes will be distributed at the Boys and Girls Clubs of Cleveland parking lot located at 2561 East 59 Street, adjacent to the Carl B. Stokes Building (6001 Woodland Avenue), which houses the SVDP Woodland Food Pantry.  Although there is no advance registration, recipients will be required to show proper identification.

The Central neighborhood is home to some 10,717 residents living in poverty, according to Greater Cleveland Food Bank statistics. The Woodland Food Pantry — formerly Brother Hubbard’s Cupboard — was previously managed by the Capuchin Franciscan Brothers from 2004-13, and provides approximately 543,000 pounds of food annually to residents.  Fortney & Weygandt has been donating holiday turkeys and sacks of potatoes to the pantry since 2006.

In addition to the Woodland Avenue location, SVDP Cleveland operates five other food pantries in Northeast Ohio: John Paul Pantry, 8328 Broadway Avenue in Cleveland; Southwest Pantry, 2145 Broadview Avenue in Cleveland; Father Mike Wittman Pantry, 13824 Euclid Avenue, East Cleveland; St. Agnes Pantry, 611 Lake Avenue, Elyria; and Fr. Hilkert Pantry, 93 Kent Street in Akron.

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St. Vincent de Paul Society Partners with GolfTEC Northeast Ohio to Collect Coats for the Poor this Holiday Season

NEWS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

November 26, 2014

Media Contact:  Natalie Schrimpf  216.269.6525, x. 2520

or nschrimpf@svdpcle.org

 

(Cleveland, OH) — The Society of St. Vincent de Paul, Diocese of Cleveland is partnering with GolfTEC Northeast Ohio to collect winter coats for needy individuals and families in Northeast Ohio. From now until December 19, GolfTEC is accepting new and clean, gently-used coats at its six Northeast Ohio locations in an effort to fill a GolfTEC Hummer with the gift of warmth.  Anyone donating a coat at GolfTEC will be entered in its drawing to win $1,000 worth of prizes, which include golf lessons, equipment and apparel.  All coats will be distributed to needy residents in Northeast Ohio.

“We are grateful that GolfTEC is reaching out to help those less fortunate in the community, especially now during the cold, winter weather,” said John Litten, SVDP Cleveland executive director. “The need is great, and this effort will help us keep additional folks warm this year.”

GolfTEC’s Northeast Ohio stores are located in North Olmsted at 26669 Brookpark Road Extension, Beachwood at 24195 Chagrin Boulevard, Middleburg Heights at 7599 Pearl Road, Brecksville at 8803 Brecksville Road, in Fairlawn at 3737 West Market Street, and in Canton at 4930 Everhard Road NW.

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Society of St. Vincent de Paul to Host Third Annual Friends of the Poor Walk

NEWS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

August 9, 2014

Media Contact:  Natalie Schrimpf  216.269.6525, x. 2520

or nschrimpf@svdpcle.org

 

(Cleveland, OH) — Join the Society of St. Vincent de Paul Diocese of Cleveland (SVDP) and other caring members of Northeast Ohio as they convene to raise money and help our region’s poor one step at a time at the Third Annual SVDP Friends of the Poor Walk on Saturday, September 20 from 10 a.m to noon.   In an effort to encourage participants in and around Cuyahoga and Summit counties, the family-friendly event will be held simultaneously at both St. Edward High School in Lakewood, and at Richfield Woods Park in Richfield.  Both paved routes are less than one mile and are designed to accommodate strollers, wheelchairs and individuals of all ages.  All monies raised locally will be utilized to help economically-disadvantaged residents in Northeast Ohio.  To participate or donate, register online at:  fopwalk.org. For more information, contact SVDP Cleveland at 216.696.6525, ext. 3150.

Last year, the local walk raised approximately $10,000 that directly benefitted the needy in our region via the Society’s programs and services. The SVDP Cleveland walk is part of a national, simultaneous event, the SVDP USA Annual Friends of the Poor Walk.  In 2013, the national fundraiser encompassed 232 different walks across the country — attracting more than 22,000 walkers – and generating some $2.1 million for the poor.

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Fundraiser/Gala Celebrated Volunteers and Raised $10,000 for SVDP Cleveland Woodland Food Pantry

NEWS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 31, 2014

Media Contact:  Natalie Schrimpf  216.269.6525, x. 2520

or nschrimpf@svdpcle.org

 

(Cleveland, OH) — The Society of St. Vincent de Paul, Diocese of Cleveland raised more than $10,000 for its Woodland food pantry at its recent “Gather, Give & Grow” benefit.  Held at St. Ignatius High School, some 225 Society members, friends of SVDP and dignitaries participated in the festivities to honor the organization’s dedicated volunteers and garner funds for its charitable programs and services.  This year’s gala highlighted the work of volunteers Bill Jackson (St. Philomena Church, East Cleveland) and Tom Rebescher (St. Francis Xavier, Medina), as well as recognized St. Gabriel Parish (Concord Township).  The Society also paid special tribute to Larry Lauter, who has worked at the organization since1972 in various capacities, including executive director and board secretary.

“The gala enables us to formally thank our incredible volunteers who anonymously serve our needy brothers and sisters in Christ each day,” said John Litten, executive director.  “It has also become a key opportunity to raise additional money for the poor here in Northeast Ohio.  Funds from this year’s benefit will help us provide some 1,000 meals each month to the needy at our Woodland food pantry.”

The event was sponsored by the following organizations and individuals:  Catholic Charities, Diocese of Cleveland; St. Ignatius High School; PNC Bank; BakerHostetler; Mazella Companies; St. Edward High School; Community West Foundation; First Federal Lakewood; Noel and Mary Becker; Cohen & Company; Ennis Court; Greater Cleveland Foodbank; Henry and Judy Hilow; Italian Creations; Josephine Litten; Malley’s Chocolates; Sunny Nixon; Mark and Karen McCarthy; MCPc; Merrill Lynch; Orlando Baking Company; and Tucker Ellis.

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