Society lends a helping hand

Cindy Burnside said she saves a lot of money when she shops for her children's school clothes at St.

Vincent dePaul.

Burnside took daughters Keri and Kasi, who will start school Aug.14, to the St.

Vincent dePaul Society thrift store Wednesday to supplement their school wardrobe.

"I'm glad to have a store like this to go to," Burnside said.

"It helps me stretch my money."

The Society of St.

Vincent DePaul is a Catholic lay organization that was founded in Paris, France, in 1833, and is still based there.

In Kingman, the St.

Mary Conference of St.

Vincent DePaul, which is affiliated with St.

Mary's Roman Catholic Church, caters to people like Burnside - people who need a little help, president Mary Francis Romeo said.

"Whoever comes to our door, we try to help," Romeo said.

"In fact only five percent of people who come here are Catholic."

The thrift store netted $7,200 last year, enough to supply $30 back-to-school clothing vouchers for 240 children, redeemable at Kmart.

The thrift store is full of used clothing and a truckload of new children's clothes donated by Target in Phoenix.

The society also raised $300 cash for new underwear, T-shirts and socks.

Romeo, like everyone else at the thrift store, is a volunteer.

On any given day the large and orderly store is a hub of activity.

The society also helps people with everyday costs, such as utility bills, and stocks a pantry with food from a Phoenix food bank.

"They deliver once a month, and we never know what we will get," Romeo said.

"One month we got a case of marshmallows - not the most nutritious of foods.

"The ideal food pantry should always be stocked with staples such as tuna fish and peanut butter.

The latter is always in short supply."

"If someone were to donate peanut butter we would be thrilled," she said.

"We never have enough peanut butter."

The society meets at 3:30 p.m.

every Monday for prayer and fellowship at St.

Mary's Parish Center.

To receive help through St.

Vincent DePaul Society, call 753-6449.

To volunteer at the thrift store, call 753-4399.

To donate furniture to the thrift store, call 753-5606 for pick-up.