Please Note:

* COMING EVENTS: 150th Gala Event October 12, 2019 AND Annual Awards Dinner November 16, 2019!

* IN CASE OF INCLEMENT WEATHER: Closure information for the Council can be found HERE .

* NEW YEAR’S DAY HOLIDAY CLOSURE: We will be closed Tuesday, January 1st, but open as normal on December 31st.

Congrats, Mel Guardipee!

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Nov 072018

November 2018 Volunteer of the Month

Mel Guardipee is the classic easygoing guy. He always arrives at Portland’s St. Vincent de Paul with a smile and genuine expression of kindness in his voice. He is mild-tempered, and works hard to make every person feel cared for. Even while fighting the symptoms of cancer himself, Mel has continued to lend heartfelt hope to others for nearly a year.

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Jun 202018


St. Francis’ St. Vincent de Paul Society was started in 1959. They provide food, transportation, and vouchers for lodging to those who need help in their parish area.

The St. Francis conference has a rich history of special works in the community. In 1986 they opened St. Francis Dining Hall in southeast Portland to provide meals for homeless individuals and families. It provided a separate entrance and eating area for ‘Families Only”, as well as menu items for infants and toddlers, and added a special play area named The Kids’ Kaboose. St. Francis also operated a Food Bank which later became the Food Train Program. In 1992, The Society of St. Vincent de Paul – Portland was honored as a recipient of The United States Conference of Mayors End Hunger Award for its St. Francis Dining Hall program.

The Food Train Program was an example of business and non-profit organizations cooperating to solve community problems. The program picked up surplus food from many local restaurants, grocery stores, caterers, bakeries, warehouses and unharvested fields. The food was sorted and distributed to families in need and other charitable agencies.

In 1994 a pilot program, The Life Skills Program, was started by St. Francis Conference to explore ways to assist unemployed and often homeless people get back on their feet and re-enter the workforce. The Life Skills Program operated out of the St. Francis Dining Hall. It provided adults with literacy and pre-employment skills training, and then followed the client through the process of obtaining assistance from various community agencies. The Life Skills Program adopted a slogan that was a spin-off of the SVdP “Help Us Help Others”. The Life Skills Program’s motto was “Help Others Help Themselves.”

The current St. Francis Conference president is Penny Sue Anders. The conference has 18 members, two of which do not do deliveries, but two newly joined will start doing deliveries this July. The average age of its members is around 70! No age limit on doing good and helping others!

To view past Spotlights, click on the following link: Archived Conference Spotlights 7-9-18


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Oct 122017

On behalf of the Board of Directors of the Portland Council, and the Conference Presidents as well, we wish to thank Bob Gazewood for his many years of dedicated service to the Society of St. Vincent de Paul. As a long time Board member, his judgment, support, and counsel have been invaluable. Bob brought his accounting acumen to assist the Council at a time of great need during a tough financial situation starting in 2011. In 2014 Bob accepted the three-year position of President of the Board of Directors. During his tenure as Board Chair, Bob was instrumental in turning the Portland Council around financially through the sale of funds-draining property, then finding and negotiating the purchase for our current building. His dedication—traveling from his home on the coast to Portland for all meetings and special purposes as needed, was an example of faithfulness and work ethic, and an inspiration to all. Having fulfilled his three-year commitment as Board President, Bob has now stepped down due to increased family responsibilities. We are so very grateful for his service to SVdP. Thank you, Bob.

We are delighted to announce that Gayle Pizzuto, past President of the Ascension St. Vincent de Paul Conference, has volunteered to take on the leadership role as the new President of the St. Vincent de Paul’s Portland Council, starting October 1st, 2017. Gayle has served on the Board for the last three years as Board Secretary, dutifully recording not only Board minutes but Conference Presidents meeting minutes as well. She has been an outstanding Vincentian for over 25 years, and was awarded “Vincentian of the Year” in 2015. Gayle’s willingness to tackle any and all projects that were asked of her while serving as Secretary, will serve her well as Board President. She is excited for the opportunity to work with the Board, as well as the Conference Presidents, in bringing about a greater awareness of the wonderful mission that the Portland Council plays in being of service to the less fortunate of our community. We look forward to your guidance and to serving with you, Gayle.

The Portland Council Welcomes New Staff

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Oct 092017

SVdP’s Portland Council would like to introduce two people who recently joined our team: Mike Armentrout, Accounting Manager, and Craig Loughridge, Emergency Services Manager.

Mike, a Certified Management Accountant with a B.S. in Accounting from the University of Montana, has many years’ experience as an accounting manager and comes to us most recently from the Archdiocese of Portland’s Stewardship and Development office.

Craig earned his master’s degree in business administration from Marylhurst University, where he also studied nonprofit leadership. He has led nonprofit organizations in south Clackamas County, where he has been a volunteer for more than 20 years.

Craig’s professional experience ranges from managing a real estate business for 15 years to working nine years in customer service, nearly six years in journalism, and four years active Navy service. His most recent positions have been with the Oregon State Grange and the Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development.

“Every past position I’ve taken on, I did it because I wanted to help others solve problems that were important to them,” Craig said. “I look forward to helping the Portland Council’s clients face their hardships with dignity, respect and the love of God.”


Directions to Portland Council Headquarters

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Jan 132017

cornwell-minimapThe Portland Council is in a new building at 8101 SE Cornwell St. This is just across the street from the north edge of the Johnson Creek Fred Meyer parking lot, and a half block west of SE 82nd Avenue. It’s also a half block east of the Clackamas Service Center. Public transportation is available via Tri-Met bus line #72 on SE 82nd. The Fuller Street station of the MAX Green line is 7/10ths of a mile away between I-205 and Dick’s Sporting Goods.


Community Rewards for St. Vincent de Paul

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May 312016

Now you can help St. Vincent de Paul earn cash donations by shopping with your Fred Meyer Rewards card. Fred Meyer is donating $2.5 million per year to non-profits in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington, based on where customers want them to give.FM Community Rewards Logo

Sign up for the Community Rewards program by linking your Fred Meyer Rewards Card to St. Vincent de Paul by going to the Fred Meyer website Sign Up . You can search for us by our name or by our non-profit number 91157.  If you have already signed up thank you. Remember that the “new year of giving” starts July 1, so re-enroll now and make every shopping trip count!

Every time you shop and use your Rewards Card, you are helping St. Vincent de Paul earn a donation! Continue reading »