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  • Brian Ferschweiler

2023 Christmas Appeal

As Executive Director of St. vincent de Paul's Portland Council, it has been my tradition at this time of year to reflect deeply on the mission of SVdP, and to convey to everyone, in various ways, exactly what our contributors' sustained support for 154 years has done to fill the urgent needs for food, rent, and utility assistance.


Every year I could write a book about our treasured donors, and also include narratives from grateful clients who received help when they came to us in need. However, there are confines to this space, and this year has been a very unique one for our organization, as you will see when you read the other pieces included here.


So, my absolute gratitude, though expressed more succintly than usual, is not diminished by the number of words I am using to express it. Simply put: We would not exist if not for our contributors. I am humbled and grateful for every single donation, and it is always my hope that everyone will continue their support. My brevity is due to the fact that this has been the most dynamic year for SVdP during my tenure as Executive Director.


The big news is that the Portland Council is planning to open a brand-new retail thrift store sometime in the fall of 2024. More information will be forthcoming as the opening grows closer; but research and demographics have shown that there could not be a better time for this decision, or a better way to generate funds for our mission.


Also, we had our most financially successful golf tournament in the history of the organization in August. To thank everyone responsible for making it so successful would require an extra page.


Most importantly, I want to express my sincere gratitude to outgoing Board President Gayle Pizzuto who, for over six years, displayed unwavering devotion and support for the mission of SVdP, as well as providing leadership and insight at a time when it was needed most.


Taking over the reins of Board President will be Chris Greiveldinger, who's been on our Board since early 2022. I can say without a doubt that his commitment to SVdP is absolute. I look forward to working closely with Chris on the opening of the stores, and working always to broaden our mission in response to crucial needs in the community, which your gifts make possible to meet.


I offer my thanks to all who embrace the mission of St. Vincent de Paul through their generous gifts in support of our programs. At the same time, I ask our supporters to share with others their story of why they feel personally connected to our organization, and to the people we serve.


Blessings,

Brian Ferschweiler

Executive Director

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