“This is all volunteer. Nobody gets paid,” said society president Sally Maloney.
The society is always seeking more volunteers, as the thrift store is open every day except Sunday and the support center is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to noon.
Food distribution and staffing the thrift store are two ways to volunteer time, but families seeking assistance also go through an application process in which volunteers review their situation and determine how best to meet their needs.
It’s mandatory that families seeking assistance call and make an appointment to have their case reviewed — all of the interviews take place on Wednesdays and phone calls to schedule interviews are taken on Mondays.
Food is distributed every day, but again, it is necessary to make an appointment.
“The society is always in need of volunteers,” said volunteer Nancy Chisholm.
“Just an hour or two of time will go far in helping to provide assistance to those who are in need within our own community.”
And Paulding County itself is in need, Maloney said.
Of all the chapters of St. Vincent de Paul societies in metro Atlanta, Maloney said Paulding County is one of the neediest.
“Paulding County is not the neediest, but it’s right up there in needing a lot of help,” Maloney said.
The Rev. Adrian Pleus, pastor of St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church, said the church’s location in west Dallas is in an area of the county that exemplifies the greater need in Paulding. He said it is a location that is preferable to the parishioners.
“The church and society are both lights and beacons of hope where people are struggling with a lot of things in their life,” Pleus said. “Where does Jesus want to go? Where people desperately need it.”
The people who are helped by the society come from all walks of life, Pleus said.
“St. Benedict said to treat every person like Christ. If someone comes into your life, you love them as God the father would love them. The society tries to treat everyone with the same love, regardless of what religion they are, what color they are, where they are from, what their situations are [or] if they are struggling with an addiction.”
In addition to seeking donations of time in the form of volunteers, the society also welcomes monetary donations and also donations of goods to be sold in the thrift store — including clothes, household goods, furniture and toys. Mattresses and electronics are not accepted.
All donations to the thrift store must be brought inside or brought to the drive-through in the rear where a volunteer will unload the goods into the store.
To volunteer, call (770) 443-1533 or visit the store during business hours, which are Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Applications for assistance are received Mondays from 9 a.m. to noon by calling the same number.