Staff Report

The Society of St. Vincent de Paul (SVdP), a non-profit 501(C)3 charity, invites members of the public of all ages to participate in the Friends of the Poor Walk/Run on Saturday, Sept. 30, 2017, at River View Park, 151 Sycamore Drive in Buellton. This event is being held in Santa Barbara County for the second time; and nationally, is the 9th annual FOP Walk/Run.

All proceeds and donations from this event in Buellton will directly benefit people in Santa Barbara County to ease the financial stresses of the working poor.  On Saturday, September 30, 2017, registration opens at 9:00 a.m. and the Walk/Run will begin at 10:00 a.m.. Participants will be encouraged to walk/run laps around scenic River View Park until the conclusion at Noon. There will be refreshments, games for children and free information about SVdP services available throughout the morning.

According to Susan Megliola, SVdP Santa Barbara District President, a resident of Solvang, “The main beneficiary of our second Friends of the Poor Walk/Run in Santa Barbara County is the SVdP Santa Barbara District Council Low Interest Loans for Low Income (LILLI) program designed to end poverty through systemic change. We want to help victims of predatory loans through financial education and low interest loan conversions.”

Continued Megliola, “Year-round, our SVdP volunteers in Santa Barbara County provide housing and utility assistance, auto repairs, medical and dental assistance, food, furniture, clothing, and other emergency needs. None of our works of charity could be accomplished without the generous support of many people and the dedicated members of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul. We encourage the community to participate in the Friends of the Poor Walk/Run this month in Buellton.”

Within the Santa Barbara District of SVdP, there are eight Conferences of Charity comprising more than 149 active volunteers from parishes including La Purisima Concepcion (Lompoc), Old Mission Santa Barbara, Old Mission Santa Ines (Solvang), Our Lady of Guadalupe, San Roque (Santa Barbara), St. Joseph (Carpinteria), St. Mary of the Assumption (Santa Maria) and St. Rafael (Goleta). In 2016, Santa Barbara District SVdP paid out $150,000 in direct aid and an equivalent amount of in-kind goods and services to 1,500 neighbors.

Anyone interested in learning more about the SVdP Friends of the Poor Walk/Run, participating or making a pledge can visit or go to the Santa Barbara District event site: