Société Saint-Vincent-de-Paul gains a new director while the number of volunteers remains low | Local News
The new director of the Saint Vincent de Paul Society of Uniontown embraces the society’s mission to help those in need.
But, said director Bernadette Oberlechner, to continue providing assistance, the association also needs help.
“We could probably use 50 to 100 volunteers,” Oberlechner said, adding that they were starting a volunteer campaign with information in 4,000 church bulletins in the area.
Oberlechner began on September 21 and found the organization was struggling with a shortage of volunteers, an issue that began last year during the pandemic.
“We just don’t have enough,” said Sheryl Dennis, volunteer and volunteer coordinator for the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul in Uniontown.
Dennis said COVID-19 has harmed a lot of different places and made people afraid to volunteer, even though safety measures are in place.
The organization lost more than half of its volunteers during the pandemic. Dennis said it hits those who stay hard, trying to keep up with sorting and pricing of items in the store, helping in the pantry or delivering furniture.
“We continue to do the same,” she said. “It’s just that we can do the same. “
Oberlechner said volunteers can set their own schedules, work in whatever area they want and set their own schedules.
“It can be a fun experience,” Oberlechner said. “Some people like it for the social aspect of it.”
“When you volunteer here you meet a lot of nice people,” Dennis said. “I made a lot of good friends here that I didn’t think I made, and you don’t have to be Catholic to volunteer here.”
Although the shortage of volunteers is a challenge, Oberlechner said she was excited to take on the role of director of St. Vincent de Paul in Uniontown.
“I love what they do, I love the goal and I love the mission,” said
The organization offers help in a number of ways, including emergency aid, a pantry, through its thrift store and by working with Hear Fayette, an advocacy group for people who are hard of hearing or hard of hearing.
Oberlechner was at church when she saw in the newsletter that the association was looking for a director of operations.
“I felt it was a call from God,” she said. “I prayed every day. I applied for the same position three years ago, so timing is of the essence.
Anyone interested in volunteering can do so by calling 724-439-9188 or stopping to fill out an application at 62-70-90 N. Mount Vernon Ave., Uniontown.