The Saint Vincent de Paul Society is the principal agency for providing relief to poor in the community. Its function is one of the most important in the parish.
The parish also takes its turn with Saint John’s Soup Kitchen and supports refugee families and mission work. Many outreach and support functions are performed by various parish organizations. Peruse the list and pursue those that fit your personal situation.
The community has many organizations that could use your physical or financial support. If nothing else, you should at least consider their mission and message. These serve both the local community and the international one.
Helping others is the way we internalize and actualize our Faith. The help can take many forms: time, labor, sharing in another’s concerns, money, etc. The important thing is to be personally engaged, in order to serve in a way that transforms — both giver and recipient. Involvement in a cause or a problem does far more for us and the problem than merely giving money at arm’s length.
In addition, if our service addresses problems of justice, it can help erode root causes of injustice and poverty. This is the point on which social justice goes beyond charity, which is more of a stop-gap measure to ease recurring pain in society without really contributing to an effective solution. The solution to poverty requires restructuring an economy and set of beliefs that perpetuate the gulf between rich and poor. We can contribute with every purchase, in fact with almost every practical decision. Even the way we eat and entertain affects others indirectly.
Of course we should aspire to make socially responsible choices and exercise compassion in all that we do. In addition, the parish and the community have many organizations where we can get involved in practical ways.