Names: Norma Carrillo
Affiliation: Society of St. Vincent de Paul
Role with St. Vincent de Paul: Volunteer Services Coordinator and oversees “Hearts and Hands” Kids Days
How did you get involved with St. Vincent de Paul?
I began as an intern in 2011 through AmeriCorps. I fell in love with this mission. I was praying to God and said, “This is where I want to be and this is the kind of work I want to do. Please keep me in a place like this where I can help people in need.” So God heard my prayers and a month and a half later, they offered me a job here.
What does this campaign mean?
It will help feed more people in need. That’s what St. Vincent de Paul’s mission is: to feed, clothe, house and heal those in need. I’ve been here seven years and they use the money well. I could tell you stories of how people’s lives change.
Jose came five years ago. He was 56 years old. [Health issues led to unemployment] Because of that his wife left him and took the kids because he wasn’t able to provide. [He was so grateful for a bed at a nearby shelter he came to St. Vincent de Paul to help. Carrillo asked him,] “Why don’t you start by volunteering? That can give you some hope.”
We all go through hard times. Things will get better. You don’t know when, but it will get better.
“Hearts and Hands” Kids Day
An all-ages volunteer event supporting St. Vincent de Paul outreach. 9 a.m.-noon
Nov. 22 (Thanksgiving)
From a St. Vincent de Paul perspective, how does this campaign speak to evangelization and discipleship?
I feel we’re all disciples and we have to spread the Good News. You’re teaching the young kids and they’re the future. By teaching them, you’re going to be teaching others. I can see the passion in the kids serving others in the community. By making sack lunches at this event, they’re feeding people. It’s a good way to evangelize and treat people like family. We’re all in this together.