Imagine that you are 13 and living through the COVID-19 pandemic. You are remotely finishing your 8th grade year at Crosby Middle School and getting ready to go to Atherton High School next year. Most young men would not be thinking about others, but then most young men are not Alex Paul.
Alex is a normal rising high school freshman. He loves Social Studies and learning about history, especially the revolutionary war. He runs track and cross country and plays basketball. He plays violin and looks forward to being part of the Atherton Orchestra. But let’s step back a year.
Alex’s sister, Emily, volunteers and has done fundraising for Norton’s Children’s Hospital. Alex has helped her sell flowers on Valentine’s Day, selling bracelets and they had been working on a dance marathon fundraiser until it was canceled due to COVID-19. But, Alex wanted to find his volunteering niche and as Alex says, “hospitals are not my thing”. Last spring, he started looking for a place to volunteer where he could make a difference and having always been emotional about the needs for the homeless, an announcement about a meeting that Mayor Fischer was hosting about the plight of homelessness here in Louisville, caught his attention. He and his mom attended the meeting and received a recommendation to look at St. Vincent de Paul Louisville and Alex found his spot. Alex jumped in and started volunteering at the Food Pantry last summer helping every Tuesday.
This spring, Alex was getting ready to continue his summer Food Pantry volunteering when he decided he wanted to do more. He came up with the idea to run a weekly canned food drive to benefit the St. Vincent de Paul Louisville Food Pantry. He created and distributed flyers in paper boxes in the Owl Creek neighborhood where his dad lives and in the first two weeks of collecting has already gathered nearly 100 cans which he has brought to the pantry. He plans to continue collecting can goods all summer and hopes to grow the weekly donations tenfold.
Not surprising, someone like Alex has big plans in the future. Although his is an IU fan, his dream schools are UCLA and Pepperdine in southern California. He wants to study Psychology and become a counselor for individuals suffering through mental health and dependency issues. He sees himself having a private practice. He loves volunteering at St. Vincent de Paul Louisville and finds the hands-on work helping the needy families who get their food there exciting. He wants to continue to work at the Pantry each summer and is looking to expand to other volunteer opportunities at the St. Vincent de Paul Louisville campus. He even hopes to engage his future classmates at Atherton to help with the St. Vincent de Paul Louisville mission. Alex has found his niche and it is helping the homeless.
We have sheltered, fed, and nurtured those in need since 1853, and we remain committed to our mission now more than ever.
St. Vincent de Paul Louisville is a 501(C)(3) Nonprofit registered in the US under EIN: 61-0727110