The St. Vincent de Paul Society Conference at St. John Vianney Church in Gallatin is hosting the ninth annual Walk For Those In Need on Saturday, Sept. 11, at the city’s Triple Creek Park.
“This is our annual fundraiser to collect funds for our conference,” said Gail Payne, St. John Vianney Conference home visitation coordinator. “Our primary focus in our ministry is to help those in need in Gallatin and Castalian Springs.”
The annual fundraiser helps the conference continue to provide financial aid to pay for rent, utilities, medication, car repairs and more to more than 600 families each year, said Clarence Payne, St. John Vianney Conference president.
“Our primary focus is to help the low-income, less fortunate people in the community,” Clarence Payne said. “Anything that would impact a family from a financial standpoint, we talk to them and see if we can get them the help.”
Since the conference began in March 2010, Gail Payne said the support of parishioners at St. John Vianney in Gallatin has grown.
“We found that the vast majority of people really do want to feed the poor and to be the hands of Christ in the faith of the poor,” she said. “God put it in our hearts to do this, and, our parishioners, they love the fact that we are committed and that we are out here doing this.”
Gail Payne said that in providing this service to families in need over the years, they’ve built strong relationships with their clients.
“We run into them in the grocery store, the gas station … and they’re so used to seeing us that they’ve become more and more comfortable with talking with us,” she said. “Sometimes, they’ll call me, and they don’t really need anything financial. They just want to talk about feeling low and feeling like God has abandoned them.
“It’s a wonderful gift that they trust us enough that they’ll have those kinds of discussions with us and not feel like we’re going to judge them or turn them away,” she added. “The efforts of this fundraiser actually help us keep this ministry and these relationships going, which is really great.”
The run begins at 8 a.m. with registration open at 7 a.m.
Cost is $25 per person or $100 for a family of four or more.
First-, second-, and third-place medals will be awarded to runners, and every participant will receive a certificate.
To sign up, visit saintvincentsumner.com/walk-for-those-in-need/. Participants can also sign up in person after any of the Masses at St. John Vianney Church.
Individuals or families in need of financial assistance from the St. Vincent de Paul Society, can call the parish hotline at 615-452-2977 ext. 11.
“Even if someone calls outside of Nashville, I’ll try to find an area church or close place to them,” Gail Payne said. “I never, ever drop people on their head.
“We’ll search and search and at least let people know that we care about finding them some help.”