St Vincent de Paul Society

A Message from your St. Vincent de Paul Conference

We'd like to take a few brief minutes to share how our St. Vincent de Paul conference works in our neighborhoods.

Although it may not be obvious, there are many residents of San Carlos who are working but cannot meet basic needs. They may hold down jobs yet struggle each day to make ends meet. As a matter of fact, low wage earner's hourly wages fell 7.2% over the past 7 years per a recent study by the advocacy group, California Budget Project.

St. Vincent de Paul in San Carlos supplements the emergency needs of our citizens when county and state services cannot. We provide food, prevent evictions, offer clothing and help pay for utilities for our local. Per the California Budget Project report of 2010, 2.3 million California's remain unemployed, with an average of 8 months to find another job. The inflation-adjusted hourly wage has dropped 2.5%. And the average workweek has shortened to 38 hours. These facts support our need to provide adjunct care for those of us struggling to make ends meet.

If you are considering donating your time or funds to a cause, there's no better way to do that than through St. Vincent de Paul. You literally see the difference your effort makes - and with very little time spent to do so. Any Vincentian will tell you how fulfilling it is to help a family have food for dinner or clothes for school.

Per Charity Navigator, San Mateo County's St. Vincent de Paul was rated 4 out of 4 stars based on organizational efficiency, including low administrative expenses. We rely solely on your donations in order to provide for our neighbors. More than half of our donations came from 5th Sunday collections, which occur only 4-5 times per year. If you miss a Sunday collection, we have collection boxes on the walls in the vestibules by the church doors where you can leave donations anytime. Or even with the parish office anytime.

You can find other activities you can participate in as well as other ways to donate here on this webpage. Please feel free to contact us with questions or comments via the parish secretary at any time.

Your St. Vincent de Paul conference asks that you consider joining us in supporting our neighbors - either via donations and/or participating in activities. As Luke 6:38 states, "Give, and it will be given to you."

Thank you. Your St. Charles' St. Vincent de Paul Conference


The Archdiocesan Council of San Francisco is composed of three separate county councils: Marin, San Francisco, and San Mateo. These in turn are formed and governed by much smaller--usually parish-based--groups known as conferences. Most Vincentians work within these conferences to provide assistance. Last year, 40,000 distinct individuals were served in San Mateo County, including 17,800 children.

The first San Mateo County St. Vincent de Paul Conference was founded in 1931 at Holy Angels Parish in Colma. Currently, there are 32 parish-based Conferences and 3 Homeless Help Center Conferences.  Approximately 1,100 Vincentian volunteers offer emergency aid to all areas of San MateoCounty, working within their parish locations.

Aid is given regardless of age, gender, race or creed.  

Who does St. Charles’ SVdP serve?

  • We primarily serve people living in San Carlos who are having difficulty meeting basic needs such as food, housing, utilities, and clothing.
  • We support our sister parish, St. Francis, in East Palo Alto
  • We support the San Mateo County SVdP Voice of the Poor(VoP) committee’s efforts.

How do we serve the needy in San Carlos?

  • We provide food and or food vouchers. We also provide vouchers for clothing and/or furniture from our local SVdP stores
  • We assist in obtaining bus (SamTrans) tokens
  • We provide rental assistance and utility payment assistance
  • We refer the homeless to county and non-profit homeless providers

How does the conference get funds?

  • Every fifth Sunday at St Charles, there is a second collection. The funds from this collection are used to stock the SVdP pantry and/or provide monetary assistance to the local needy. Food is also supplemented by Second Harvest.

St. Charles Saint Vincent de Paul Conference Activities

You are welcome to become a member of St. Charles SVdP, and join with a group of dedicated, like-minded individuals who meet the 2nd Thursday of each month at the parish hall in the St. Charles meeting room. The meetings start at 7:30 p.m. We also have occasional social events as a group. See the church bulletin for details, or contact the president of our conference by email at

Home Visits

When: Monday through Friday, as needed. Two Vincentians each night, with backups when necessary.

St. Francis Food Collection

When: Every 3rd Sunday

Bundle Sunday

When: Annually

Friendship Luncheon

When: Quarterly

Advent Food and Clothing Collection for St. Francis

When: During Advent, 4 Sundays

St. Matthew’s Thanksgiving Food Collection

When: November

Giving Tree

When: December

Monthly meetings

When: 2nd Thursday of each month year-round