From: Denis Dugan, Naples District Council President
We have just completed our fiscal year 2015-2016 and I believe it appropriate to let our friends and supporters know how we did.
We have met the needs of the poor at a greater number than any year before. During the fiscal year ending September 30, 2016, the Naples District Council aid to the needy was approximately $1.08 million and served over 3000 additional individuals with some type of aid. We helped just in excess of 18,000 people with some kind of financial assistance, food and/or furniture and household items. We project an even larger number for FY 2016-2017.
Our two thrift stores grossed over $1.7 million in sales of donated merchandise. The sales from our stores goes directly to helping the needy here in Collier County We are also pleased to announce the opening of our latest thrift store “St. Vincent’s Treasure Trove”. This retail outlet, located on Bonita Beach Blvd, will feature some of the better items that have been donated to us. I hope you visit our stores often. Merchandise is turned over quickly and many excellent bargains are always available.
Our scholarship program provided $124,000 on an “in-need” basis to students attending Catholic Schools in Collier County.
Here are some of the areas in which we will continue to focus in order to help those we serve in the best way possible:
- We have introduced our new database which allows us to better serve those in need. Ease of input and clearer reporting allows us to go better assess specific needs and better direct our resources to provide assistance;
- Last year our Meals on Wheels operation served meals, seven days per week to over 240 people. We continue to “home-visit” each and every Meals on Wheels recipient in hopes of revitalizing the program as well as ensuring that we are providing the best and most efficient help to those we serve;
- We have increased our Paraclete budget for 16-17 to $48,000, hoping to bring more families to permanent self-sufficiency;
- We have created a committee to study and implement fund-raising techniques in order to provide even more assistance to those we serve;
- We are continually monitoring our “operation expenses”. These are everyday costs of doing business: salaries, insurance, utilities, facility upgrades and maintenance, vehicle maintenance costs, and on and on. These costs are necessary to operate, but distasteful to us because it is dollars that will not be used in direct assistance to those we serve.
Our projected budget for 2016-17 projects a budget deficit of over $60,000. We will apply sound business principles to be more efficient in all that we do. However, we will not cut the amount of aid provided to assist those dealing with poverty on a daily basis.
Motivated by the teachings of Jesus Christ, and praying for his continued guidance, our promise to you is this: We will assiduously monitor expenses giving you the confidence that any contributions you make reach the hands of the neediest in the area we serve.
If you have any questions, comments, suggestions or criticisms, please share them with me so that we may all continue to grow the Kingdom of God on earth by working to better help the those in need.
In the Spirit of St. Vincent,
President, Naples District Council