Names may change, but reaching out to those in need is always the same blessing.

Originally working as the St. Vincent de Paul Society, the Social Action Ministry of Most Holy Name of Jesus Parish in Morrisville helps those in need from Lamoille County and the surrounding area.

“We have been in existence for over 25 years,” explained Mary Elfer, SAM coordinator.

Requests for help are screened “on an individual, confidential basis, and we treat all withdignity no matter their life circumstances,” she said.

Blessed Sacrament Parish in Stowe, which shares Father Jon Schnobrich as pastor, also forwards requests for help that it may be unable to fill to Holy Name Parish-SAM for consideration.

This past year SAM has assisted families with rent deposits, electric bills, heating fuel, laundry vouchers for homeless persons, food cards and gas vouchers needed to travel to doctor appointments.

Every fall, the ministry collaborates with the Rotary and Knights of Columbus to sponsor a free coat drive for adults and children. Prior to Covid-19, hot meals also were made and delivered to seniors.

The ministry, Elfer said, is supported by the generosity of parishioners from both parishes “who entrust us to use their donations for the good of the poor and needy.”

— Originally published in the Winter 2020 issue of Vermont Catholic magazine.