Our Mission
The Society of St. Vincent de Paul is a network of friends, inspired by Gospel values, growing in holiness and building a more just world through personal relationships with and service to people in need. 
Our People
This new section will help you get to know our staff, board, volunteers, and partners. This month we are featuring...

Bruce Noble, Director of Holy Family Ministries

Bruce Noble grew up in Omaha, attended Holy Cross Elementary and Ryan High School, received degrees from UNO and UNL, married his high school girlfriend, backpacked Europe and lived for a while in New Mexico.

He worked in Omaha and Bellevue as a newspaper photographer, reporter and editor, and taught elementary school in Millard for 22 years.
Since retirement from the classroom, he has been an educator at Fontenelle Forest, helped restore electrical service after storms and hurricanes, worked as a photo editor and video producer and manager of the SVdP Pantry.
He is an avid gardener, a husband of 45 years, father to two daughters, and grandfather to five grandchildren.
He is fully engaged as assistant director of Holy Family, committed to the legacy of feeding and clothing the poor and homeless, as well as repurposing the historic Holy Family building, garden and grounds, and growing community in our North Downtown neighborhood. We are so grateful for all of Bruce's energy, insight, and ideas!
Our Work
Community Garden Project

The Society of St. Vincent de Paul is working with Catholic Charities, Together, Inc., Whispering Roots, and Big Gardens to promote easier access and more reliable sources of local food supplies, especially fresh produce across diverse cultural requirements for Omaha residents.

Communities that have robust, sustainable, local sources of food are much more able to withstand unpredictable disruptions in food supplies caused by weather, health, or economic crises. In part that requires a reliable process for delivering available supplies to people who need them. In part it requires new local sources of food.

The Society wants to help any interested group to locate, build, plant, manage and harvest community gardens in their neighborhoods. These gardens will provide fresh vegetables and fruit, principally to food-insecure people in their neighborhoods and then to local food pantries or larger regional pantries. Individual gardeners will be able to harvest some of what they plant for themselves, but the primary goal for each garden is to provide access to local, robust, sustainable, culturally appropriate fresh produce for people in need in Omaha. 

If you are interested in becoming part of a great adventure next spring, let us know now so you can be part of the planning process! Contact volunteers@svdpomaha.com
As an organization dedicated to helping the poor, low income, and homeless families of our community, SVdP is committed to honoring the diversity of the people we serve as well as that of the people who work in our organization.
All of the public work we do takes a great deal of behind the scenes and administrative effort. We have been learning new software, training new staff, growing new partnerships, looking for funding, evaluating our mission, preparing for a new fiscal year and so much more. Check out our website if you haven't lately,
there is a lot to learn there. Also check out our
new blog entry from Executive Director Marty Smith!
We have helped close to 300 families with over $280,000 worth of assistance. We are currently able to offer this assistance to those who can provide the needed documents. 
Your support would help us cover more assistance until the grant is distributed in full. Thank you!
We need people to host coat drives or otherwise collect winter coats before October 31. You can also drop coats at any of our stores or donate money for us to purchase new coats at a discount through the Knights of Columbus. We will also need volunteers for coat sorting, set up and the giveaway on Nov 7, so please contact us if you can help with a drive or volunteering.

Could you consider knitting hats or scarves for the coat giveaway? They are always in need and greatly appreciated!
Current Food Pantry Needs:
Produce welcome!
Rice, beans, and staples always needed!
Drop off at 2101 Leavenworth Monday or Wednesday
between 8:00 - 11:00 am
2101 Leavenworth Street
Our stores support the community of donors, local businesses, customers, and the needy and as of the introduction of COVID we have also seen new ways to support the local economy and further our mission. We have hired additional people that were previously unemployed and concerned about how to support their own families amid this pandemic. We are also looking to hire approximately 10 more people. This employment will assist a significant number of people as they begin to put their daily lives back in order and build confidence in their households that brighter days are on the horizon for Omaha.
If you can join us at any of our stores, we can provide a fun opportunity to sort clothes and help with other projects with friends or while meeting new people. Safely with masks and distance of course!
Nebraska Recycling Council
Did you know that we are great recyclers? Thrift stores divert tons of materials from landfills every year and your support helps. We are working with the Nebraska Recycling Council to assess our current processes and see where we can improve.
SVdP Thrift Stores
Store Donation Pickup: Call Monday - Friday 9am-5pm to schedule

Northwest Store
5505 N. 90th St | Mon-Sat 9a-8p, Sun 12-5p | 402-502-7837

Downtown Store
2101 Leavenworth St | Mon-Sat: 9a-6p | 402-341-4942

Papillion Store
807 Tara Pl | Mon-Sat 9a-6p | 402-593-4055

South Omaha Store
5037 S. 24th St | Mon-Sat 9a-6p | 402-733-3500

Listen & Learn Lunch
We are acutely aware of the devastating issues facing our neighbors who are Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) and wanted to offer a place for them to speak, while we all listen and learn. As we do what we can to renovate on the inside of the building and until we can invite you in to participate, we thought we could reach out to gather stories one at a time and begin to share them through video. These stories in the Listen & Learn Lunch series are part Ted Talk, part the Moth style, part conversation, part interview. Our first group of stories features members of the St Benedict the Moor parish, who recently rejoined the Society of St Vincent de Paul. These are folks of all ages and backgrounds and each has a fascinating story, just as every one of you do.
​Future series will include the homeless we serve here at Holy Family and other groups of people who may not have an opportunity to share their stories. We can learn so much about our neighbors when we just take a few minutes to really listen. Our differences may suddenly seem not so different and our similarities can become striking. The divide between us can be bridged through our stories and fear and confusion eased. We hope to offer our beautiful Chapel space to the community in the future as a place to share these stories, and of course to have lunch, because food is another bridge that can cross divides and bring people together. Someday, you will be able to bring your lunch and a friend and listen and learn here with us, but for now, we offer these videos of stories from our community.
Art 21
Look for our virtual screening of an episode of the PBS series Art 21 on Thursday November 5th at 5:30pm. There will be an online discussion following the hour long show with artists and curators from The Joslyn Art Museum and the Bemis Center for Contemporary Art. Learn about contemporary art and the artists making it as well as some of your neighbors.
Look for a new concert series coming up in the Chapel. We are going to begin to have very small concerts in our amazing space featuring players from every genre of music we can find. We can safely seat up to thirty people at a six foot distance with the players even further away. When we open all the windows we have good ventilation and can share the sounds with our neighbors. There will be livestreaming or recording whenever possible for these invite only concerts so we can share the wealth of talent Omaha has with as many people as possible.
Whatever we do, we look for the humor...can you see the face we found while making sandwiches at Holy Family? Thanks volunteer Julie!

Speaking of fun faces, here is a website that brings giggles and could be fun family outdoor project: The Googly Eye Foundation

Sack Lunch Program
By the end of October, we were serving lunches to 100-plus neighbors daily at our door. Lunches are prepared each weekday morning by teams of volunteers. Thirty different volunteers work in teams of six to make lunches consisting of lunch meat, ham, and bread donated by Rotella, plus savory sides like nut and fruit mix. Parishioners at Saint Stephen the Martyr supplement our store-bought sweets by baking cookies, cakes and other deserts each week. Each lunch includes bottled water and high-protein milk shakes plus fresh produce, usually carrots, grape tomatoes and bananas, oranges or apples.

Closet Door
The demand for clothing has exploded at the Closet Door this month with the cooler autumn weather. Men and women can visit and receive socks, underwear and shirts once a week, and other needed clothing items biweekly, monthly or seasonally. We supply much of our inventory through donations to Saint Vincent de Paul, but must purchase socks and underwear often to keep up with demand. Donations toward those items is appreciated.

Street Outreach
We have been delivering 140 lunches throughout the month to stops on the street at 24th and Leavenworth, Park Towers near Hanscom Park and in South Omaha near Our Lady of Guadalupe Church. At the beginning of each month we also distribute laundry soap and toilet paper to folks at those stops, and this November 1st we saw a greater demand than usual for those simple and essential items.

Things are winding down in the Churchyard Garden as autumn brings an end to the season. With frosts in the forecast, gardeners are picking their last tomatoes, both red and green. Peppers are being pulled, in some cases before reaching that enticing yellow, orange and red color that we love. Basil leaves are being picked for pesto one last time. The New American families are harvesting the last of their very productive in-ground plots.

Each gardener in our 21 raised beds is responsible for clearing the box of plants as they die back and filling our three compost bins.

This season saw several structural changes with the addition of six new boxes, picnic tables and a swing. Not all changes were for the better, as at least one woodchuck took up residence, digging its huge den right in one garden box. We have welcomed a small gray cat to the the Churchyard, and hope it can help with our bunny population.

Most gardening will most likely end during October, and we will survey our gardeners regarding their experience during this pandemic-altered summer and begin planning for next season. This summer was one of growth, and next year holds great promise for feeding our gardeners, families and pantry clients.
Please consider the Society and Holy Family in your estate and other planned giving.
Contact our Executive Director Marty Smith here.
Your support is greatly appreciated!
We are combining the Holy Family and SVdP newsletters. Look for this one on the
first Friday of each month.
If you or someone you know is in need of assistance:
 Helpline: 402-346-5445