The actions of AIC volunteers around the world show that however difficult the situation, it is always possible to continue supporing those in need.
Like many European countries, France has been badly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, and it is those living in poverty who are most vulnerable to its economic impacts. The AIC volunteers are aware of this, and in various towns across the country (Strasbourg, Verdun, Saint-Valéry-en-Caux, Tarbes and others), they have continued their food bank services to the families that rely on them, adapting the way they work to respect social distancing and hygiene measures. Some volunteers are also making masks for those who need them. The volunteers have the support of the local authorities and the beneficiaries are reassured to see their familiar friendly faces at this particularly difficult time.
In Châtillon-sur-Chalaronne, where St Vincent set up the first Charity in 1617, and where the AIC International Assembly was held 400 years later, the AIC volunteers have continued supporting vulnerable elderly people. They stay in touch with them by phone or in writing, according to each person’s capabilities, and they have sent homemade masks and greetings cards with words of comfort, poems or Bible verses.
Like many other local AIC groups, the Châtillon-sur-Chalaronne group also has an international focus. Before the COVID-19 pandemic set in, the group organized a soup and hot wine fundraising event to support people in Venezuela.
Read more about the work of AIC-France/Equipes-Saint-Vincent (in French)
The actions of AIC volunteers are a living testimony of the words of our founder St Vincent de Paul: “Love is inventive, even to infinity”.