SEQUIM — Mike Flynn, president of the St. Vincent de Paul Society, often comes face to face with homeless and poor people as he works for the volunteer society that serves Sequim and Port Angeles.
The goal of the annual St. Vincent de Paul Friends of the Poor Walk, Flynn said, is twofold: to raise money to help those living in poverty and to raise awareness of the program.
This year’s walk is set from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Saturday, starting at Sequim’s Carrie Blake Park.
Registration opens at noon.
This year, the walk will begin at the park and proceed east along the Olympic Discovery Trail.
Participants have the option of walking as far as Whitefeather Way or in a short loop around Carrie Blake Park. Refreshments will be provided.
The goal for this year’s event is $10,000.
“In this Year of Mercy, as declared by Pope Francis, it is especially appropriate that we consider those whose need is great,” walk coordinator Mike McAleer said.
For Sequim, proceeds primarily help those living within the school district boundaries avoid utility disconnections and evictions.
In the Port Angeles area, funds will be used primarily to help people within the school district boundaries and west pay for medical costs and transportation.
The assistance doesn’t go just to those of one faith, Flynn notes.
“There is a conception that because we have ‘Saint’ in our title that we help only Catholics,” Flynn said. “We help anybody that needs help … in all sorts of circumstances.”
That includes helping people find housing, transportation to work or to medical appointments, he said.
In addition, Flynn says, the St. Vincent de Paul Society has an Occupational Assistance Program that helps individuals be more employable.
The society is an all-volunteer group — there is no office, no one is paid and usually the only expense is a phone bill, Flynn noted.
For more information or to register, call 360-460-8883.