Young adults connect while helping homeowners through Vincent’s Legacy

June 5, 2024 at 2:42 p.m.
Young adults participating in the June 1 Service and Social pause for a photo with the St. Vincent de Paul delivery truck they loaded. Angelica Chicaiza photo
Young adults participating in the June 1 Service and Social pause for a photo with the St. Vincent de Paul delivery truck they loaded. Angelica Chicaiza photo

By Angelica Chicaiza, Correspondent

Young adults laughed and joked, working in groups as they loaded furniture from a warehouse into trucks, then delivered it to recipients. They traveled to other homes to pick up furniture to be donated to families in need.

The 19 participants from around the Diocese of Trenton were contributing to the annual service and social event, in which young adults aged 18 to 39 serve those in need while fostering connections and friendships. This year, the Diocese partnered with Vincent’s Legacy Furniture Outreach Conference, part of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul’s Trenton Diocesan Council.

Young adults from across the Diocese of Trenton gathered June 1 in Wall, at the Vincent’s Legacy warehouse, to put their faith into action.

Dan Waddington, director of the diocesan Department of Youth and Young Adult Ministries, welcomed the participants. Reflecting on the first Epistle of St. Peter, he encouraged the young adults to be stewards of their gifts, emphasizing that serving others is a way to give back to God.

“There's an opportunity for young adults to step out of their normal life and use their own hands to become the hands of Christ, to bring things to people in need and encounter and walk with them,” Waddington told The Monitor. “We don't always think about that. We often take so much for granted.”

Making a House a Home

Jim Ward, president of Vincent's Legacy and long-time parishioner at St. Catharine Parish, Holmdel, explained that the purpose of Vincent's Legacy is "to help a person turn their house into a home.”

Working in teams, volunteers carry heavy furniture from the warehouse to the truck for delivery to a family in need. Angelica Chicaiza photo

He emphasized that the family in need is involved in deciding what furniture will come into their space.

“We try not to put something into someone’s home that we wouldn’t put in one of our own,” he said. “The quality of the piece should be good enough that we would use it ourselves.”

After loading the trucks, one group of participants headed to their first delivery, to Kayla Maldonado, a young woman from Toms River who sought help from Vincent’s Legacy after hearing about their work from a family friend. Maldonado recently moved into a small space and could not obtain furniture.

“We are so happy, so happy. It was tears of joy, everything,” Maldonado said. “Praise God. … I'm just grateful right now, and they're helping, and we're gonna take it little by little,” she said as the participants assembled the furniture in her home.

Following this, the groups picked up furniture donated by families who hoped it would benefit others in need. One pickup location was the home of Ron, Nancy, and Larry Forrest, who were donating two couches.

The Forrests spoke of how the couch had been a central piece of their family life, with their kids sitting, jumping and playing on it.

“It feels great to know it will be used again,” Nancy Forrest said.

Inspired to Serve

At the day’s conclusion, the young adults gathered around a table to share and reflect on their experiences.

Jay Donofrio of St. Augustine of Canterbury Parish, Kendall Park, heard about the event from a bulletin at St. Paul Parish, Princeton. He participated in the service and social event for the first time.

“You feel like you are doing the Lord’s work,” he said. “I just feel like it was God's will [for me] to be here, to meet these people, to help out, to have them help me, and I gained something as well.”

“When we serve others, we're serving God, and we're putting Him and others before ourselves,” said Chaselyn Palumbo, a member of St. Catharine-St. Margaret Parish, Spring Lake. “It's a humbling experience, especially today when we walked into the first apartment and there was nothing there.

“I think it's just really nice to be united together for the same purpose, and it's just refreshing to be around other Catholics,” she added.

The connection forged, Waddington observed, “was very evident – the fact that the event ended, and they continue to talk and laugh … and they want to come back for more.”

For more information on Vincent’s Legacy, please visit https://vincentslegacy.wixsite.com/furniture.


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Young adults laughed and joked, working in groups as they loaded furniture from a warehouse into trucks, then delivered it to recipients. They traveled to other homes to pick up furniture to be donated to families in need.

The 19 participants from around the Diocese of Trenton were contributing to the annual service and social event, in which young adults aged 18 to 39 serve those in need while fostering connections and friendships. This year, the Diocese partnered with Vincent’s Legacy Furniture Outreach Conference, part of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul’s Trenton Diocesan Council.

Young adults from across the Diocese of Trenton gathered June 1 in Wall, at the Vincent’s Legacy warehouse, to put their faith into action.

Dan Waddington, director of the diocesan Department of Youth and Young Adult Ministries, welcomed the participants. Reflecting on the first Epistle of St. Peter, he encouraged the young adults to be stewards of their gifts, emphasizing that serving others is a way to give back to God.

“There's an opportunity for young adults to step out of their normal life and use their own hands to become the hands of Christ, to bring things to people in need and encounter and walk with them,” Waddington told The Monitor. “We don't always think about that. We often take so much for granted.”

Making a House a Home

Jim Ward, president of Vincent's Legacy and long-time parishioner at St. Catharine Parish, Holmdel, explained that the purpose of Vincent's Legacy is "to help a person turn their house into a home.”

Working in teams, volunteers carry heavy furniture from the warehouse to the truck for delivery to a family in need. Angelica Chicaiza photo

He emphasized that the family in need is involved in deciding what furniture will come into their space.

“We try not to put something into someone’s home that we wouldn’t put in one of our own,” he said. “The quality of the piece should be good enough that we would use it ourselves.”

After loading the trucks, one group of participants headed to their first delivery, to Kayla Maldonado, a young woman from Toms River who sought help from Vincent’s Legacy after hearing about their work from a family friend. Maldonado recently moved into a small space and could not obtain furniture.

“We are so happy, so happy. It was tears of joy, everything,” Maldonado said. “Praise God. … I'm just grateful right now, and they're helping, and we're gonna take it little by little,” she said as the participants assembled the furniture in her home.

Following this, the groups picked up furniture donated by families who hoped it would benefit others in need. One pickup location was the home of Ron, Nancy, and Larry Forrest, who were donating two couches.

The Forrests spoke of how the couch had been a central piece of their family life, with their kids sitting, jumping and playing on it.

“It feels great to know it will be used again,” Nancy Forrest said.

Inspired to Serve

At the day’s conclusion, the young adults gathered around a table to share and reflect on their experiences.

Jay Donofrio of St. Augustine of Canterbury Parish, Kendall Park, heard about the event from a bulletin at St. Paul Parish, Princeton. He participated in the service and social event for the first time.

“You feel like you are doing the Lord’s work,” he said. “I just feel like it was God's will [for me] to be here, to meet these people, to help out, to have them help me, and I gained something as well.”

“When we serve others, we're serving God, and we're putting Him and others before ourselves,” said Chaselyn Palumbo, a member of St. Catharine-St. Margaret Parish, Spring Lake. “It's a humbling experience, especially today when we walked into the first apartment and there was nothing there.

“I think it's just really nice to be united together for the same purpose, and it's just refreshing to be around other Catholics,” she added.

The connection forged, Waddington observed, “was very evident – the fact that the event ended, and they continue to talk and laugh … and they want to come back for more.”

For more information on Vincent’s Legacy, please visit https://vincentslegacy.wixsite.com/furniture.

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