Athlete and advocate Tim Tebow paid a visit to a Phoenix, Arizona, shelter with a special delivery for people in need: 50 pairs of brand-new shoes, including the shoes he was wearing on his own feet.
Upon leaving the center, Tebow noticed that there were more people in attendance than he had pairs of new shoes. Not only did he make a list of the people in need and send extras to the center, but he also removed the shoes from his own feet and gave them away.
"Our model ... has really been built on embracing people," Zabilski explained. Before social distancing was enacted, the St. Vincent de Paul kitchen housed upward of 40 volunteers at a time, and the dining room served hundreds. "Obviously we've had to change all of that," said the CEO.
Access to showers, haircuts, dentistry, counselling, and other of the resource center's services were maintained but massively scaled back. Shifting focus, the center started a mutually beneficial partnership with local restaurants to help feed thousands of people across Arizona every single day.
Seven months on, St. Vincent de Paul's efforts continue.