Walla Walla residents soon will see a new name above the St. Vincent de Paul thrift store: St. Frances Cabrini Charitable Services.
The name change, according to a news release, comes after the national St. Vincent de Paul organization updated its bylaws. A new amendment requires local chapters to send all local assets to the national organization if they ever dissolve.
Greg Tompkins, leader of the board of directors for the local St. Vincent de Paul chapter, wanted to keep the organization loyal to Walla Walla. For 67 years, the chapter has maintained its own 501(c)(3) nonprofit status.
Tompkins determined that the best course of action was for the local chapter to separate from the national organization to become an independent nonprofit.
“No one on the board could come around the idea that we’d hand over our existing property, all of which was purchased or donated by local people, to a regional or national organization that had no local connection,” he said in a news release.
St. Frances Cabrini Charitable Services was a name not chosen lightly by the board. Mother Cabrini was America’s first saint, canonized in 1946. In the early 1900s, she visited Walla Walla to tend to the growing immigrant population. She served as a symbol of hope and charity to many in the area.