Catholic Diocese of Spokane, Washington

From the

Official News Magazine of the Diocese of Spokane

Deacon Eric Meisfjord, Editor
P.O. Box 48, Spokane WA 99210
(509) 358-7340; FAX: (509) 358-7302

St. Vincent de Paul volunteer: ‘I just do what needs to be done’

by Bonita Lawhead, Inland Register staff

(From the March 18, 2004 edition of the Inland Register)

Walter Morbeck of Spokane is one of St. Vincent de Paul’s mainstay volunteers. He’s done everything at the store, including two short terms serving as temporary thrift store manager. He started his third term as manager in January, “just until they find somebody else,” he said.

He is the older brother of Father George Morbeck, pastor of the parishes in Republic anc Curlew, and has been been a member of the St. Vincent de Paul Conference at St. Francis of Assisi Parish, Spokane, since 1983.

“My wife and I went on vacation,” Morbeck said. “When we came back, a friend of my wife’s said she had volunteered us for the conference. We’ve been there ever since.”

The St. Francis Conference has about 16 members.

As store manager, Morbeck doesn’t keep a set schedule of hours. “I just do what needs to be done,” he said. He oversees the various departments and also St. Vincent’s two branch stores in Spokane, one in Hillyard and one on Monroe. He makes sure the donated items get sorted properly, repaired if needed and then marked. He oversees the volunteers, too.

Morbeck’s start in St. Vincent may have been facilitated by someone else, but he recognizes the value in what the organization does. “ We provide low-cost items for people who can’t afford new, and we give out food. If we have money left, we give it to Family Services to help people with their utilities.

“St. Vincent does good work,” he said.

Like many enterprises in these troubled economic times, St. Vincent has had to tighten its belt “to cut expenses,” Morbeck said. “We sure could use some more volunteers to help out.”

St. Vincent relies almost completely on volunteer crews to continue its charitable works.

Persons who would like to lend a hand can call the St. Vincent store at (509) 535-2491.

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