The Alfred-Washburn Center (AWC) is a special works of the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul, Council of Pensacola-Tallahassee Inc.
We at the Alfred-Washburn Center commit ourselves to the Christian ideals as stated by our patron, St. Vincent de Paul when he said:
”You will find that charity is a heavy burden to carry, heavier than the bowl of soup and the basket of bread. But you must keep your gentleness and your smile. It is not enough to give bread and soup, this the rich can do. You are the servant of the poor. They are your masters, terribly sensitive and exacting as you will see, but the uglier and dirtier they are, the more unjust and bitter, the more you must give them of your love. It is because of your love, only your love, that the poor will forgive you the bread you give them.”
In keeping with the gospel mandate of charity, we shall accept the challenge and offer food and services to those in need in our society, as their servant.
Called and empowered by the Holy Spirit, the Alfred-Washburn Center (named after BJ Alfred and Chester Washburn, two long time Vincentians who supported the idea of this facility.) shares the mission of Jesus to bring redemptive love into our world. Following the Gospel mandate of Charity and Justice, our participation in this mission is expressed in our apostolic ministry to the poor, the abandoned, and the neglected. In the spirit of Christian compassion and reconciliation, we seek to provide them with food, clothing, and those services that will enable them to exercise personal dignity, initiative and accountability for life’s basic responsibilities.
Inspired and strengthened by the chrism of love and mercy once animating the lives of Vincent de Paul and Frederick Ozanam, and all those associated with its development, the Alfred-Washburn Center strives to be a center where the marginalized of our society can find care and service from those who choose to participate in its mission.
Love and Mercy challenges us to carry our Christian beliefs about the inherent dignity and worthiness of the poor to the larger community so that we are further enabled in our advocacy for their basic human rights. Our response to the cry of the poor calls us to join them in their cry for justice.
Recognizing that our ministry to the poor is a Privileged One, we commit ourselves to inviting other men and women to join us in service of empowering those we serve. Forming a broader community of love and faith, we seek the challenge of directly empowering those with whom work to attain greater control over their own lives through both personal fulfillment and collectively working for their own basic human rights.