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The Patrician Society
121 E. Chestnut Street
Norristown, PA 19401
P: 610-272-6316
F: 610-272-3070

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About the Patrician Society

Founded in 1981 to help those in need, the Patrician Society is focused primarily on addressing the needs of the swelling ranks of families who are hungry and come to us for assistance with food and other basic needs. We also offer a summer camp for children. In the past, we have run a men's shelter, a multi-national Hispanic support group, a senior citizens program, an after-school care center and a youth job-training program in conjunction with Temple University. The Society's founder, Rev. Gerard McCaffrey, was a priest at St. Patrick R.C. Church in Norristown who was concerned with the growing problems in his neighborhood. Father McCaffrey, along with Franny Lawrence, Charles McPherson and Joe McLaughlin galvanized a group of fellow citizens around a simple mission: To help those in need in any way we can. Today, the Patrician Society is a secular organization, no longer funded by the church, receiving its financial support primarily through donations and grants secured by its executive director and its volunteer Board of Directors. In 2013 we served 1,510 different verifiably needy families through one or more of our services. All donations to the Patrician Society are used to provide for the basic human needs of our less fortunate neighbors.

Emergency Assistance

Patrician Society assistance includes providing grocery baskets designed to supply enough food for all family members in a verifiably needy family to have 3 meals a day for 3 days. We use volunteers for cupboard tasks such as intake, food sorting, grocery package makeup and distribution as well as other jobs required to supply food to our needy patrons.

When funds are available, the Patrician Society also implements its H.U.M.A.N. program providing financial aid with Housing, Utilities and Medical Aid for Neighbors.

Due to the fact that we generate donations from a wide area, we have no geographic boundaries in terms of providing service. If a potential client can prove an economic need (and as long as we have access to necessary resources), we will do all we can to help out.

Children's Summer Camp

On August 9, the Patrician Society closed its 33rd camp season. Under the guidance of Camp Director Dennis Mueller (in his 19th year) and veteran Associate Directors Ursula Campbell, Maeve Rooney, and Cullen Rota, the camp provided six one-week sessions for forty 5-11 year-olds. We added this program to our regular schedule as the Patrician Society continued to serve families and individuals in our year-round Emergency Food Center and H.U.M.A.N. programs. (Please visit the About Us page on this website.)

The children who attended our 2013 camp were members of low-income families who are served in one or more of our other programs. We successfully kept the camp as low-cost as possible charging $30 per child for a one-week session. Operating on a "shoe-string" budget and using contributions from three private foundations and 30 generous donors, we provided activities including sports, games, arts & crafts, lunch, and thrice-weekly field trips.

We greatly anticipate our 34th annual camp which will operate from June 30 through August 8, 2014. We hope you will be a part of that program. For more information about enrollment or to find how you may help to support the camp, please call (610)272-6316 or email info@patriciansociety.org

Applications for 2014 will be available on May 1. Space is limited to 40 kids in each session, so contact the office by telephone or email on or after that date in order to get on board!

Benefit Concert for the
Patrician Society

(Kim Killen & Gerry Clark)

Irish and American Folk Music:
Songs of life, love, the sea, the sod, whiskey,
and a good brew.

  When: Friday, May 31, 2013
8:00 -11:00 p.m.

  Where: Saint Patrick Church Hall
700 DeKalb Street, Norristown

A donation of $20 per person is suggested.
Seating is limited to 300 on a first-come, first-serve basis.
All donations are tax deductible.

Complimentary beverages (beer, wine, spring water, soda) will be served along with light snacks.

All proceeds go directly to the Patrician Society, a nonprofit agency which regularly distributes food and other basic necessities to more than 1,200 qualified families. It is the largest emergency food provider in the area, assists with other basic needs such as heating oil, rental and medical expenses and also conducts a children´s summer day camp.



Free parking for the concert is available in St. Patrick´s Church lot at DeKalb and Oak Streets. Call for directions or search for 714 DeKalb Street, Norristown.

Download the flyer