By Andrea Westerlund ’10, '12
ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y., May 30, 2012 — Many claim they cannot go without their morning latte or lunchtime candy bar. Members of St. Bonaventure Parish in Allegany were asked to forgo small luxuries such as these and instead contribute the money to the 2012 Lenten Campaign “Meat the Need.”
With the help of approximately 120 parishioners, the campaign, organized by Fr. James Vacco, O.F.M., pastor at St. Bonaventure Parish, raised $2,100 for St. Bonaventure University’s Warming House.
The gift will allow the Warming House to purchase perishable food items, such as meat, eggs, and milk, which are not donated as often as non-perishable food items.
“This is a significant gift for the Warming House and a tremendous affirmation of our work in the community,” said Larry Sorokes, associate vice president for Franciscan Mission. The Warming House, thought to be the oldest student-run soup kitchen in the nation, serves more than 12,000 meals annually to members of the community.
However, despite the consistent generosity of the St. Bonaventure Parish, the Warming House is always in need of donations be it money, food or time.
The donation from St. Bonaventure Parish will also fund students in the Warming House summer internship
program. Interns are immersed in the experience of serving the community by gathering vegetables from Canticle Farm, an organic vegetable farm in Allegany, preparing food and interacting with guests.
"I am getting an education in humanity."
Warming House intern and second year counselor education graduate student Michael Gargano commented on the importance of the internship experience in his own life: “The internship program has helped me be more compassionate. I am getting an education in humanity; the guests have been my teachers.”
Though the generosity and support of the St. Bonaventure Parish and students greatly aid the mission of the Warming House, Sorokes reminds us that: “We need the community’s help to maintain and expand our efforts to minister to and educate local citizens who have been marginalized by life circumstances.”
Persons interested in contributing to the Warming House’s ongoing mission are encouraged to contact Sorokes at email@example.com or (716) 375-7643 or Program Manager Nick Goodell at firstname.lastname@example.org or (716) 375-7813.
Andrea Westerlund is an English graduate student at St. Bonaventure University. After graduating with her master's degree in December 2012, she hopes to pursue a career in the publishing industry, specifically editorial work.