Santa arrived a few days early in downtown Olean.
For the 37th year in a row, students from St. Joseph’s Collegiate Institute in Buffalo delivered two truckloads full of non-perishable food items and paper products to the Warming House, St. Bonaventure University’s soup kitchen on North Union Street in Olean.
More than three dozen boys from St. Joe’s took less than an hour Wednesday morning to unload boxes containing more than 15,000 items. The boys were then treated to pizza and soda by SBU’s Franciscan Center for Social Concern (FCSC), which oversees the Warming House.
“As you sit down for dinner with your families this Christmas, take a moment to think how much this donation means to so many people,” said SBU President Dennis R. DePerro, Ed.D., who stopped at the Warming House to thank the students for their service.
The Warming House is the primary beneficiary of the school’s annual Food Basket drive, now in its 48th year; they’ve been helping the Warming House since 1982. This annual Christmastime donation is far and away the largest donation of non-perishables the Warming House receives each year.
On Tuesday, several members of the university community attended St. Joseph’s end-of-semester Mass to offer thanks to the students in advance of Wednesday’s delivery.
Attending were Dr. David Hilmey, dean of the School of Arts & Sciences and a St. Joe’s alum; Alice Miller Nation, director of the FCSC; Fr. Francis Di Spigno, O.F.M., executive director of University Ministries; Sarah Northington, associate director of the Warming House; Alyssa Levac, Warming House graduate student program manager; and Dean Whitcomb, assistant director of Admissions.
“To witness the giving spirit of these young men was inspiring,” Nation said. “The Food Basket drive isn’t something they have to do, it’s something they want to do because they recognize what an impact it has on our community.”
The Warming House is the oldest student-run soup kitchen in the nation.
About the University: The nation’s first Franciscan university, we believe in the goodness of every person and in the ability of every person to do extraordinary things. St. Bonaventure University cultivates graduates who are confident and creative communicators, collaborative leaders and team members, and innovative problem solvers who are respectful of themselves, others, and the diverse world around them. Named the #1 regional university value in New York and #2 in the North by U.S. News and World Report, we are establishing pathways to internships, graduate schools and careers in the context of our renowned liberal arts tradition.
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