Franciscan Center for Social Concern
The FCSC is your headquarters for service learning at St. Bonaventure. We welcome all members of the university community who have a yearning for justice and peace, respect for life, and a deep reverence for creation.
The journey begins with serving others, but also includes reflecting on that experience in the light of faith, integrating it with our studies, and becoming agents for positive change in the Catholic-Franciscan tradition. We believe that such a journey will change lives, transform our campus, and create a better world.
The good you can do through the FCSC
We aid members of the local community who are in need or who suffer from some form of injustice, and join in regional efforts to address social and environmental concerns.
We help foster a consciousness that focuses on the human and spiritual needs of all people, that evokes compassion for those in need, and that instills in people a greater sense of responsibility and an urgency to right wrongs.
We help bring about structural changes that lead to a more just society and church. We stand with those struggling to reclaim their dignity or rights, and we take public stands on matters of justice and peace.
Franciscan Center for Social Concern Programs
The Warming House
Our students, campus and community volunteers serve up nourishment, fellowship and dignity every single day.
The Warming House is one of the oldest student-run soup kitchens in the nation.
It started as drop-in center for lonely adults in 1974, and in the early '80s began offering one meal a day to the hungry, homeless and disadvantaged. Today, the Warming House serves more than 10,000 Olean-area residents annually.
Located in a large storefront at 164 N. Union St. in downtown Olean, the Warming House is open six days a week year-round, and has a support team of more than 300 student volunteers and almost 100 community members.
A United Way agency, the Warming House has grown into a true community center and a valuable resource to Olean-area residents, offering services that include a classroom for developmental education and related workshops.
The Warming House offers service and internship opportunities for St. Bonaventure students as it continues its mission to provide nourishment, fellowship and dignity to its guests.
The Warming House is located at 164 N. Union St. in the heart of downtown Olean. There's no sign on the building, but it can be recognized by the paintings of scenes from SBU on the windows facing Union Street.
The entrance is in the rear. Please park in the lot behind the building (off of North Barry Street) and enter through the glass door situated to the right of the alleyway that runs along the left side of the building.
The Warming House is glad
to welcome volunteers. Call (716) 375-7813 or visit the McGinley-Carney Center for Franciscan Ministry on campus for information about how you can help.
Hiryu "Mike" Waseda
Warming House Manager
Send Mike an email
The Warming House depends on the generosity of people like. Please donate today to support this vital ministry.
Donate by mail
Alice Miller Nation St. Bonaventure University — The Warming House
PO Box AR
St. Bonaventure, N.Y. 14778
Questions regarding donations?
Alice Miller Nation, Director
Franciscan Center for Social Concern
Send her an email
A youth mentoring program where one-to-one relationships are established between SBU students and local children ages 5 to 15.
All children need the friendship, special attention, and interest of an older person. These relationships often fill the gap in the life of a youngster who needs positive role models and experiences.
By agreeing to give a few hours of your time each month, you can make a difference in the life of a child. It's a great way to get to know others in the community, to help a child, and to have fun.
You don't need to be a hero, just someone who cares. If you have a serious commitment to serve and a willingness to be a friend to someone who needs one, you're the perfect Bona Buddy candidate.
You'll attend training sessions and receive help and encouragement from the Bona Buddies team.
Interested? Contact Bona Buddies at 716-375-2697 or email our coordinators at firstname.lastname@example.org
An application is required to enroll a child in the Bona Buddies program. Applications are accepted from August-October for fall semester, and from January-February for the spring semester.
To enroll a child or for more information, please contact our student coordinators by email at email@example.com, or by phone at (716) 375-2697.
SBU @ the SPCA
Members of SBU@SPCA participate in weekly trips to the SPCA in Cattaraugus County, a not-for-profit animal shelter dedicated to saving the lives of animals and providing adoption services for homeless and neglected animals.
Students visit the shelter in nearby Olean to walk dogs, play with cats, groom animals, and help with facility cleaning and upkeep.
To learn more about SBU@SPCA, email Harjaap Kathuria
or Emily Gustafson
St. Bonaventure Food Pantry
The SBU Food Pantry began in October 2019 after it became obvious to the campus community that food insecurity is an issue on college campuses across America. We stock fresh and frozen foods (fruits, vegetables and proteins) as well as shelf-stable food.
The SBU Food Pantry is located in Room 113 of the McGinley-Carney Center for Franciscan Ministry, right in the center of campus. All members of the SBU community are welcome to visit daily, helping themselves to five food items per day. Pantry hours are 4-8 p.m. Monday–Thursday and 4-6 p.m. on Friday.
If you have questions about the food pantry, please feel free to call (716) 375-2396 during pantry hours, or Alice Miller Nation at (716) 375-7813.
Silver Wolves & Friends with Sisters
Outreach ministries provide companionship to elderly residents in the Olean area.
Students who participate in Silver Wolves develop relationships with residents of two assisted living facilities: Field of Dreams in Allegany and Eden Heights in Olean.*
Friends with Sisters began in 2018 as a pilot program with the Franciscan Sisters of Allegany. Partnering St. Bonaventure University students with Allegany Franciscan sisters allowed each to peek into one another’s lives and offer the opportunity for young people to develop a relationship with a vowed religious woman.
For more information about Silver Wolves, email Lily Chittenden
or Caitlin Miller
For information about Friends with Sisters, email Valentina Cossio
*During the COVID-19 pandemic, outreach for Friends with Sisters is limited to letter writing, phone calling and video conferencing.
Break the Bubble
The St. Bonaventure University community is sometimes referred to as the Bona Bubble, a place where, like any college campus, students feel comfortable, connected, and perhaps somewhat isolated from the rest of the world as they focus on their studies.
Break the Bubble is an opportunity for students to leave campus during mid-semester and holiday breaks, as well as between semesters, to participate in service trips to assist disadvantaged and under-represented populations.
We have a years-long relationship with St. Francis Inn, a soup kitchen in the Kensington area of Philadelphia, where our students participate in weekend and weeklong service experiences.
Our students enter into the life of the Franciscan community who minister to the poor and homeless there throughout the year.
While in Philadelphia, we visit the Liberty Bell and the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
There is often a waiting list for this trip each year. Students find it to be a transformational experience.
Nazareth Farm is an intentional community built upon the foundation of Catholic social teaching. Students participate in a weeklong service trip that includes community, simplicity, prayer, and service.
In addition to learning about life in rural West Virginia, students work in teams offering home repair for people living in poverty. Students experience first-hand the effects of overusing the land, the need to reduce our carbon footprint, and the importance of our lifestyle and choices on creation.
We partner with Franciscan Mission Service on a 10-day trip to Valley of the Angels, near Guatemala City, Guatemala. Students live alongside members of the community who serve at Valley of the Angels School, a home for displaced children.
This trip, typically in June, is undertaken with students from other Franciscan colleges and universities. Thus, it is limited 15 students from St. Bonaventure.
Students returning from this service-oriented cultural immersion experience say it is richly rewarding, one that gives them a clearer understanding of their lives and the lives of others.
In our reflection experience after returning to campus, students highly recommend this trip to others.
We partner with the university's School of Education each year to offer a weeklong service and cultural immersion trip over spring break to St. Michael’s School in Window Rock, Arizona.
Education students teach at the school, gaining valuable experience from teaching in a unique environment, lessons that will aid them when they graduate and enter their own classrooms. Evenings are spent learning from the experiences of one another, and understanding others in a new way.
For more information about this trip, email School of Education professors Dr. Anne-Claire Fisher or Dr. Paul Brawdy.
Saint's Place, in the Rochester suburb of Pittsford, provides goods, clothes and education to refugees who have come to the United States to escape violence, discrimination and poverty in their native countries.
We partner with the university's Student Success Center on a project in which first-year students gather school supplies for Saint's Place. Several times a semester, SBU students have the opportunity to go to Saint’s Place, learn about the refugee situation in the Rochester area, and help organize household items that are provided to refugee families.
Service-related internships & fellowships
Students may apply for the Robert C. Conroy Memorial Parish Internship or the Mary Yankelovich Endowed Scholarship, awards that allow students to develop their interest in peace, service and social justice.
The Robert C. Conroy Memorial Parish Internship Program was established by John, ’58, and Carolyn Connors in 2003 in honor of SBU alumnus and longtime employee Bob Conroy. This is an ecumenical internship program that has the goal of allowing students
to explore issues related to their faith and life issues of social justice, peace and the classroom.
Additional information/How to apply
The Mary Yankelovich Endowed Fellowship Program aims to develop leaders dedicated to the transformation of society based on the Franciscan ideas of peace, justice, reconciliation and service.
Mary Yankelovich Fellows, integrating theory and
practice, will develop and model the core values of St. Bonaventure University — discovery, community and respect for the dignity of all persons — and be prepared to undertake a life of humane service.
Additional information/How to apply
Sustainability at SBU
As a campus community, we joyfully embrace the challenge to live in "right relationship" with the environment, with one another and surrounding communities.
In the spirit of Francis of Assisi, we are committed to:
- encouraging all constituents, by teaching and through example, to care for and commit to building a more sustainable environment
- raising the consciousness of our constituents with regard to the fragility of the environment and all beings
- celebrating the gift, goodness and beauty of all creation.
We work to minimize our campus impact on the environment. Our newer facilities incorporate a number of progressive features for conservation. Of course, sustainability is not just about consumption of fossil fuels. We build and maintain our campus with a view toward long-term durability.
We encourage recycling by students and employees with the placement of recycling bins and containers at locations across campus. What gets recycled? You name it: paper, plastic, batteries, ink cartridges, and on and on.
The Arbor Day Foundation has named St. Bonaventure a Tree Campus USA every year since 2010. It signifies that we meet Tree Campus USA’s five standards:
- maintaining a tree advisory committee
- having a campus tree-care plan
- making dedicated annual expenditures for our campus tree program
- holding an Arbor Day observance
- conducting a student service-learning project.
Solean solar electric project
St. Bonaventure saves an estimated $100,000 or more a year on its electric bill thanks to the Solean solar electric project, which involves the placement of hundreds of solar collection panels in an area near the Buffalo Street exit of Interstate 86.
We adhere to sustainable building design components in the construction and renovation of buildings on campus:
- Ground water is used to help cool the Swan Business Center, Walsh Science Center, and the Friedsam Library's Rare Book addition, reducing the level of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere.
- We preserve trees whenever possible to provide shade and reducing cooling loads in warmer months.
- The McGinley-Carney Center, headquarters for the Franciscan Center for Social Concern, was a net-zero construction project, meaning energy savings realized elsewhere on campus, through the use of LED fixtures and other initiatives, more than offsets energy use by the McGinley-Carney Center. The center also uses solar power and technology that recovers heat from the adjacent campus boiler facility.