The FCSC's Warming House is one of the oldest student-run soup kitchens in the country.

St. Bonaventure University

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

    Direct Service
    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.

    Education
    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.

    Advocacy
    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


Student volunteers in the kitchen of the Warming House

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.
 

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    Student with her smiling Bona buddy at a basketball game.

    Bona Buddies


    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.
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    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 Katie Heitzman.
    A student plays with two cats at the SPCA

     

    Shelves of food at the SBU Food Pantry

    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 as well as 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.

     

    Student volunteers at an assisted living facility

    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 these programs, email Valentina Cossio or Brigid Insley.

    *During the COVID-19 pandemic, outreach for these programs is limited to letter writing, phone calls and video conferencing.

     

    Wall mural outside St. Francis Inn Ministry in Philadelphia

    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.

  • 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.
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    Sustainability at SBU


    As a campus community, we joyfully embrace the challenge to live in "right relationship" with the environment, with one another and the surrounding communities.

    In the spirit of Francis of Assisi, we are committed to:
    1. encouraging all constituents, by teaching and through example, to care for and commit to building a more sustainable environment
    2. raising the consciousness of our constituents with regard to the fragility of the environment and all beings
    3. 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.