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

St. Bonaventure University

Cue the Confetti:

Help celebrate the Warming House's 50th anniversary



Franciscan Center for Social Concern

The FCSC is your headquarters for service learning at SBU. 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.

    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

    A gem of the campus community

    The Warming House serves a hot meal and a welcoming atmosphere as it works to alleviate food insecurity in the Olean community.

    The Warming House

    Our students, campus and community volunteers serve up nourishment, fellowship and dignity every single day.

    Warming House logoThe 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 hungry, homeless and disadvantaged people. In 2023, the Warming House served more than 23,000 meals, a 300% increase from just five years ago.

    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.

    Cue the confetti: Join our 50th anniversary celebration

    The Warming House marks its 50th year of operation in 2024 and the university is hosting a number of special anniversary celebration events. A working list of events is presented below. Please check back often for individual event details and new listings:

    Upcoming events:
    • June 7-9 — Alumni Reunion Weekend: on campus
    • Sept. 26 — Empty Bowls Dinner: on campus
    • October — Francis Week community programming/education focused on food insecurity: on campus
    Past events:
    • Feb. 16 — Warming House Birthday Party with University President Dr. Jeff Gingerich and his wife, Betsy
    • Jan. 28 — Birthday celebration at the Warming House for guests and Warming House coordinators/volunteers

  • 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.

  • 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, contact Mike Waseda, assistant director of the Franciscan Center for Social Concern: (716) 375-2081 or email Mike.
    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 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, contact Mike Waseda, assistant director of the Franciscan Center for Social Concern: (716) 375-2081 or email Mike.

    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 Silver Wolves and Friends with Sisters, contact Mike Waseda, assistant director of the Franciscan Center for Social Concern: (716) 375-2081 or email Mike.

    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.

  • Students gathered for a tree planting ceremony on campus

    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.