Paying it Forward

Volunteers in the church adjacent to St. Luke’s Mission of Mercy filled bags to the brim with goods to be delivered to those in need.

November 24, 2017

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In the spirit of Thanksgiving, more than 20 Canisius alumni joined forces with All-College Honors students and undergraduate Di Gamma and Alpha Sigma Nu honor society members to volunteer for the Honors Day of Giving at St. Luke’s Mission of Mercy. On November 18, the group helped prepare and serve meals to the homeless and hungry and assisted St. Luke’s with preparation of its annual Thanksgiving meal giveaway. In total, hundreds of community volunteers filled the church to put together approximately 5,400 bags of food for those in need.

Russell Matuszak ’89 feels fortunate to be among those who served at St. Luke’s.

“It was great to see volunteers of all ages helping the community,” said Matuszak.  “It is sometimes hard to see the difference your efforts make, but when I saw the pews full of groceries for families at Thanksgiving, and I knew that I played a small role by providing my time, it made my heart feel good.”

“I know St. Luke's assists so many people who need a helping hand all year long,” adds Kathy Odrobina ᾽83. “Because I am so grateful for all the blessings in my life, I wanted to help in a small way at this time of the year. With each bag that I carried, I thought of the family who would receive it and I hoped that food would brighten their Thanksgiving.”

The following afternoon, Amy Betros HON' 09, co-director of St. Luke’s, spoke to the congregation after Mass.

“Both those who packed and those who will receive the Thanksgiving meals are connected because the two will impact each other,” said Betros. “Undoubtedly, Canisius alumni and students will remember those families in need on Thursday. They are all now connected to the St. Luke's community.”

The Honors Day of Giving was organized by Connor Rosenecker ᾽18, president of Alpha Sigma Nu, Jesuit honor society; Maddie Reed ᾽18, student master of the DiGamma Honor Society; and Darby Ratliff ᾽16, MS ᾽18, graduate assistant in Campus Ministry.