Service with a smile - Catholic Courier

Service with a smile

I’ve often told my newsroom cohorts that we should bond more. Then — much to their chagrin — I jokingly suggest that we do trust falls (deliberately falling backward so a colleague can catch you) or something equally zany.

Instead, we decided to volunteer together at a local ministry. We called Patty Lorenzen, director of St. Peter’s Kitchen in Rochester, to see if we could give her a hand, and she scheduled us to volunteer on June 2.

That day, we were warmly welcomed at the kitchen, which provides free, nutritious lunches to those in need. We donned gloves and hair nets and got a quick tour of the facility, which includes a clothing closet and a thrift store. Then we set to work opening cans of fruit, pouring juice cups, washing dishes and filling plastic bags with flour to be given as gifts to the guests. Afterwards, we ate lunch and said a group prayer just before the first guests arrived.

We served about 140 people of all ages, from toddlers to senior citizens, and all were polite and expressed their gratitude for the meals.

One of my favorite parts of the day was watching Jen Burke trying to convince the guests to try the medley of cooked vegetables she was serving. Witnessing Mike Crupi’s mini-meltdown as he ran low on juice cups was something to behold, as was the guest — obviously well-known at the kitchen — who blew air kisses to all the ladies serving lunch.

What a wonderful day! Not only did we get to experience the work of a ministry that we write so much about, but we also had the chance to help others while forming some new and different bonds as a team.

And we accomplished it all with nary a trust fall.

EDITOR’S NOTE: To volunteer at or donate to St. Peter’s Kitchen, call 585-235-6511 or visit the ministry’s website.

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