Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

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November 30, 2012

Massive coin donation made to soup kitchen

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — There have been some large donations made to the Sister Mary Loretto Memorial Soup Kitchen. But one donation Thursday was a little different.

Someone dropped off a donation of over $1,000. In coins.

Maj. John Wheeler, Lockport Salvation Army director, said an unknown man stopped by the Cottage Street facility Thursday morning. He made a strange request.

”He just walked up to the front door and asked for help, he said, ‘I have some money to carry in,’” Wheeler said. “We thought, ‘well, money isn’t that heavy.’”

Well, when it comes in pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters, it can be. The change was delivered in a water jug and boxes. Chris Gresart, Salvation Army community center director, estimated the donation weighed 100 pounds.

Wheeler said the donor did not leave any information and left right after. The Army and kitchen want to thank him for his creativity and generosity, the major said.

”It was quite different, but good,” he said.

The grand total donated was $1,404.41. 

The donation was made as the annual holiday fundraising drive continues for the Sister Mary Loretto Memorial Soup Kitchen.

While the kitchen receives funding from a variety of sources, the biggest source of revenue is the annual drive that goes until Christmas Eve.

Donations may be made in honor or memory of a loved one; the donor’s name, the amount of the donation and the sentiments of the donor will be published. Donors can also remain anonymous. The donations, along with the completed coupons, can be dropped off at any First Niagara Bank or mailed to First Niagara Bank, 55 East Ave., Lockport, NY 14094.

The drive is particularly important, because costs to run the kitchen have risen. Total expenses are up around $140,000 to run the place, even with a volunteer staff. The kitchen is staffed with a cook and a volunteer staff, roughly 10 to 12 people each day.

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