BY JOE OLENICK
Lockport Union-Sun & Journal
Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — For a couple of days a week, a group of students come by the Sister Mary Loretto Memorial Soup Kitchen to volunteer serving lunch.
Every Monday and Tuesday from September until May, a group of students from Wyndham Lawn Home for Children work in the kitchen, serving the 100 to 200 people who come by for a hot meal. The kids don hairnets, gloves and the familiar red apron.
For Mychael Conner, 15, volunteering at Sister Mary Loretto’s was something she enjoys doing.
“I like it, I like seeing the smiles on their faces,” Conner said. “I enjoy giving back, I think it’s great.”
Calvin Shellman, recreation supervisor at Wyndham, said there are about 10 kids who volunteer on a rotating basis. Having students volunteer and give back to the community is something the school stresses, as Wyndham has also sent students to help out with other organizations, such as Equi-Star in Burt. The program brings special needs children and adults together to ride horses.
Volunteering has a number of benefits for the Wyndham kids, Shellman said.
“They feel rewarded, they get a lot out of it,” he said.
Both Conner and Sandra Marrero, 15, were in the Wyndham group that was working Tuesday afternoon. Marrero said volunteering at the kitchen has gone very well.
“I really like giving back,” she said. “The little kids are the best part.”
The Wyndham Lawn kids are just one of the many local groups that helps out with the soup kitchen. The kitchen is staffed with a cook and volunteers.
“It really is the community’s soup kitchen,” said Maj. John Wheeler, Lockport Salvation Army
At the Sister Mary Loretto Memorial Soup Kitchen, the annual holiday fundraising drive is currently under way. People can donate 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.SOUP KITCHEN DONATIONS TOTAL SO FAR $13,843.15 • Joan Anderson in memory of "Andy" Malcolm and deceased family and friends, $100. • Niagara County Association of Town Superintendents of Highways, Inc., $100. • Anonymous in memory of Kimberly Rachel Schnitzer and Kevin-Michael Thompson, $50. • Dick and Mary Turner in memory of son-in-law Dean Kerrison, $20. • Sandy Kerrison in memory of "my husband Dean Kerrison," $25. • Karen Markott in memory of family deceased and friends deceased, $50. • Howard and Terry Ann Kropp in memory of Grandma, Gramp and family; Timothy and Genevive Riordan, $50. • Howard and Terry Ann Kropp in memory of Grandma, Gramp and family; Joseph and Anna Stodolka, $50. • Howard and Terry Ann Kropp in memory of Dad and Mom; Austin and Theresa Stodolka, $50. • Howard and Terry Ann Kropp in memory of Dad and Mom; Lawrence and Laura Kropp, $50. • Butch in memory of deceased family members, $30. • Pocahontos - Sequa 177, $250. • Larry and Mary Jo Boone in memory of family and friends, $100. • Universalist Church in memory of deceased pastors and members, $50. • Anonymous in memory of Cyril and Gertrude Small, $300. • Denny Wagner in honor of Dad, Mom and Rog, in memory of Bob (Buck) Wagner, $25. • Anonymous in memory of Andy Dore, $10. • Dick and Mary Williams in memory of deceased parents, $50. • Brenda Sprung in memory of Pamela Artieri, $25. • Mary Eichinger in memory of Jim, $25. • Nancy Conti in memory of Paul and Angelo Conti, $100. • Anonymous in memory of sisters, Kittie and Becky, $20. • Dave and Nancy in memory of deceased parents, $100. • Julia Drake in honor of "men and women serving our country," in memory of "my husband Melvin, family and friends, $100. • Anonymous, $25. • Leota Wayson, "Jesus is the reason for the season! Amen," $100. Contact reporter Joe Olenick at 439-9222, ext. 6241.