Many years ago a pastor friend of mine delivered a sermon titled, “You can’t out give God.” I never forgot it and it’s animated my life ever since. There are many scriptural references around the theme of giving but this one from Malachi 3:10 has stayed with me.
Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.
Just got an email from Alice Miller Nation who is the Director of the Warming House which is the oldest student run soup kitchen in the United States. In 2019 The Warming House served 5922 meals for the entire year. This year to date The Warming House has served 5378 in 7 months. That’s an average of 897 meals per month. At that rate The Warming House will serve nearly 11,000 meals this year. You can help put this bread on the table of Olean Area residents by sending a donation to:
The Warming House
Franciscan Center for Social Concern
St. Bonaventure University
PO Box AR
3621 West State Road
St. Bonaventure, NY 14778
Since September I have been volunteering at least one day a week at St. Bonaventure University’s Warming House. My friend Br. Kevin Kriso, OFM recommended it as an activity I might like as I transitioned into retirement. Unsure of myself at first in the new surroundings and lacking confidence in my culinary skills I decided that I could best help by washing dishes. Dinner for twenty to thirty people provides along with the cooking pots and utensils to feed them provides enough to keep one busy in the dishwater. The young ladies who serve as Meal Coordinators invited me to make desserts. At first I was hesitant even though I used to bake with my Grandmother when I was a child. No-bake cheesecake, muffins, apple sauce bread, apple crisp and more have made me more confident in the kitchen. Yesterday, Arielle suggested that I could make pumpkin cake and provided me with a list of the ingredients. Two cups of margarine melted, four cups of flour, three and half cups of sugar, four eggs and more along with plenty of stirring resulted in a delicious dessert. Arielle’s delicious turkey soup and fresh chocolate pudding made for an appetizing meal.
The Warming House is the oldest student run soup kitchen in the United States. Meals served there surpass anything I have seen or tasted in other such kitchens. The patrons who come each day bring forth the best in all of us. I am impressed with the cooking skills of the coordinators too. Each day they put together a tasty meal from what they find on the shelves of the storeroom and cooler. But, the Warming House is more than food. It is an community of people, young and old who come together for the common good. It is at its heart very Franciscan and emblematic of the Incarnation itself. It is tangible evidence of the goodness that resides in the hearts of all creation. Those who serve are served by those who come to eat. I am grateful to be a participant in this wonderful experience of love.
The Warming House in Olean, New York is the nation’s oldest student run soup kitchen. It provides meals six days a week to the neediest in the Olean area who find their way to our tables. It serves more than 12,000 meals annually. Each day volunteers from St. Bonaventure University and the local community assemble and prepare a nutritious meal for our guests. The Warming House is well stocked with food donated by various groups and individuals in the Olean area. So why does the Warming House need bread? We need bread to pay the rent which costs $1500 per month. We’re asking that you consider a small gift to help us continue this tremendous gift to the community. We need a thousand people to donate $1.50 each month to cover that expense. We seek to build relationships with those that we serve by respecting their human dignity and by helping them to restore hope in their lives. Please help us to continue in that work.
Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. – 2 Corinthians 9:7
Those of you who wish to contribute may contact Maggie Morris, Warming House Coordinator at 716-375-7813 or Email. Please share this opportunity with your friends on social networks. Peace!
I’ve been volunteering lately at the Warming House, a unique soup kitchen sponsored by St. Bonaventure University Ministries in downtown Olean, New York. I’m not a chef or anything close to it. I am a good dishwasher and errand boy who can respond to the needs of the more talented chefs who come from the University each day to prepare meals for those fortunate folks who come to find nourishment for body and spirit. Today our guests were treated to ziti covered with a rich meat sauce, fresh corn bread, and a salad. Tonight we served twenty-six individuals who without the Warming House would likely go without a good meal. Serving our clients made me grateful for their presence and grateful that I am able to serve. The Warming House is definitely an expression of Franciscan love and care and volunteering there has been a privelege.
In the past couple of weeks I’ve found myself volunteering at The Warming House. It’s a soup kitchen in downtown Olean, New York run by University Ministries of St. Bonaventure University. As a recently retired person I’ve found ample opportunity and time to help brothers and sisters who come to dinner each day. Some I know, while others are strangers. The Warming House is staffed by students and folks like me. Food is donated by the local community and provided free to our guests who find their way each day to our door. A half dozen years ago I had the chance to volunteer at St. Francis Inn in Philadelphia, PA. The Warming House is not on the scale of St. Francis Inn, but it provides all who come there as hosts or guests with an opportunity to share a meal and some love. I’m grateful to the University and it’s ministry that has provided this blessing in my life.