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Letter to the Editor: Unexpected help brightens day for Zion

on December 02, 2013 10:40 AM

Each month, Zion Lutheran Church in Indiana serves about 160 families through its Food Pantry. We also operate Katie’s Closet, a free clothing ministry named for Martin Luther’s wife, Katharina. Both rely heavily on retirees for staffing.

On the morning of Nov. 11, we were expecting 100 or more families for food and 40 for clothing. We were short on staff due to illness and other reasons. (Some of the workers have new parts, some are waiting for new parts, and for some the original parts don’t work as well. Nevertheless, they are a hearty bunch and very faithful in their work.)

As the doors opened that morning, we braced uneasily for a rush.

Suddenly, more than a half-dozen Indiana University of Pennsylvania students showed up. They basically took over helping people carry out food, since many patrons are elderly or disabled. Some of the college men were dispatched to Katie’s Closet to help there with sorting and carrying.

The newcomers were associates of Lambda Sigma Upsilon Latino Fraternity Inc. Jon Diaz, the organization’s vice president, said they hope to help the Food Pantry and Katie’s Closet on a regular basis.

In addition to Jon, the Lambda Sigma Upsilon men included Hamzah Karaf, Kevin Maldonado, Michael Oquendo, Ramon Silva, Eric Solar, Joe Solis and Jose Vinales.

Sometimes, we hear only bad things about college students. This is sad, especially when most are good citizens. We at Zion are very grateful to this particular group of young men, who showed great timing in serving the community and seeing to God’s work.

Eugene A. Ferg

chair, Zion’s Social Ministry Committee

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