Wilkes-Barre, Luzerne County -- You'd normally see Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs workers on the job at the casino in Plains Township. But on Monday they formed an assembly line in the basement of the Commission on Economic Opportunity building in Wilkes-Barre. "We're here today packing up lunches and hoping to make a difference," said Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs Assistant General Manager Kara Fox-Larose.
More than two dozen workers filled hundreds of boxes with such non-perishable food staples as cereal and juice and pasta and peanut butter. "This is going to help a lot of people that can't get out, won't be able to get groceries," said Mohegan Sun volunteer Jennie Henderson. The boxes of food are bound for some of the nearly 2,000 seniors in Luzerne, Lackawanna, Wyoming and Susquehanna Counties served by CEO. "These boxes that are being done today probably will take us through the end of this month and into the beginning of July," said CEO/Weinberg Food Band director Rich Kutz.
For some of the volunteers, helping this particular cause is personal. "It really does hit home for me. You know, a lot of friends and family and relatives that can use this type of support," said Ms. Fox-Larose.
What makes the Mohegan Sun effort especially valuable is it comes at a time when volunteers who normally do this sort of thing aren't available. The college students CEO counts on to volunteer and box the food just aren't around. "What we find during the summer with the colleges and the schools out that it's very difficult to get a large number of volunteers in," said Mr. Kutz.
The Mohegan Sun volunteers, knowing they were filling an important need, hustled for hours. Despite their hard work, they still found time to share laughter and camaraderie while helping the cause. "It's a good, good thing and we're glad to be part of it," said Ms. Henderson.
Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs volunteers packed up to 750 food boxes that will be distributed beginning Tuesday. If you're interested in volunteering at Commission on Economic Opportunity, just sent an email to firstname.lastname@example.org