WILKES-BARRE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU)– A community staple in Wilkes-Barre continues its annual holiday tradition of giving back.
“We’ve had people prepping all week long. We’re going to send out about 720 dinners,” said kitchen director Michael Cianciotta. “It’s basically single, elderly, or disabled people. This makes their day.”
It’s a tradition that dates back further than the current kitchen director can remember, preparing meals for those who could use a helping hand at St. Vincent de Paul.
“The regular lunch meal today is a Christmas meal,” Cianciotta added. “It brings the people in that have nowhere to go. They come in, enjoy the meal, fellowship and it makes them feel like they’re part of the holiday.”
The Pescis are volunteering for the first time this year.
“It was like a well-oiled machine. Everybody sort of knew what to do,” said Rosemarie. “It was fun. People are friendly, they are here for a good cause and it was pretty neat to be able to be together on Christmas, doing this.”
It’s a cause that this family is passionate about.
“It’s a blessing to us because we know there’s a large need out there,” said John. “There were times when I would have needed this in the past with losing my job and everything. I just want to pass it on now.”
It takes scores of selfless volunteers to serve the community.
“All year long we take care of the public,” said Cianciotta. “If it wasn’t for the volunteers, the sponsors and the corporations that help us out — it’s just a great place. It really is.”
Cianciotta says when he first started as kitchen director, he didn’t realize just how many volunteers were involved. He adds he’s thankful for every single one of them, all year round.