Meet Emmaus Volunteers and Donors

Joan Martter

Joan Martter with soup kitchen guest, Tom

Emmaus staff member Breanna Mekuly interviewed Joan Martter about her time volunteering at Emmaus. This is what she had to say.

Breanna: How long have you been serving at Emmaus?
Joan: I first started serving at the soup kitchen in 2000. Initially, I came to the soup kitchen to deliver the proceeds of our Angel Tree for Sister Rosanne’s children’s Christmas celebrations.* I was working with Fairview High School and the Angel Tree was a part of our Key Club. Soon after, I started bringing desserts once a month to the soup kitchen.

Reflections from a Year Long Volunteer: Priscilla Richter

How did you find yourself in Erie, PA?
Priscilla: I was in the Benedicta Riepp program of the Benedictine Sisters of Erie where I experienced monastic living by living, working and praying with the Sisters.

And how did you find yourself at Emmaus?
Priscilla: The Food Pantry was one of my work assignments. Working for a year at the Emmaus Ministries’ food pantry has been a great honor and blessing for me.

Colleen Hammon speaks about Mental Health at the Soup Kitchen

Colleen with a guest at the soup kitchen

Colleen Hammon volunteers at Emmaus Soup Kitchen twice a week in the dining room, where she often uses her experience with social work to engage in meaningful conversations with guests. She was interviewed by Emmaus staff member, Breanna Mekuly.

Breanna:
How did you become involved in volunteering at Emmaus?

Interview with Liz Nies

Liz Nies spent the summer as an intern at the Kids Cafe. She is currently a senior at John Carroll University where she is majoring in Sociology with a double minor in Political Science along with Peace, Justice & Human Rights. Emmaus staff member Breanna Mekuly interviewed Liz on her last day at the Kids Cafe.

Volunteer Profile: Marie Wolf

Marie Wolf

Today I was the sous chef at the soup kitchen. Marie Wolf, a volunteer at the soup kitchen and food pantry for seven years, brought me in and taught me how to prepare a meal for 150 people. We prepared pulled pork, potatoes with butter and garlic, fresh fruit, chili, and chicken and rice soup. I had plenty of questions for Marie. Because of all these questions I had, I decided to do an interview with Marie so others could learn, too, what Marie does when she works with Emmaus' cook, Shirley Whaley, in the kitchen.

Longtime Pantry Volunteer Dmitry Tishchenko Turns 90 years old!

Longtime Pantry Volunteer Dmitry Tishchenko Turns 90 years old!

WHAT OTHERS SAY ABOUT DMITRY:
From Sister Lucia Surmik, coordinator of the Emmaus Food Pantry: “Our quiet, smiling, ever young Dmitry has been a dedicated volunteer at Emmaus Food Pantry for fifteen years. Dmitry, very quietly but so cheerfully, gathers our empty cardboard boxes and loads them on the truck for recycling. He is seen filling in wherever he is needed, especially helping the elderly and guests who need extra assistance with their bags of food. We have been blessed with Dimitry’s gentle and peaceful presence among us. We wish him a very Happy 90th Birthday!”

Meet Brian Martin

Brian Martin at the Emmaus Food Pantry

Brian Martin has been volunteering at the Emmaus Food Pantry for thirty years. “It’s hard to believe,” he said, “that I’ve been here so long!”

To Brian, the Emmaus Food Pantry is an example of the story of Jesus feeding the masses in the Bible. Over his thirty years with Emmaus, he has seen the ministries grow to meet the needs of the poor and hungry with resources continually flowing in even when it seems they might not have enough.

Buck and Helen Swahn Retire

Buck and Helen Swahn

Buck and Helen Swahn are retiring from their role as regular volunteers at the Emmaus Soup Kitchen. “We hate to say we can no longer do it,” said Helen, but standing for so long has become physically difficult for the two. “We promise we will still visit!”

“You’ve certainly been a blessing to Emmaus,” replied Sister Mary Miller, director of Emmaus. “I’m very glad you’re making the right decisions for yourselves – and also not abandoning us completely!”

Meet Emily Ingram

Emmaus volunteer, Emily Ingram

Emily is a longtime donor to Emmaus Ministries but more recently also become a regular volunteer at the Soup Kitchen, serving with a group of friends on the first Tuesday of each month. The interview is conducted by Emmaus staff member, Breanna Mekuly.

Breanna: Sister Mary told me that you first became involved in Emmaus Ministries when you and your good friend Kelley Glass raised $20,000 to start up the Kids Cafe. How did this fundraising come about?

Meet Debbie Shoup

Debbie Shoup prepared to check in guests at the pantry.

“I try to remember all the names of the individuals who come through my line at the pantry,” says Debbie Shoup, who volunteers both at Emmaus’ pantry and soup kitchen. “I can’t tell you the warmth of the smile they get on their face when I remember their name without looking at their identification card.”

At the pantry, Debbie sits behind a desk checking guests in each Monday and Tuesday. She works with people from last names beginning with the letters A-G. There are about 300 active individuals in her group of guests.