New Volunteer Group at Emmaus

The passing of beloved Emmaus Soup Kitchen guest, Tom, was both a sad time and an opportunity. While Emmaus staff and volunteers grieved at Tom’s funeral, a neighbor of Tom’s introduced himself to Sister Mary Miller, director of Emmaus Ministries, and asked if his group of young Catholic friends could volunteer at the kitchen.

“Tom had a good soul as anyone who knew him would say,” said Tom’s neighbor Nick Helsenberg. “And my friends and I have been looking for a place to do some service. When I met Sister Mary, it felt like God had brought us together at Tom’s funeral.”

Nick, a carpenter by trade, is heavily involved in Catholic youth groups at Our Lady of Mercy and St. Mark’s churches, including a group called the Young Adult Small Christian Community. This group meets regularly to read and reflect on gospel readings together along with going out into the community to volunteer.

On their first night of serving at the soup kitchen, Nick invited friends, members of the Young Adults Small Christian Community, and students in the youth groups at both parishes to join.

One member of the Young Adult Small Christian Community, Jenn Malue, a math teacher at Villa Maria Academy, was happy to come back to Emmaus. “My grandpa Bob Theiss volunteered at the Food Pantry for 30 years. I used to come with him some when I was younger. That time instilled in me a desire to serve.”

Photo: Nick (second from left) and friends

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