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Spotlight On: The Volunteers of Temple Sinai

Updated: Jan 26, 2021

We would truly be lost without our volunteers, and we are extremely grateful for each one.

The members of Temple Sinai – a member of EECM’s Council of Congregations – are active volunteers in EECM’s programs. Their volunteer efforts are coordinated through Temple Sinai’s Tikkun Olam Center for Social Justice. Temple Sinai members work regularly in EECM’s Food Pantry and also serve the evening meal at the Men’s Emergency Shelter. Below are a few first-person accounts of their experiences.

Serving Dinner at the Men’s Shelter

“I have volunteered to cook and serve dinner for homeless men at the shelter in East Liberty for many years now. I am always proud of the truly delicious and high quality food we serve at these meals – food we ourselves would and do enjoy eating. I particularly enjoy the community of Sinai members who help out at the shelter, and who often bring along their children to help serve the meal. Working at the shelter I have met congregants I would have not otherwise known and have enjoyed their energy and infectious good spirits. Volunteering there I am touched and a little embarrassed by the gratitude of the men we serve. I have talked to several over the years about their life stories and how they came to be at the shelter. Although many suffer from some form of mental illness, some have told me exciting stories of life on the road, or in one case, life on the river, working on tow boats. I know afterwards I always feel grateful that I have a home of my own and a close family to rely on, and that I have enough to be able to share with these men who have neither.” ~ Peggy Fried

Packing Food at the EECM Food Pantry

“Harry Back [Temple Sinai’s Council of Congregations representative] called me one day last spring and asked me if I could possibly ‘fill in’ at EECM, as they were short one volunteer. I immediately agreed, and have been volunteering at the East End Cooperative Ministry Food Pantry ever since. I am so glad I did. Besides contributing to our community, I have made new friends who just happen to be volunteers and fellow Temple Sinai members! Each week for about two hours, I sort items and then pack up bags of groceries for people whose families are in immediate need of emergency groceries and supplies. It is a minor physical chore that puts food on the tables of some not-so-fortunate families. I enjoy packing the grocery bags, communicating with the others at EECM and helping people in need. Occasionally, EECM needs extra workers for their daily soup kitchen, so being right there makes it easy to volunteer my time to the soup kitchen as well.”

~ Debra Mendelson

Many thanks to the volunteers of Temple Sinai for all that you do!


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