By Tom Slattery
On Saturday, July 14 over 80 people including about 20 under 16 years of age turned out at Conwell-Egan High School in Lower Bucks County to pack dinners as part of the Hibernian Hunger Project (www.hibernianhungerproject.org), a proggram established and supported by the Ancient Order of Hibernians.
In a 3 ½ hour session over 6,000 dinner trays were filled, covered, labeled, packed and loaded into a refrigerated truck donated by the Teamsters. These were then sent to the lockers of Aid for Friends for distribution to those in need.
I have noticed over the past two or three years, that these “packing sessions” in Philadelphia and Bucks Counties are drawing more and more youngsters. It is very rewarding to see these kids working along with not only their parents, but also their grandparents. They are learning the pleasures derived from helping those less fortunate, as well as getting a “taste” of their heritage. In addition to earning the respect of their elders, they are also learning that volunteer work and learning can be fun. At Saturday’s session, the Bucks County spokesman called a “timeout” to tell the kids about those unfortunates who would be the benefactors of their work.
The “work force” included two politicians, who were not there for photo ops, but who put in a days work. Congressman Pat Murphy worked one of the packing tables, while Bucks County Commissioner Jim Cawley was out in the kitchen cleaning trays.
The final lesson the kids learned was “clean up after”. Yes, it was impressive to watch the “cleanup operation, which restored the Conwell-Egan cafeteria to its pristine state.
Congratulations to Bucks County AOH Division 1, the Teamsters, and all the volunteers who spent a summer Saturday helping those less fortunate.