KS_uwluncheonKeystone students have been busy assisting with community events throughout Northeaster Pennsylvania.

The Center partners with many worthwhile organizations when they sponsor events, which will provide for the betterment of the residents of the region. Recently both the Material Handling and Culinary students provided assistance with the United Way of Greater Hazleton Kicks Off Luncheon. This campaign represented something very special in the area – the 90th Year of the United Way soliciting contributions for those in need. It was held in one of the oldest buildings in the city, the Traders Bank, which recently received a total renovation, and highlighted special foods that are unique to the region.

Material Handling students utilized their skills to move tables and chairs into the lobby and arrange them so that participants could comfortably enjoy their meal. The day after the luncheon the students returned to restore the area and place the tables and chairs in storage. The Culinary students served up uniquely Hazleton foods such as Pines Restaurant Bar B Que Sliders, Senape’s Cold Pizza, and Jimmy’s Hot Dogs. The students also utilized their abilities to prepare the serving area and organize the meal.

Pat Ward, President of the United Way and a member of Keystone’s Community Relations Council, commented on the effort of the students, “The Keystone group was great. They came in, determined what they needed to do, and went to work. It was a fine demonstration of their abilities. We at United Way were thankful for their effort.”

Material Handling students also assisted with the food distribution at Our Lady of Grace RC Church in Hazleton, which was sponsored by a joint effort by United Charities, Catholic Social Services, and the Commission on Economic Opportunity in cooperation with the Weinberg Food Bank. Vegetable amounts were limited due to the late-arriving warmer weather and the time of year, but the recipients received protein bars, milk, orange juice, paper products, yogurt, and strawberries.

Material Handling student Sharif Boyd of Philadelphia was very moved by the whole event. He said, “Never did I think that I would be supporting the community like this before I came to Keystone. It is very rewarding and makes you feel like you are making a difference. There are so many people here and such a need. Also with the United Way work. Helping them allows them to help others.” He ended the thought with, “Again I never would have imagined me doing this.”

Keystone students also recently assisted with the NAACP Wilkes-Barre Chapter 20th. Annual Diversity People’s Picnic, meal distribution at St. Vincent De Paul Soup Kitchen, and a Special Olympics Flap Jack fund raiser sponsored by White Haven Center.