“It was a great opportunity for us to give back in a way that we never have before,” said the students.
Galeton High School
Five seniors and two eleventh graders from Galeton High School in Galeton, PA recently took a two-day mission trip to Buffalo City Mission’s Cornerstone Manor Women and Children’s Shelter. Accompanied by two teachers, the students, who are part of the Galeton High School National Honor Society, made the trek to Buffalo, NY to lend a hand to Cornerstone Manor in a much-needed way.
The students learned substantial information about homelessness during their visit. Prior to the trip, they knew it was difficult for homeless individuals to find jobs, but by their own admission, not much beyond that. Volunteering at Cornerstone Manor gave the students the opportunity to learn about homelessness—what the causes are and the ways homeless individuals can get back on their feet. “During our time at the Buffalo City Mission we learned a great deal about homelessness,” said the students. “One of those things is that there are several reasons why a person might become homeless.” Reasons vary from losing housing, mental health and disabilities, loss of job and/or income, domestic violence, household disputes or other familial issues.
In order to assist the Buffalo City Mission, several students made plarn (plastic yarn) and used it to crochet mats for the Men’s Community Center. The students also donated their time at the Buffalo City Mission Thrift Store and the women and children’s shelter, Cornerstone Manor. “It was a great opportunity for us to give back in a way that we never have before,” said the students. “It also forced us to step out of our comfort zones in a positive way.” Through their engagement, the group was able to connect with the women at Cornerstone Manor. They played board games and listened to the women’s stories, understanding how their situations led them to Cornerstone Manor. “It was truly humbling to listen to their stories and how the women still have hope about what the future will bring,” they said.
Galeton School District is a very small district with approximately 350 students from Pre-K to 12th grade. They say because they are so small, everyone knows each other and because of this, they have each other’s support; they also get more one-on-one time with their teachers which gives them an advantage academically. Steve Benna is the pastor of First Baptist Church in Galeton and has connections with the school as well. Pastor Benna is the individual who connected the National Honor Society advisors with Buffalo City Mission. He has visited Buffalo City Mission himself and thought it would be a good place for the group to volunteer at and experience firsthand.
This opportunity has provided the students from Galeton High School an opportunity to learn about caring and compassion. “To be able to take part in this trip was truly an amazing experience and it gave us an opportunity to be part of a great cause.” They add, “It was truly a very humbling experience for all of us and it will be something that we will never forget.”
If you or your group are interested in volunteering at the Buffalo City Mission, contact our volunteer department at 716-854-8181 x404 for individual opportunities, x419 for group opportunities or email [email protected]. Thank you for caring!