Marywood students help seniors make sweet treats


Photo credit/ Amanda Duncklee

Ryan Calamia, freshman early childhood education major, and Emily Schweiger, senior psychology major, help bake cookies with the senior citizens.


Amanda Duncklee, Community Editor

Marywood students looking to share some love this Valentine’s Day season volunteered their time to bake cookies with the elderly at Holy Family Residence.

On Friday, Feb. 12 at 2 p.m., Marywood students went to the Holy Family Residence, directly across from McGowan Center of Graduate and Professional Studies, to help the elderly residents make cookies.

This was the fourth annual year residents and volunteers made cookies for Valentine’s Day. Residents and volunteers sat around tables, cutting heart shapes from the sugar cookie dough and decorating the cookies with red sprinkles.

The cookies go to residents, Campus Ministry and are donated to the United Neighborhood Shelter.

Lisa Blaker, the activities director and volunteer coordinator at Holy Family Residence, has been at Holy Family Residence for 29 years and says the residents look forward to interacting with young people when Marywood students come volunteer.

“They come because the students are here: to support Marywood University and the youth,” said “Blaker. “They love telling students’ stories and hearing students’ talk.”

According to Blaker, Marywood students from Campus Ministry contact Holy Family Residence to asses the 54 residents’ needs and wants and discuss program possibilities for the year.

Some volunteers were a part of the Good Samaritans, which is an extension of Maxis-Gillet, a service scholarship program through Campus Ministry. Members of the group often volunteer at Holy Family Residence as well as at other locations.

“I got my friends to come today,” said Mackie Goodwin, sophomore exercise science major and a Good Samaritan. “It’s always a good time. It’s very rewarding because residents always appreciate everything we do for them.”

Resident Florence Brennan enjoyed making cookies with volunteers and said her favorite part of making cookies was “eating them.” She also said she likes “to get pretty Valentines.”

First time volunteer Ryan Calamia, freshman early childhood education major, already looks forward to returning to Holy Family Residence.
“I like giving back to the community and helping people whenever I can,” said Calamia. “We can learn from the older generation. Hearing how they went through life can play a part in our future.”

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