St. Augustine continues mission to feed homeless amid COVID-19 challenges

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CLEVELAND, (WJW)– Sister Corita Ambro has been feeding the hungry of Cleveland for the past 45 years at St. Augustine Roman Catholic Church in Tremont.

She retired two years ago, but said she could not step away from the mission of mercy that has been her life’s work.

“You know I’m feeding people every day and they say to me, ‘Sister, we would not be alive if it weren’t for you, OK, you’re here every day for us,” Sister Corita said.

Sister Corita and her team of devoted volunteers are gearing up for the annual St. Augustine Thanksgiving dinner. This year, they said they hope to deliver 10,000 meals to the needy of Northeast Ohio in the middle of a surge in COVID-19 cases.

“I’m worried about the spreading of the virus all over the place and I don’t want my volunteers to get sick from it. And yet I need them to feed the homeless and the poor, and especially the senior citizens, those are people who need it so badly,” she said.

Sister Corita said as a result of the pandemic, there is a critical need for volunteer drivers to deliver meals across the region on Thanksgiving day. They need up to 200 delivery drivers and additional volunteers who own trucks of any size to make large deliveries.

he said they are taking steps to protect the volunteers and those they serve.

“What we’re planning on doing is having them come here, they stay in their cars, we give them their orders, they take it to the place and call before they get to the house to tell them they’re there, so they don’t have to go into the home,” she said.

Sister Corita said they also need 40 volunteers to help pack the 10,000 meals at St. Augustine on Thanksgiving morning. She saidthose who volunteer will discover what she learned 45 years ago, that helping the less fortunate is rewarding work.

“They’re just so grateful for everything they get and they thank me every single day. And I don’t do it because of the thanks, I do it because they need it, they’re God’s children and they need it.”

If you would like to serve as a Thanksgiving volunteer or delivery driver, please call the St. Augustine Hunger Center at 216-781-5530. Click here to find out how to donate.

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