|Robin Komorek, daughter & husband.
“She asked if I would give this to her for Christmas,” husband Chris said.
Daughter Toni Amodio came along, too, bringing a bowl of candy for every table and a huge tray of homemade cookies from her business, “Sweet Creations by Toni.”
|Bob Schmelcher on echo harmonica.
His sister-in-law, Rosalie Siuta, likes helping out on all the holidays. “It’s probably the best feeling in the world to be able to give back, and to help” people in need.
|Elf Elvira Turpin
Elvira recalled the time she was in a New York City shelter with her two infant daughters. That’s why she helps at West Side Kitchen four days a week and spends a fifth day at the Utica Salvation Army. “So I give back -- It’s from the heart.”
|Boy Scout Daquan Forehand
Lorraine Haley and Dan Hoffman, who were friends in school, decided to come to the soup kitchen after reading about it in the newspaper. “I thought, it’s time to give back,” Lorraine said. “So we decided to come down and help out as much as we can.”
Cheryl Wakeel’s first exposure to the soup kitchen was on Christmas five years ago. It was such a moving experience that not only does she return every Christmas, but also helps out during the week, serving as crew chief on Wednesdays, and beginning in January, she’ll be there on Mondays, too.
Rick Caruso, who was helping Shirley Schmelcher put slices of pie on plates, said simply: “it’s Christmas. It’s good to share.”
Added Shirley, who was there with daughter Lynda and husband Bob: “It’s our way of giving back to the community.”
|Michell Thurston, center, with daughters.
“We wanted to help out,” said Sara.
Perhaps Toni Amodio summed it up best for the volunteers:
“The best gift you could ever give someone is your time.”