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Volunteers, Recipients Grateful For Good Deeds On Good Friday

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NORTH SIDE (KDKA) -- Lent, especially Good Friday, is a time when Christians give back to their communities. That's exactly what happened at the Light of Life Rescue Mission on the city's North Side on Friday.

More than 100 volunteers participated in a day of giving back to neighbors in need at the mission that benefitted more than 900 people. One group distributed everything from winter coats, hats and gloves, to underwear, toiletries and hand-knit blankets from under a tent set up in the mission's side yard.

Another group, including a large contingent of American Airlines employees, was in the kitchen preparing the Easter meal that was served at the mission's dining room Friday afternoon and take-out meals that were delivered to 15 low-income high rises around the city.

Chris Fetterman is one of those who benefited from the free clothing and donated blankets.

"When you struggle for whatever the reason is, drugs or if you have personal issues like myself and some other guys, it's important that people are willing to help out until you get back on your feet," he said.

The mission's Emily Rabatin helped the airline employees pack up the Easter meals to go.

"The main thing we want to focus on today is that we're not just giving people a meal, but we're also having volunteers around to help build relationships [with them]," she pointed out.

One of those volunteers building relationships was Pastor Harry Owens from Abiding Faith Ministry Church in Sheraden. He brought a van to take delivery of meals for people at Goodwill Plaza High Rise in Sheraden. He was glad to do it.

"It's just a great Christian effort to aid others, to help others and to be part of a good ministry," he said.

People on both sides of the "gifts" that were given Friday were grateful -- the volunteers and those who were on the receiving end.

"Everybody struggles. Not everybody is rich," said Fetterman, who hopes that spirit of giving will continue beyond the Good Friday holiday. "It's important to remember that and to help the people to struggle from day to day."

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