FINDING THE GOOD: The Saint Cyril’s Ladies Clu
BINGHAMTON (WBNG) -- Inside St. Cyril’s Church in the First Ward of Binghamton, you’ll find a group of friends hard at work. All rolling up their sleeves to help families in need.
“Well we try to give them two sandwiches thinking that can have one for lunch, one for dinner,” says Lola Kaminsky, Head of the kitchen with the Saint Cyril’s Ladies Club, “There are a lot of children sometimes in the families, so some of them take 6, 7 lunches at a time.”
For the last three years, the Saint Cyril’s Ladies Club has met once a week, putting their care giving skills to work. And while they don’t really see it as work, they are seeing an increase in demand from the community.
“It seems to have grown since the pandemic. We’re averaging about 800 lunches a month,” said Kaminsky.
So they recently decided to move from doing this one day a week to now two. While doing it all free of charge.
“Our pay is from god, you know? We love what we do.”
They say the real payoff is seeing the impact they’re making through those they help.
“As the word gets around, we have new people that come,” explained Betty-Ann Graham, another member of the SCLC, “But some of them are regulars who really appreciate and are thankful for what we do give them.”
We were actually was able to speak with one of those regular faces, Don Emery from Binghamton, who shared how these women have touched his heart.
“One time I was walking by and I was down on my luck and hungry and I saw this sign ‘Free Bagged Lunches’ so I came in and they gave me a bagged lunch,” Emery said, “Now I don’t care too much for peanut butter and jelly but it was the best peanut butter and jelly I’ve ever had. Then I came back again and the next time I had a bologna and cheese and the mustard was shaped like a heart. And I said this is definitely a ‘love sandwich.’”
But ‘love sandwiches’ aren’t the only thing being handed out at the church. There’s a space for free clothing in the basement called ‘George’s Garments.’ And the volunteers who work there say they consider many of the people they meet like a member of their own family.
“You get to know people’s lives and their life stories and what they’ve been through, and you just, you just feel like you’re all part of a really big family,” says Anne Lott, George’s Garments Volunteer, “It’s been very rewarding for me. I truly look forward to seeing the regulars and new people. I’ve made a lot of friends.”
Adding the chance to help them is all the reward they need.
“Especially when you have someone who has lost their home, they’re homeless or things like that and you can actually help somebody and make a difference in their lives.”
People just like Don Emery.
“They’re just making sandwiches but they’re putting love into it, literally,” Emery said, “And that’s just the best part is just knowing that someone is thinking about other people and wanting to help them.”
Proving just powerful -- something as simple as a sandwich can be.
“Without a doubt, without this place, I would’ve gone hungry that day. But it’s the love that keeps me coming back.”
The Saint Cyril’s Ladies Club said they would like to thanks everyone who has donated to help them including Adam and Clover Weitsman from Upstate Shredding. They recently donated a $2,000 grant as part of our Southern Tier Tuesday segment.
If you want to stop at the church to pick up meals or check out George’s Garments, they’re both open on Mondays and Wednesdays from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.