Learning Experience As Workers Volunteer

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SCRANTON -- It was an eye-opening week for employees of Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania. Each day a group of them has been helping out at the St. Francis of Assisi soup kitchen in Scranton, seeing just how much need is out there.

It is a much different setting than the office for Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania employees. Instead of a day at work, a group of workers spent the day volunteering at St. Francis of Assisi soup kitchen in downtown Scranton.

And those here say it certainly reminds them what they have, going into the holiday season.

"It helps you realize how lucky you are at this time of year, when you're in a position like this,” said Christine Rinaldi.

"I just think it's awesome to give back to the community when so many people don't have what we take for granted,” said Linda Moharsky.

Groups of Blue Cross employees have been there every day this week for has become a pre-Thanksgiving tradition. They say it's important to see how many people need help.

"When you're here and you see and you're able to help these people. It just means a lot,” Moharsky added.

The Blue Cross employees were there this week, but the place runs thanks to the volunteers who are there all year round.  Those who get help say all of it is appreciated.

"Oh, this really helps me out. I'm on Social Security disability. I only get so much out of my check so I come down for lunch and Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, I come for supper,” said Jim Russell.

Russell and everyone else also get to go home with some food.

Donations and volunteering go up around the holidays.

"The people coming in, you can tell they appreciate it. They look you in the eye and say ‘thank you’ and that means the world to us,” said Dennis Wozniak.

And what the Blue Cross employees see this week plays out all year long. They say they learn that the need is always there.