The ‘Old College Try’
Mike Riemer’s life has been about giving back. Four years ago, he found a creative way to get area college students involved.
Students from local colleges perform work study and internships with the Salvation Army’s Pittsburgh EDS. Riemer says about 30 students have gone through the program.
The students perform a host of duties, including taking the canteen out to different feeding locations in the city.
“The feeding outreach has unlimited possibilities of helping people and fulfilling our mission in The Salvation Army,” Riemer says. “The public really enjoys it when we come down there with hot coffee, hot chocolate, a hot meal and help them out.”
Frank Duncan, who is working on his master’s in social work at the University of Pittsburgh, does everything from preparing the food to serving it.
“It’s a great opportunity to be working with the population that really needs help,” he says.
Jessica Beebe, a work–study volunteer from Pittsburgh Technical Institute, agreed.
“It’s a great experience, especially the outreach program,” she says.
Not everyone is a college student. Ron Watzman, a retired attorney, volunteers because he read about The Salvation Army’s frugalness with donations.
“I said, ‘I have to volunteer for this organization because it really does good things.’ They do wonderful things,” he says.