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By Tom Spalding, Food Pantry Volunteer

The Tuesday morning off-load crew received a welcome addition in the summer and autumn with contributions from three out-of-state college students who are devoting part of their 18-month service missions to the Boulevard Place food pantry.

Sisters Jaki Sabaitis, 20, of St. George, Utah; Sydney Jones, 21, of Gurnee, Illinois (a student at Columbus State College in Ohio); and Lindsay Greenburg, 21, of Moses Lake, Washington (a student at Brigham Young University) each served a rotation, mainly around Indianapolis, but also statewide. (They are L-to-R in image.)

They spend 10 hours a week volunteering, including three-hour shifts at SVdP. They proudly wear their Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints nametags as they help unload pallets, repackage fresh vegetables and sort to-go baskets of nonperishables—all kinds of tasks!

“Our goal in being missionaries is to serve the less fortunate in the way that Jesus Christ did, and to take care of people,” said Sydney, in her 16th month as a missionary in Indy. “We love being able to come and volunteer at Boulevard Place. It’s been so much fun and it’s such a great way to start out our day and our week.”

Although the pantry is a special work of St. Vincent DePaul and supported by five area Catholic churches, their welcome presence here is a joyful reminder of our non-denominational outreach. Contributors and volunteers of all faiths are welcome!

Jaki explains that of all the volunteer assignments she’s done in her 15 months, being able to be so close to the people being served has been her favorite (as the food pantry is on the front doorstep of the neighborhood). “I have served in many places; it’s just so heartwarming to be able to see how we are helping out.”

Lindsay, the farthest traveler (Indianapolis is over 2,000 miles from Washington State), completed her sixth month on the road at Boulevard Place, and the volunteerism has helped keep her focused on her faith while doing good in a hands-on way. She was the first of the three to finish up and move on to another nonprofit in need. The students were living in housing in Carmel, with accommodations set up by the LDS Church.

Sydney, Jaki and Lindsay weren’t the only LDS contributors.

Three elders volunteered at Boulevard Place (assisting other volunteers during the three-days-a-week drive-through food service) and at Pratt-Quigley. (Left to right in photo: Cade Bowring, Ben Havili and Jon Sutton.)