Calling all Prep students to help Emmaus Soup Kitchen


Gabe Allegretto, Staff Writer

Emma Kill, along with Mrs. Grenci and other volunteers, make countless peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for the homeless.

If there is one aspect of Prep that sets it apart from other schools within the area, it is the fact that a great emphasis is placed on service to the community. Everyone within the school is familiar with this to some extent, as it is a requirement that all students complete one-hundred service hours in order to graduate. However, there are many individuals who go far above and beyond what our school has set out for them. In the case of Prep junior Emma Kill, she is taking the initiative to help aid the homeless of Erie by making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with other students every Monday across all three lunches.

Emma and Mrs. Grenci have been working together since Dec. 12, 2022, to produce these sandwiches for the Emmaus soup kitchen. Many Prep and former Villa students may recognize the name of this organization, as it is where all of the proceeds from Box Village go. Emma’s service to Emmaus began back during the COVID pandemic. She wanted to do more for the organization, but could not at the time due to health restrictions posed by the virus. So, they told her that she could make sandwiches for the homeless.

It has been estimated that around 180 sandwiches are made each week, and around ten volunteers help out each lunch (although they are always looking for more). Overseeing the operation is Mrs. Grenci, who is present during all three lunches, and Emma herself, who uses her fifth period study hall and sixth period lunch to help out.

The goal is to keep making the sandwiches for as long as they can, with the hope that they might be able to branch out someday; currently, they are only making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, but Emmaus has stated to Emma that they would also accept “baked goods” as well. Since their operation is still fairly new, Mrs. Grenci suggested to Emma that they “start small and see where it goes.”

As for Emma herself, this cause is extremely important to her. She states that ever since she volunteered at a homeless shelter one Thanksgiving morning, she has felt very strongly about helping the homeless. Emma is also gifted in the arts, and tries to use her abilities to help out in any way she can. Another volunteer in Emma’s operation, senior Henry Abercrombie, also has a passion for helping the homeless in any way he can. Henry and his family painted murals on the walls of a different homeless shelter. The mural was directed towards children and depicted all sorts of different kinds of fish and aquatic animals.

Emma has amassed a considerable number of kind individuals to aid in her journey of helping the homeless, and is making a great difference within the community. Her organization is always looking for more volunteers, however, and relies on the service of fellow Prep students to keep the organization going.