Twice a year, Loyola Marymount University alumni volunteer to assist the homeless at Loaves and Fishes, a soup kitchen run out of St. Joseph Church in Santa Ana.
The Loaves and Fishes program provides meals and services for 700 needy men, women and children every Saturday, from 9 a.m. to noon.
Alumni Maria Dzida ’74, M.A. ‘95 has been director of Loaves and Fishes for more than 25 years. Since 1999, the LMU Office of Alumni Relations has partnered with Loaves and Fishes to organize alumni volunteer days each August and December.
For some alumni, the annual December event is a family affair. Alumni bring their children and relatives to participate in this community service opportunity. On Saturday, Dec. 12, pouring rain did not stop the 60 alumni volunteers and their families from serving the homeless. Alumni Monica and Gerald Manipon brought 10 family members to participate in the day of service.
Donations of shoes, socks, toiletries and clothing are collected and distributed at Loaves and Fishes, as well. In August, LMU alumni gave out about 700 backpacks to children going back to school. This December, needy men and women were offered Christmas cards and candy. After items have been distributed, a meal is served.
Dr. Fred Galluccio ’74 was there last Saturday with a registered nurse who provided the H1N1 influenza vaccine to any homeless individuals who wanted the vaccine.
Linda Lang, assistant director of Alumni Relations, said, “Alumni tell me they participate because volunteering at Loaves and Fishes is so rewarding.”
Posted Dec. 21, 2009