As St. Augustine provides hundreds of Thanksgiving meals, visitors use time to appreciate togetherness

Published: Nov. 25, 2021 at 4:32 PM EST
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - As part of a Tremont tradition, St. Augustine served thousands of Thanksgiving meals Thursday for those in need across Greater Cleveland.

At the church’s location, visitors like John Bebko—who did not have any family nearby this year for the holidays—couldn’t be happier.

“Something that stirs up inside me that only comes once a year and really is a good feeling,” he said.

He was one of the hundreds of people that received a meal today at the church location. After a year of Covid-19, social distancing, and a lack of interaction, Bebko was so glad to be around people, he was moved to tears.

“I didn’t know whether I could talk to you in front of the camera, but I’m so grateful,” he said during his interview with 19 News.

Just as excited to be in person this year was Sister Corita Ambro. The long-time organizer is now retired, but she’s not planning on missing any of these drives any time soon.

“Not if I can walk,” she said, laughing, “I’ll be here if I can walk.”

Sister Corita is also thankful for the little things, such as being able to see everyone in person again: “I’m here to enjoy the people, and that’s the most wonderful part of it in the world.”

One of those happy to see her today in return was Bebko. He explained Sister Corita was the one who invited him to the church for a warm meal.

“Her work has been unparalleled to any social services in the Tremont area,” Bebko said.

As visitors continued to pass through the center to enjoy their meals, Bebko hopes to keep the enthusiasm going for the rest of the year.

“Just plugging away one day at a time, just like everyone else,” he said.

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