Bishop Douglas J. Lucia joins the students and staff of Blessed Sacrament School in Syracuse Nov. 25 to make pumpkin pies bound for Thanksgiving meals provided by the Rescue Mission. (Sun photo | Chuck Wainwright)

Some 20 years ago, Blessed Sacrament first grade teacher Lisa Coppola had the idea to bake pies with her students and donate them to the Rescue Mission for its Thanksgiving meals. That first year, they made 25 pies and an annual tradition was born, she recalled recently.

Last Monday, Coppola was once again directing the pie project, but this time as principal and with every grade level at the school participating. Coppola estimated close to 200 pies would be made that day during the heartwarming service project that also provided a lesson in math and measurements.

Bishop Douglas J. Lucia lent his baking skills to the service project as well, donning an apron custom-made for him by the students. Bishop Lucia was also joined by representatives from Bishop Grimes Jr./Sr. High School, the Catholic Schools Office; Sock Out Cancer, a nonprofit organization teaming with the Catholic schools on a diocese-wide initiative [see page 8 for more]; and the Rescue Mission.

“We are blessed that Blessed Sacrament has thought of the Rescue Mission over the last 20 years because they provide about 100 of the 250 pies that we will use…. They’ll provide pies and dessert for 800 individuals,” said Tori Shires, Chief Development Officer for the Rescue Mission. The agency would provide about 2,000 Thanksgiving meals, she noted, with additional pies donated from other organizations; any pies not served at Thanksgiving would be frozen and served at Christmas.

(Sun photo | Chuck Wainwright)

“We’re incredibly grateful for that support because having this kind of community really means something to the people we serve as well,” Shires said.

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