46 South Main Street
Pittsford, NY 14534
Open Monday-Thursday 8:30 - 4:00
“The refugees give me back more than I could ever give to them. They are new found friends.” Without exception, every volunteer I spoke with expressed this sentiment. Saint’s Place volunteers are people who take Jesus Christ’s call to service seriously. “What you do to the least of my brethren, you do unto me” can be called the watch word of those who dedicate their time and talents to the many legal immigrants who come to our country in need of help.
From those who work in the offices and collection station at the house on South Main Street in Pittsford, to the clothing closet at St. John of Rochester and the tutoring venue at the Greek Orthodox, from those who drive vans between the warehouse and refugees’ homes to those who spend hours on the computer, and the 200 pairs of willing hands who make the yearly fundraiser so successful, Saints Place volunteers, with selfless generosity, work hard to accommodate the needs of the people they serve.
For ten years, Jeanne Corcoran has sorted clothes, and “dressed” new arrivals, she has taught English to adults and helped teens with their homework. Her sister, Pat, has devoted countless hours to tutoring young people, finding scholarships for them to private schools, and helping them navigate the complexities of paper work and legal issues. Lillian Jabbour can be found at the clothing closet and as Geri Dolan’s right hand woman at tutoring on Thursday afternoon where every refugee will tell you that Lillian gives the best hugs!
Dick Wiener, with infinite patience and dedication, teaches English to 30 students, ages 10 to 75 while his wife, Mary Ann, manages, with good humor, to keep a huge supply of incoming linens in order and available for use. Bernie Trombetta, who, in her past life, served as a nurse at mission posts in Africa and Haiti, now can be found in the kitchen on Main Street, expertly sorting dishes, glasses and pots and pans that will be gratefully used by Saints Place clients.
This is just a small sampling of life at Saints Place where not only saints, but angels abound.
How can you help the 850+ Refugees that arrive in the Rochester area ?
Refugees are real people, just like you and me. They have hopes and dreams. No one chooses to be a refugee. Each refugee has a unique story, yet all refugees share years of hardship, deprivation and fear. Their stories are of bravery, determination and human strength. All refugees express gratitude for the opportunity to come to the United States. A new beginning, a chance to start over, their opportunity has now become our responsibility - to welcome the stranger.
When the refugees arrive in Rochester, they are happy to be in a safe place, but they also experience a tremendous sense of loss. They leave behind family, friends, homes, possessions, and livelihoods. They must start over in a strange country, unable to speak the language or understand the customs. It is an overwhelming experience. Our goal is to assist the refugees in becoming self-sufficient as quickly as possible. By respecting their dignity and encouraging self-reliance we are hoping to streamline their transition into American society.