Collecting and distributing food donations at St. Luke's Mission of Mercy, on the surface, has nothing to do with basketball. Still, the Canisius High School junior varsity basketball team spent the day at St. Luke's two days before Thanksgiving working together to make the holiday a little brighter for other people. The JV basketball day of service has become an annual tradition for Coach Joe Zera's teams. It fits with Canisius' "whole person" approach to education that includes the development of the human spirit, mind and body.
The service day is followed by an overnight retreat and both components provide important team bonding experiences. The time spent at St. Luke's can be eye-opening for the student-athletes as they meet people who live in the neighborhood and who rely on the services St. Luke's provides. The retreat allows for team-building activities, reflection, and time to define and set goals for the future. Coach Zera says the student-athletes look forward to the service day and retreat.