A Pittsburgh charity is using the shopping holiday to give back to the less fortunate.
It’s Black Friday, which means there’s no better day in the year to get your hands on the best deals that stores have to offer. 165 million Black Friday shoppers will take part in today’s events, with some who have even camped outside of retailers and waited in lines that wrap around brick-and-mortar shops. But in Pittsburgh, one organization is shifting the focus from consuming to giving.
Amen to Action is a Pittsburgh-based organization that hosts an annual meat-packing on Black Friday. This year marks the third year Amen to Action is hosting the post-Thanksgiving event to give back to lesser-income people in the community.
Volunteers for Amen to Action operate in an assembly line style. They pack up and box soup and then send it to a food bank. The food bank then distributes the food for those in need. One volunteer, Lisa Miller, traveled all the way from Michigan to help the needy. This is her third year participating in the event.
“It’s so uplifting! It’s so wonderful, it’s a great experience for family. It’s very touching and there are so many encouraging people,” Miller told KDKA.
For others, like 11-year-old Gia Liberatore, this was their first time volunteering.
“It’s to help out for the poor. We are big believers in God, so we’re very blessed that we can do this and the poor can have this,” said Liberatore.
“I think it’s so great and I love volunteering and I just like helping the poor,” said Isabella Liberatore.
Today, 4,000 volunteers will pack one million meals for people in need across the greater Pittsburgh area. To add to the excitement, Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger joined the event with his children.
“We wanted to bring the kids to let them know that there’s a bigger picture of what we’re doing. There are some people from our church here, that’s how we got involved with it. And so we wanted to bring them out here to let them know that there is more that we can do the day after Thanksgiving,” said Roethlisberger.
Amen to Action’s founder Reid Carpenter explained how the organization received its name.
“Amen to Action – we named it because we want to say amen to the goodness that we’ve received and then act on behalf of others,” said Carpenter.