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A tradition of service

Members of La Famiglia
Members of La Famiglia and representatives from Villa Joseph Marie

The Italian-American fraternal organization La Famiglia dei Fratelli last week continued its longtime volunteer service at Caring for Friends, 12271 Townsend Road.

La Famiglia members visited Caring for Friends on Feb. 20, pulling apart chicken for use in meals and sealing and labeling individual-sized containers filled with roasted chicken, pasta, tomato sauce and string beans.

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Caring for Friends provides tens of thousands of turkey dinners each Thanksgiving, along with several million meals annually that go to hundreds of thousands of shut-ins and other needy people each year. Sandwiches are also distributed to the homeless.

The agency works with hundreds of partners and relies on volunteers like the good folks at La Famiglia, which has been a loyal supporter of Caring for Friends, volunteering four times a year.

Tony Coco is president of the organization, which, among other things, provides meals several times a year for the Gift of Life House, a temporary home for transplant patients and their families at 4th and Callowhill streets; delivers sandwiches to the Veterans Multi-Service Center; donates money to organizations in memory of members; presents an Italian language award to a student at Roman Catholic, Nazareth Academy or Northeast; and supports local food banks.

To raise money for its efforts, La Famiglia teams with Angels of Christmas for an annual comedy night; organizes two Pennsylvania Lottery scratch-off raffles each year; and runs an annual March Madness block pool.

On the night La Famiglia was there, Caring for Friends also benefited from Villa Joseph Marie students making peanut butter and jelly and turkey and cheese sandwiches, while individual volunteers prepared roasted garlic potatoes and assisted in packaging the roasted chicken meals. ••

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