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  • Patrick's People - Coming together

  • Many Pittsburg State University students will be devoting all their time and effort to preparing for their finals this coming week.

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  • Many Pittsburg State University students will be devoting all their time and effort to preparing for their finals this coming week.
    However, members of the PSU Social Work Plus Club are planning to spend hours passing out flyers and coupons to raise money to help somebody they’ve never even met.
    On Nov. 24, Mateo Vincent “Vinnie” Lorenzo fell into a strip pit during a walk at Wilderness Park. His body, found Nov. 26, remains unburied because funds are not available to pay for services and burial.
    The PSU Social Work Plus Club is trying to raise that money.
    “We try to do community service projects,” said Jackie Raio, club president. “One of our members, Samantha York, heard about this and just went running with it.”
    York said she heard about it from her father.
    “He said, ‘You’re a social work organization, can you give a donation?’” York said. “I told him that we don’t have money but we have heart.”
    Lorenzo, 22, was the youngest son of Becky Jones, Pittsburg, and had attended Pittsburg public schools.
    York said that Lorenzo’s sister, Sara Smith, died a year ago.
    “Because of both lives being taken short, the family is not able to meet the financial burden,” she said. “It’s just so unfortunate, and there’s nothing you can do to make things better. It’s just so sad.”
    The club has placed collection cans in several locations, including convenience stores, and is waiting on corporation approval to put cans in more places.
    Members have also arranged “Vinnie Lorenzo Memorial Night” from 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Tuesday at Chili’s.
    “Those who bring in a coupon will have 10 percent of their bill go to the fund for Vinnie Lorenzo,” Raio said. “But you must present that coupon or else the money won’t go to Vinnie. A bunch of us have been going out to organizations, and some have let us give out coupons.”
    York said that members have been pounding the pavement and plan to keep on doing it over the weekend and on Monday and Tuesday.
    “We’re going to be at Meadowbrook Mall and convenience stores, hitting the parking lots with Chili’s coupons,” she said.
    Those who wish may drop off donations at the Bath-Naylor Funeral Home. A web site has also been created to collect donations electronically at http://www.giveforward.com/vinnielorenzomemorial.
    Somewhere in all this, Social Work Plus Club members will need to find some time to prepare for their finals. On the other hand, they may be learning something that can’t be found in textbooks.
    “It’s so great to see all these people working so hard to help somebody they don’t even know, haven’t even met,” York said. “It kind of restores your faith in humanity a little bit.”

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