Oneida County Children Care 2010
Oneida County Children Care, an Oneida County Youth Bureau initiative recently completed its second successful year. The initiative, an initiative of civic engagement implemented in 2009 is collaboration between the Youth Bureau and 11 agencies the Youth Bureau funds that provide programming for youth. The intent of the project is to introduce our children to the invaluable lessons of community service through volunteerism.
“Community service should be an integral part of the development of our youth, because if we do not teach them the importance of forming a strong community connection as young people, they will never learn how much the efforts of one person can impact a community problem, and how much a group of young people working together can help resolve an issue in a neighborhood or a community,” Oneida County Executive Anthony J. Picente, Jr. said.
The Boys and Girls Club of the Mohawk Valley, Compeer of the Mohawk Valley, Cornell Cooperative Extension, Family Services of the Mohawk Valley, Utica Municipal Housing Authority, The Neighborhood Center, Sergeant Eli Parker Youth Center, Thea Bowman House, Utica Safe Schools/The Underground Café, YMCA of the Greater Tri-Valley and the YWCA of the Mohawk Valley were the agencies that participated. “Their on-going and tireless work contributes daily in making our Oneida County communities healthier, happier and safer,” said Youth Bureau Director Bob Roth.
The goal of the Oneida County Children Care initiative is to take the life lessons these agencies teach and apply them in their communities. “We want our children to be good neighbors in their communities, make their communities a better place to live and aid in providing more worthwhile services while maximizing limited resources,” Picente continued.
In 2010, 618 youth volunteers from the above mentioned agencies gave residents of Oneida County 546 hours of volunteer service that included, preparing and serving Thanksgiving dinners to 300 people in Rome, providing 350 Camden school-aged children with book bags and school supplies, collecting, tagging, assisting mechanics and fitting helmets on children to give 359 repaired bicycles and new helmets free of charge to the youth of Utica, collecting and distributing 175 coats, hats and mittens to children residents who reside in Utica’s Municipal Housing locations, writing letters, making cards and drawing pictures for Operation Gratitude, an initiative that sends care packages to military men and women overseas, making and sending holiday cards, socializing with and planning and working events for senior citizens, preparing and serving meals at Hope House, raising money and participating in America’s Greatest Heart Run and Walk and Aids Hike For Life, growing vegetables for food pantries, cleaning neighborhoods and playgrounds and the list goes on and on!
“Oneida County Children Care began in 2009 grew bigger and better in 2010, and we hope will continue to grow by teaching our children to be involved, community conscious citizens,” Oneida County Youth Bureau Director Bob Roth said. Roth added, “If the efforts, results and positive comments from our youth volunteers are any indication, Oneida County residents will be benefitting from the wonderful life lessons our youth learn at our Oneida County youth serving agencies for years to come.”