Oneida County Celebrates 10 Years of Youth Volunteerism
Over 13,000 Have Volunteered Nearly 34,000 Hours Through Children Care Initiative
UTICA — Over the past 10 years, 13,059 youth have volunteered 33,823 hours of their time to make their community a better place thanks to the Oneida County Children Care initiative.
“The impact the Oneida County Children Care initiative has had on this community, and on the youth who have participated in it, is immeasurable,” said Oneida County Executive Anthony J. Picente Jr. “For 10 years now, this program has shown our young people the power volunteerism has in making positive changes in other people’s lives and how that selflessness builds strong character in their own.”
The civic engagement initiative, which is administered by the Oneida County Youth Bureau, has partnered with dozens of local agencies over the past decade. Last year, 1,798 youth volunteered 9,661 hours to assist with projects sponsored by The Center for Family Life and Recovery, Cornell Cooperative Extension, The Neighborhood Center, Thea Bowman House, Safe Schools Mohawk Valley, the Dodge Pratt Northam Art Community Center and the Salvation Army of Utica.
In 2018, county youth worked on projects that included promoting tolerance in local schools; cleaning senior citizen’s yards; preparing food and serving meals at local food pantries; youth mentoring and tutoring; donation drives for the Stevens-Swan Humane Society and Central New York Veterans Outreach Center; as well as signature community events such as Toys for Tots, Build-A-Bike and the Making Strides to End Breast Cancer Walk.
The Oneida County Children Care initiative saw its number of participants last year jump by more than 400 from 2017 and its volunteer hours increase by 4,000.
“We are continuing to see our youth take ownership and pride in making a difference within our community through volunteering,” said Youth Bureau Director Kevin Green. “This initiative is a testament to the work our youth serving agencies do on a daily basis and to the youth of Oneida County.”