Thea Bowman House

Agency:  Thea Bowman House

Volunteer Projects:   Neighborhood Clean-Up, Community Gardening

Summary:  Throughout the year youth volunteers cleaned the neighborhood and the parking lot/playground at the DeSales Center. They picked up trash, recycled when called for and swept the sidewalks and parking lot. Their efforts improved the appearance and made the parking lot and playground safer for the children to play. Taking part in this initiative promotes a sense of belonging to the community. Many organizations use the DeSales Center for community meetings and the youth volunteers help set up for the meetings/events and assist with clean-up afterwards. The DeSales tenants and office staff remarked that the grounds never looked so good. They also commented that it was nice to see children of all races working together volunteering their time.

From mid-May through October youth volunteers grew vegetables and herbs from seeds and transplanted them to three raised garden bed locations at the Utica Public Library, the park at Linwood Court and the Lafayette Street site. This year the youth began to grow plants using the new greenhouse located on the upper floor of the DeSales Center. The vegetables were given to the Thea Bowman food pantry for distribution to their clients. The youth volunteers discovered new abilities that they didn’t realize they had, found great satisfaction seeing the results of their hard work and knowing that their work benefitted people in need. This project involved education, intergenerational communication and also beautified the community.

Youth Volunteers:  80                                                       Volunteer Hours:  70