Utica Safe Schools/Underground Café

Agency:  Utica Safe Schools/Underground Café

Volunteer Projects:  Martin Luther King Give Back Day, St. Patrick’s Day Parade, Intergenerational Spring Clean-Up, Build-A-Bike, WUTR ABC News Day, Youth Violence Day, Utica Zoo Clean-Up, Hamilton Underground and Build-A-Bike Clean-Up, Intergenerational Fall Clean-Up, City of Rome Holiday Decoration Clean-Up

Summary:  On January 21, 2013 youth volunteers helped fix bikes and cleaned a Build-A-Bike storage facility in preparation for the 2013 Build-A-Bike event.

Youth volunteers built a float, entered the float and organized people to ride unique bikes in Utica’s Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade. The float’s theme was to raise awareness of Utica Safe School’s (USS) annual Build-A-Bike event. The volunteers enjoyed building the float and participating in the parade and felt it was a great way to make people aware of Build-A-Bike.

On Saturday April 20, 2013 youth volunteers from the Underground Café volunteered their time to clean senior citizen’s yards that no longer can physically do the work or financially afford to have the work done in Oneida County’s 5th Annual Intergenerational Spring Clean-Up.

Youth volunteers spent many hours promoting USS Annual Build-A-Bike event and on Sunday April 28, 2013 they tagged the bicycles, assisted mechanics, helped children select bikes and help fit the children with new helmets during the Build-A-Bike event. They also handed out health and wellness information to youth and families at the event.

On Monday May 13, 2013 three Underground Cafe youth volunteers volunteered and represented the Underground Café in a series of interviews with local media to help promote the mission and efforts of the Underground Café and to speak to the positive effects the Underground Café has had in transforming their lives.

Youth volunteers volunteered their time to be part of a focus group to give their perspectives on how they view youth violence and gang activity in their communities with a State Gang Expert from Albany, New York.

Participants in USS Annual Urban Leadership Institute chose to clean the Utica Zoo as a civic service project. A requirement of the program is to for the youth to participate in a civic service project. As a result, on Tuesday August 27, 2013 twenty five youth volunteers cleaned animal stalls, walkways and separated bottles for the Zoo’s Annual Wine in the Wilderness fundraiser.

On Wednesday August 28, 2013, youth volunteers painted the exterior of a new Build-A-Bike facility and helped build storage units for bikes. They also organized the new site for this year’s (2014) event.

Youth volunteers volunteerd their time on Sunday October 27, 2013 to once again, clean senior citizen’s yards in Oneida County’s 5th Annual Intergenerational Fall Clean-Up.

During the month of November youth volunteers repainted and refurbished holiday decorations for the City of Rome and their Wonderland of Lights Celebration.

The youth volunteers involved in these volunteer projects felt the projects to be fulfilling, thankful, and lucky and made them feel good about themselves.

The many recipients of the projects were thankful and viewed the youth in a different, positive light.

Youth Volunteers:  97                                                           Volunteer Hours:  55