Picente: Youth Volunteers Give Region A New Spirit of Caring, Action

Oneida County Executive Anthony J. Picente, Jr. today announced that in 2011, 733 Oneida County youth gave back almost 700 hours to the community through the Oneida County Children Care Initiative, an Oneida County Youth Bureau initiative that began in 2009.

“As Oneida County supports our youth through programs and activities at some of our grassroots agencies, we want the young people of the community to know that it is just as important to give back to the community as it is to do anything else,” Picente said. “The Oneida County Children Care Initiative helps youth understand the benefits of community and volunteer services so that as they mature, they strengthen their community roots and their commitment to service.

Oneida County Youth Bureau Director Robert Roth said youth volunteers from The Boys and Girls Club of the Mohawk Valley, Compeer of the Mohawk Valley, Cornell Cooperative Extension, The Center for Family Life and Recovery, The Neighborhood Center, Thea Bowman House, Utica Municipal Housing Authority, Utica Safe Schools/Healthy Students/Underground Café and the YMCA of the Greater Tri-Valley performed community service that included assisting in a bicycle giveaway program for Utica children, collecting and distributing clothing to the children who reside in Utica’s Municipal Housing Authority locations, soliciting donations, collecting money and walking in Utica’s version of America’s Greatest Heart Run and Walk, the Multiple Sclerosis Walk and the American Cancer Walk, collecting food, preparing  and serving meals at local food pantries, collecting donations and goods to aid animals at the Stevens Swan Humane Society and other community activities.

“The Oneida County Children Care Initiative began in 2009 with the goal of teaching our children the benefits of being involved, community conscious citizens,” Youth Bureau Director Bob Roth said. Roth added, “Each year the number of youth volunteers and the number of volunteer hours has exceeded the previous year. This initiative is a testimony to the hard work of the agencies, and to the youth of Oneida County, who really do care!”