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AmeriCorps Members Pitch in For Human Concerns

OSWEGO, NY – Several groups and individuals rolled up their sleeves over the weekend to help clean up the area.

In Oswego, several members of AmeriCorps volunteered to clean up the grounds around the Human Concerns Center on East Fourth Street.

AmeriCorps members bag leaves and other debris in front of the Human Concerns.
AmeriCorps members bag leaves and other debris in front of the Human Concerns.

“A few years ago, I was in AmeriCorps and we came down and did the wood (on the front deck) trim. Since then, I have kept in contact with AmeriCorps,” explained Deb Deeb, Human Concerns director. “Carrie (Victory of AmeriCorps) always asks if we need some help. They do an awesome job.”

“We do whatever we can to help,” Victory added.

Members of Oswego AmeriCorps serve at sites throughout Oswego County that directly benefit children and youth. Project sites include schools, libraries, recreation programs and non-profit agencies.

Members serve youth by mentoring, providing fitness or nutrition education activities and managing volunteers. During the summer, AmeriCorps members focus strictly on fitness and nutrition education activities throughout a variety of sites in Oswego County.

These are 300-hour positions in which AmeriCorps members receive a modest living allowance of $2,113 paid in bi-weekly checks.

After the successful completion of their term of service, the member receives an education award of $1,175 that can be used to pay student loans or finance college at qualified institutions.

“We are currently accepting applications and plan to begin interviewing for these summer positions in May,” Victory said.

An AmeriCorps member rakes the dead leaves out from under the ramp on the side of Human Concerns.
An AmeriCorps member rakes the dead leaves out from under the ramp on the side of Human Concerns.

Members of the new Economic Development Corps provide housing services and financial literacy for economically disadvantaged individuals in our county.  There are currently openings in the program for 900-hour members at Catholic Charities and Oswego County Opportunities.

A 900-hour member receives a living allowance of $6,527 paid in bi-weekly checks and an education award of $2,775 after the successful completion of their term.

Members can receive deferment on qualified student loans during the term of service.

All or some of the interest that accrues on deferred loans can be paid by the National Service Trust.

AmeriCorps members enjoy serving Oswego County in other capacities through service events offered to them by the AmeriCorps program.

“For example, AmeriCorps members have assisted in making fleece blankets in which they donated to the Oswego County’s Maternal Child Health Program in recognition of Martin Luther King Day.  These blankets are then donated to families with infants in need who are referred to the program.  AmeriCorps members have assisted Human Concerns over the years in several capacities,” Victory said.

For the last couple of years, in recognition of Make-A-Difference Day in October, members have assisted with the collection of sheets, blankets and comforters for their clients.

“In the Spring of 2013, AmeriCorps members did a spring cleanup in recognition of Earth Week.  The project went so well that AmeriCorps members are doing the cleanup again this spring,” Victory said. “After such a long, hard winter, providing raking and mulching will be just what the agency needs to spruce up the outside for the hopefully warmer weather.”

“AmeriCorps has been great to us over the years. We really appreciate them and all that they do,” Deeb said.

The AmeriCorps members taking part in the Human Concerns cleanup were: Sara Wallace, Gabrielle Vono,  Marie Demby, Katelyn Winn and Yomara Vasquez.

“We would like to thank C & B Garden for their generous donation of mulch. They contribute every year to our projects!” Victory said.

For further information on these programs, contact program coordinator Kathy Andolina at the Oswego City-County Youth Bureau, weekdays at 349-3451 or email, [email protected]