OSWEGO, NY – AmeriCorps is a national service program that provides opportunities for more than 85,000 Americans to give back to their community and country each year.
Danielle Czyz is one of the more than two dozen AmeriCorps workers getting things done in Oswego County.
“The goal of AmeriCorps is to bring Americans together to strengthen our community. You may see members serving in an organization that serves our community, a school, or a library,” she said. “AmeriCorps serves a broad range of nutritional education, mentoring and physical fitness for youth in our community. There are many problems in our community in the areas of health awareness, education solutions and environmental safety. AmeriCorps members help solve this by getting other people to volunteer.”
Something that all AmeriCorps members have in common is seeking to improve our communities by encouraging responsibility and getting the job done, she added.
“AmeriCorps gives me the chance to receive awards to fund my education and to make myself feel good by helping someone else,” Czyz told Oswego County Today.
Part of being an AmeriCorps member is to plan and carry out a community involvement project while being a part of the program that helps give back to the community.
“For my community involvement project, I put together Valentine pins and took a poem from the author Shell Silverstone called ‘Hug O’War’ and recited to senior citizens at the Seneca Hill Manor,” Czyz said. “I also worked with Jenny Monroe and she attached the poems to bookmarks with flowers, kittens and other heartwarming images printed on them. Everyone including the staff, seniors, Jenny and I had a great time. It was something that everyone said they would like to do again.”
Tug O’War vs. Hug O’War
I will not play at tug o’war.
I’d rather play at hug o’war,
Where everyone hugs
Instead of tugs,
Where everyone giggles
And rolls on the rug,
Where everyone kisses,
And everyone grins,
And everyone cuddles,
And everyone wins.
by Shel Silverstein – from Where the Sidewalk Ends
“Everyone seemed really happy and thankful to have a vistor because there are many people that never see anybody from their family and friends. We took about five mintues to talk with each person,” Czyz said. “Jenny and I each got a couple hugs and kisses from the people we gave the pins to.”
More than 650,000 Americans have served in AmeriCorps.
“AmeriCorps is a great program to be part of and I am so grateful to be a part of,” Czyz said. “Currently, I believe, there are 28 AmeriCorps members working around the county.”
A service event, in recognition of AmeriCorps Week, will be held at the Oswego Armory on March 10 from 10 a.m. to noon.
“We will be assisting Laura Taverni, AmeriCorps member working with the “Driving Books Home” project through the Oswego YMCA. Laura has requested help in the storage room organizing the books she uses for her program,” Czyz said. “New shelving was just added to the storage room, which will help us to organize the hundreds of books the program utilizes.”
A spring fling event is also being planned for April 4 at Camp Hollis, she added.
For more information on Oswego County AmeriCorps, contact Kathy Andolina, program director, at the Oswego City-County Youth Bureau at 349-3451 or 1-800-593-3200, ext. 3451 or go to http://www.oswegocounty.com/youth/Americorps.html