Photo Gallery: Steve Chirello
FULTON, NY – A generous donation has allowed Catholic Charities of Oswego County in Fulton to upgrade to an 80,000-square foot building, a growth of nearly 50,000 square feet from its previous location.
Originally founded in the 1930s as an adoption agency, Catholic Charities has since evolved into a mid-sized human service agency to serve families, children, and adults throughout Oswego County and in the past two years have doubled their staff and have worked to meet increasing needs.
The new location at 808 W. Broadway was donated by Michael Falcone and family, a family very involved with the Syracuse Diocese and giving back to the community.
Supervisors and staff beamed with gratefulness and pride as they unveiled the new location.
“We are most thankful for the accessibility this building provides for both our clients and our staff and having the room to grow,” said Mary-Margaret Pekow, executive director of Catholic Charities, noting the transition from a two-story building to a one-level building and a remodeled gym that allows for complete handicap accessibility, even allowing youth in wheelchairs to participate with their peers in the gymnasium.
A ribbon cutting event started with a blessing from Most Reverend Robert J. Cunningham, Bishop of the Diocese of Syracuse and proceeded to allow guests to take a complete tour of the new location while enjoying refreshments and learning more about the services that CCOC provides to the community.
In a bigger location, CCOC is able to continue serving the same programs and opportunities but in a better working environment and with more accessibility to clients that take advantage of their services.
Catholic Charities provides a food pantry that served 126,630 meals in 2015, thrift store selling clothing, houseware, books and games for typically one dollar or less, Catholic Youth Organization including a gym and youth entertainment area that served 684 youth in 2015, child and family services, care management serving 576 adults in 2015, adult mental health, and emergency services providing prescription assistance, clothing assistance, assistance paying utility bills, and assistance with baby necessities to members of the community.
CCOC will continue conducting its current capital campaign through the end of March 2020, having already raised more than 50 percent of its goal of $1.5 million and offering “naming” opportunities for areas such as the gymnasium, community room, activity/game room, food pantry, store/boutique, independent living skills center and more.
“This gives local businesses and individuals the chance to put their name in front of the thousands of people CCOC serves who will be using the facility or who will be clients of our programs,” Pekow said.
The new location created a happier work environment for the staff of CCOC including a staff relaxation room and improved services to offer the community.
“We are extremely grateful to be here for a lot of reasons, for the people that we serve but also for our own staff as well as for the space and the accessibility giving us the ability to grow as an agency that serves people that need our help in Oswego County,” Pekow said.
For more information on the services provided by Catholic Charities or ways to donate visit their website here or call Pekow at (315) 598-3980.