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OCO’s Senior Nutrition Services Wraps Up Blizzard Bag Program

Written by: John DeRousie / Custom Marketing Solutions
MEXICO, NY – On Jan. 29, volunteers from the Fulton Sunrise Rotary Club came to the Mexico Community Services Center to help fill the remaining Blizzard Bags needed to complete Oswego County Opportunities’ annual Blizzard Bags project.

Volunteers from the Fulton Sunrise Rotary prepare Blizzard Bags for OCO’s Senior Nutrition Services program. From left are: Colette Nellis; Ellen Nowyj; Sharon Foster; Executive Director of OCO, Diane Cooper-Currier; Peggy Donnelly; Donna Kestner and Doug Stevens.
Volunteers from the Fulton Sunrise Rotary prepare Blizzard Bags for OCO’s Senior Nutrition Services program. From left are: Colette Nellis; Ellen Nowyj; Sharon Foster; Executive Director of OCO, Diane Cooper-Currier; Peggy Donnelly; Donna Kestner and Doug Stevens.

The Rotary Club members filled more than 300 bags with 12 different items in each bag in just an hour.

“They are a determined group,” said OCO support services manager and volunteer coordinator Christine Parks. “The Sunrise Rotary Club members keep track of their time each year and are hoping to break this year’s record time next year. We certainly appreciate their hard work.”

The bags were decorated by local elementary school students in Oswego County.

Each year, OCO’s Senior Nutrition Services asks the community for donations to fill the Blizzard Bags for its Meals on Wheels clients.

“It is a very important project for us, as the seniors look forward to the Blizzard Bags every year. The idea behind the Blizzard Bags is to give our home delivered clients a bag of shelf stable items in case we have bad weather and can’t deliver their daily meal to them. This year has surely proven to be a challenge to reach some of our rural clients. Our drivers, paid and volunteers are very dedicated. The drivers never complain about the weather, they just go out and do their best, our hats off to you all,” said Parks.

Patrick Waite and Colette Nellis of OCO load Blizzard Bags that will be delivered to seniors participating in OCO’s home delivered meals program.
Patrick Waite and Colette Nellis of OCO load Blizzard Bags that will be delivered to seniors participating in OCO’s home delivered meals program.

The bags bring smiles to the seniors with the creativity that the children use in decorating them, some students even made ornaments and cards for each bag.

As many of the seniors are homebound and alone, the thoughtfulness of the children is greatly appreciated.

“Our donations from the community for the Blizzard Bags were way over the top this year. We would like to extend a special thank you to the Girl Scout troops of Oswego County who decorated and filled more than 250 bags for our seniors. Many of the Girl Scout leaders said it was a great community project for the troops and the girls enjoyed being a part of it. We also had several bags decorated and filled by local Boy Scout troops from Oswego County, local church groups and many gift cards from local businesses. Several of our food vendors also donated cases of food for our bags. A big thank you from all of us at OCO’s Senior Nutrition Services program to all that had a hand in making this year’s Blizzard Bag project a huge success.” added Parks.

One of Oswego County’s largest employers, OCO’s workforce of more than 650 employees and 1,000 volunteers provide more than 50 human services programs that touch the lives of more than 28,000 each year.

As OCO celebrates its 45th anniversary it is on a roll to continue its mission of helping people, supporting communities, changing lives, and improving the quality of life for Oswego County residents.

For more information on OCO, a member agency of the United Way of Greater Oswego County, visit www.oco.org