FULTON, NY – The Oswego County Board of Realtors recently presented Karen Merrill, coordinator of Oswego County Opportunities’ PATH program with a check in support of the programs’ efforts of helping area youth.
Each year, the Oswego County Board of Realtors organizes a fundraiser for the PATH program.
“Our members open their hearts and their pocketbooks to support the PATH Program,” said Gene Friske, Executive Officer of the Oswego County Board of Realtors. “We are happy to be able to assist such a worthwhile endeavor as OCO’s PATH program and I am pleased to say that our support has increased steadily over the years.”
Friskie added that in addition to their support of OCO’s PATH program, the Oswego County Board of Realtors also provides scholarship awards at every high school in Oswego County.
Established in 1991, OCO’s PATH program has provided hundreds of homeless youth with transitional independent living services and helped them become contributing members of society. This year, the program was awarded another 5-year grant from the federal government to continue to provide services to the homeless youth of Oswego County.
“We are very thankful for the continued support we receive from the Oswego County Board of Realtors,” said Merrill. “As we enter our 23rd year of providing services to youth in the community we greatly appreciate their generous donation and all the effort that goes into organizing the fundraiser. Many of the funding sources have limitations as to what is allowed to be spent and Holidays are not included. The donations we receive from caring organizations such as the Oswego County Board of Realtors helped us provide youth in the PATH program with a little something special at Christmas such as food, clothing, and some gifts, many times these gifts are the only ones these youth receive.”
“The homeless youth population is a very misunderstood and many times, unjustly criticized population,” added Merrill. “PATH helps youth realize there are members of the community and that their community supports them and acknowledges the positive things they are doing to better themselves. As the number and needs of homeless youth in Oswego County continues to increase the donations we receive from caring organizations such as the Oswego County Board of Realtors, are essential as they have allowed us to secure additional funding.”
Merrill said she welcomes the opportunity to meet with local groups or organizations to raise their awareness of the PATH program and the positive effect it has on the youth of Oswego County.
Those interested in learning more about the PATH program may contact Merrill at OCO’s Crisis & Development Services office, 315-598-6664 Ext 1708.
The PATH program is funded by the United Way of Greater Oswego County, Oswego City/County Youth Bureau, NYS Office of Temporary Disability Assistance and the Department of Health and Human Services.
A private, non-profit agency, OCO’s many programs touch the lives of more than 30,000 Oswego County residents each.
One of Oswego County’s largest employers, OCO employs more than 650 people and boasts a volunteer force of 1,200. OCO strives to improve the quality of life in Oswego County by helping people, supporting communities and changing lives.
For more information, visit www.oco.org