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.”
Friske added that in addition to its 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.
“Donations from the community are vital for our existence. These local funds count as a match for state and federal dollars, in essence, a dollar can potentially help the agency bring in two additional dollars from state and federal funding, explained Merrill. “We are very thankful for the generous donation we received from the Oswego County Board of Realtors and all the effort that goes into organizing their fundraiser.”
“As we enter our 24rd year of providing services to youth in the community, we greatly appreciate the continued support we receive from the Oswego County Board of Realtors. 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,” added Merrill. “The homeless youth population is a very misunderstood and many times, unjustly criticized population. 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.”
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 can contact Merrill at OCO’s Crisis and Development Services office, 315-342-7532 ext. 1609.
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.
This article was supported by Grant No. 90CX6963 from the Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families.
Its contents are solely the responsibility of OCO and do not necessarily represent the official views of the Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families.
A private, non-profit agency, OCO’s many programs touch the lives of more than 30,000 Oswego County residents each year.
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