FULTON, NY – In this giving time of the year thoughts often turn to making the holiday season a little brighter for those in need.
For the Oswego County Chapter of the Greater Syracuse Association of Realtors, helping area homeless youth is its mission for the season.
Oswego County Opportunities’ PATH program was once again the beneficiary of the Oswego County Chapter of the Greater Syracuse Association of Realtors’ annual fundraiser.
A transitional living program for homeless young people ages 16 – 21, PATH provides the opportunity for these young people to learn independent living skills, complete educational goals and become responsible members of the community.
“Many young adults enter PATH with little to no possessions, including no winter coats, hats, scarves, gloves or boots,” said Comprehensive Care Coordinator with OCO Crisis and Development Services Karen Merrill. “Thanks to the generosity of the Oswego County Chapter of the Greater Syracuse Board of Realtors, young people in PATH that are trying to better their lives will now have a Christmas they can fondly remember.”
This year’s donation from the Oswego County Chapter of the Greater Syracuse Board of Realtors was $7,149.
When matched by federal and state grants, the donation total will be more than $21,000.
“For many of the youth in our PATH program the presents we provide them with will be the only ones they receive,” said Merrill. “When Christmas lists include items such as food, shoes and clothing it brings the idea of Christmas gifts into perspective. Some of them have never been asked what they wanted for the holidays before, nor can they recall many joyful memories of Christmases past. Oswego County’s homeless youth population continues to be a very misunderstood and many times, unjustly criticized population. The PATH program helps youth realize that they are members of the community and that their community supports them and acknowledges the positive things they are doing to better themselves many of our participants graduate from high school, attend college and obtain jobs.”
This marks the 12th year that the realtors have chosen PATH as the benefactor of its annual auction fundraiser.
“I am humbled to say that over the years the Oswego County Chapter of the Greater Syracuse Board of Realtors has raised a considerable amount of funds for our PATH program,” said Merrill. “We are very thankful for the support we receive from the Oswego County Chapter of the Greater Syracuse Board of Realtors, and all the effort that goes into organizing their fundraiser.”
Established in 1991, OCO’s PATH program has been providing services to young people in the community for 26 years.
PATH is funded by the United Way of Greater Oswego County, Oswego City/County Youth Bureau, NYS Office of Temporary Disability Assistance and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.