FULTON, NY – When the Richard S. Shineman Foundation was established one of its goals was to mirror the deep compassion for community that Mr. Shineman had and improve the quality of life in the counties that it serves. The CYO program at Catholic Charities of Oswego County proved to be a perfect match for that goal.
For youth in the greater Fulton area Catholic Charities CYO program is an oasis where they can spend some quality time after school in a friendly environment that encourages positive behavior. According to Lauren Pistell, executive director of the Richard Shineman Foundation the CYO program provided the foundation with an opportunity to be involved with and enhance a great program.
“Catholic Charities of Oswego County is well known for the many services it provides. When we were considering the type of work we wished to do in our community I recalled speaking with Catholic Charities Executive Director Mary Margaret Pezzella-Pekow and Community Services Program Supervisor, Helen Hoefer. I was impressed with their CYO program and the number of youth that it serves in the greater Fulton area. As the Shineman Foundation serves all of Oswego County, as well as four other counties in Central New York, the CYO program allowed us to expand our reach beyond just the city of Oswego and become a small part of the good work that Catholic Charities is already doing,” explained Pistell.
Established in 2012, the mission of the Richard S. Shineman Foundation is to use its financial resources to build the capacity of not-for-profit organizations to enhance the quality of life in Central New York and Oswego County, in particular.
“We seek to work with our not-for-profit partners with integrity, honesty, and compassion,” said Pistell. “We wish to be partners with organizations that we grant and develop a relationship that will last and be mutually beneficial. We are excited about this grant. Mary Margaret and Helen were very thoughtful about the grant support they needed. They were sure it would be the right fit and match our mission and we appreciate that.”
Pistell added that seeing first-hand the impact that the Shineman Foundation is having on Oswego County is very rewarding.
“It is a privilege for me to do this job. I get to spend my days meeting with organizations such as Catholic Charities that are doing positive work and are dedicated to making good things happen in our community. In today’s world we are often inundated with bad news it is inspiring for me to partner with organizations that are doing that good work If we can play a small role in that we have achieved our goal,” said Pistell.
Hoefer said that the grant from the Shineman Foundation would allow the CYO program to host special events for youth and their families and purchase additional games and equipment.
“Our youth look forward to family events such as our Halloween party and our Christmas party. It’s an opportunity for the families to bond and enjoy some time together and meet new friends. Moving forward we will be able to host more of these. We will also be able to increase the variety of games and activities that we offer,” said Hoefer.
“The vision of the Richard S. Shineman Foundation is to become a ‘Catalyst for Change,’” added Pistell. “Catholic Charities CYO program provides youth with a fun place to go after school and makes a positive difference in the lives of those children.”
Catholic Charities of Oswego County serves all people in need regardless of their religious affiliation. Primary funding sources for Catholic Charities of Oswego County’s programs are the United Way of Greater Oswego County, the Diocesan Hope Appeal, the County of Oswego and private donations by individuals and local companies and organizations.