RSVP IN COOPERATION WITH AARP, OFFER FREE INCOME TAX PREPARATION

January 31st, 2012

RSVP RELEASE-The Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP), a division of SUNY Oswego’s Office of Business and Community Relations, will staff tax sites in the cities of Oswego and Fulton and by appointment in the villages of Constantia and Phoenix. RSVP supervises its program in cooperation with the AARP, the IRS and the state Department of Taxation and Finance. Counseling sessions are available for all, with special attention to those 60 and older. In conjunction with RSVP, the SUNY Oswego School of Business will also offer free Tax Aide services.

Beginning February 1 through April 15 the following sites will be open to serve County residents. Rarely will sites close due to bad weather. To avoid a long wait at the walk in sites, consider delaying your visit to those sites until mid-February.

RSVP Sites:
• Constantia: St. Bernadette’s Bistro, 1667 St. Rt. 49, — Thursdays by appointment. Call 623-9803 on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday to schedule. Lunch is optional. Feb. 4 – Apr. 11.,BR/> • Fulton: Municipal Building, 141 South 1st Street — Walk in site; Wednesdays 9am–12pm and 6-8 pm. Feb. 6 – Apr. 10.
• Oswego: McCrobie Civic Center, 41 Lake Street — Walk in site; Tuesdays 11am-3pm. Feb. 5 – Apr. 9.
• Phoenix: Public Library, 34 Elm Street – Weekdays by appointment. Call to schedule: (Fred) 695-2553, (Bill) 458-1465, (Betty) 934-4333. Feb. 1 – Apr. 15.

School of Business Sites:
• Fulton: Workforce Development Building (Route 57 across from Mimi’s) Tuesdays 4:30 – 7:30 pm. Feb. 5 – Apr. 9 (Closed Mar. 19).
• Oswego: Hamilton Homes, Hamilton Street, Thursdays 4:30 – 7:30 pm. Feb. 7, 21, Mar. 7, 28, and April 11 only.
• Oswego: SUNY Campus, Rich Hall, Saturdays 10am – 4pm. Feb. 2 – Apr. 13 (Closed Mar. 16, 23)

Taxpayers should have with them last year’s completed tax forms, W-2s, 1099s, unemployment compensation statements, all forms indicating federal income tax paid (for example, estimated payments), dependent care provider information—including name, employer, provider identification or Social Security number—all receipts or canceled checks for itemized deductions and a Social Security or individual identification card for the taxpayer, spouse and dependents.

For more information on this and other RSVP programs, or to receive the Mature Living newsletter, call 312-2317 or email rsvp@oswego.edu. RSVP is a federal initiative of the Corporation for National & Community Service and is sponsored locally by SUNY Oswego and the United Way.

United Way Recognizes Leadership Givers

January 31st, 2013

78Fulton, NY: The United Way of Greater Oswego County recognized its many leadership givers during a special reception in their honor at Under the Moon in Fulton. Leadership givers, companies and individuals who pledge $500 or more annually to the United Way, play an important part in the success of the United Way’s Annual Campaign as they help set the pace and get the campaign off to a strong start. Above from left are Jon Spaulding, publisher of Palladium Times, Samantha Spaulding (l) and Executive Director of the United Way of Greater Oswego County, Melanie Trexler (r).

Nicole Dancisin joins United Way Staff

January 29th, 2013

77Fulton, NY – Melanie Trexler, executive director, United Way of Greater Oswego County has announced that Nicole Dancisin has joined the United Way staff as an intern. A 2012 graduate from SUNY Oswego with bachelor degrees in English and Cinema Screen Studies, Dancisin will be working with the agency throughout the spring on a number of projects.

Having been involved with non-profit organizations throughout her college years Dancisin is looking forward to her internship with United Way. “I have always been involved with volunteer work. That’s what led me to join Phi Sigma Sigma. As president of Phi Sigma Sigma I was involved with the Jimmy Fund Pumpkin Run, American Red Cross, the CROP Walk, the National Kidney Foundation, UNICEF, Relay for Life, Special Olympics, and the Ronald McDonald House. Additionally, I helped bring the Walk a Mile in Her Shoes, a symbolic representation of men empathizing with women who have been sexually or harassed, to SUNY Oswego, and as part of Operation Southern Comfort, I went to New Orleans to assist with clean up from hurricane Katrina,” said Dancisin.

While at United Way, Dancisin will be doing extensive analysis and research as she helps to create an updated policy handbook and databases for the United Way. “We are excited to have Nicole on our staff,” said Executive Director of United Way of Greater Oswego County, Melanie Trexler. “Nicole’s experience as a writer and editor, her analytical skills, and her familiarity with creating data bases makes her a perfect fit for this project.

According to Trexler, Dancisin will be working with the United Way’s Governance Committee to review the agency’s current policies and by-laws. One of focal points of the project will be the process of recruiting, installing, and orienting new board members. “I will be researching policies and procedures that other United Ways have in place and determining what aspects of those would be beneficial to beneficial to what the agency is currently doing, developing some new ideas, and compiling a concise, easy to use policy manual,” explained Dancisin.

In addition to the policy manual, the creation of a database including the expertise and term information for each board member is another task that Dancisin will charged with. “This data base will contain valuable information that will be helpful when it comes to installing new board members. We are also looking to develop guidelines for a new program in which current board members would serve as mentors for oncoming board members. Additionally, the policy manual, procedures, and data bases that Nicole helps us create will be available to United Way member agencies, that may be interested in using them as templates for establishing or updating their own handbooks and procedures,” said Trexler.

For Dancisin, her internship at United Way offers her a chance to use the experience she gained as president of Phi Sigma Sigma, where she revised the organization’s constitution and by-laws and as a teaching assistant at SUNY Oswego where she helped with thesis and essays, taught classes, and assisted with writing workshops.

“I’m fortunate to have this opportunity, said Dancisin. “The mission of United Way is important. It pleases me to know that I am helping to enhance their operations.”

Cut line for photo: Executive Director of the United Way of Greater Oswego County, Melanie Trexler (r) welcomes Nicole Dancisin (l) to the agency’s staff. A graduate of SUNY Oswego, Dancisin will be serving an internship with United Way as she prepares for graduate school.

Local Agencies Working to Address Homelessness

January 25th, 2013

Fulton, NY – Members of COACH, Oswego County’s Continuum of Care Committee focusing on homelessness, have announced that the committee is looking to establish creative methods to address the issue of homelessness in Oswego County. One of the most important steps in this process is the annual Point In Time Survey, an annual one- day count of homeless individuals that was conducted on January 23rd. Mandated by the federal department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the Point In Time Survey is a concise effort that serves to raise the awareness of homelessness and helps compile an approximate number of those who are homeless, or are housing vulnerable, in Oswego County.

Members of COACH, which stands for County of Oswego Advocates Challenging Homelessness, includes representatives from Oswego County’s human service agencies, local elected officials, concerned community members and government officials. The committee works to raise the awareness of, and find effective ways to address, the issue of homelessness in Oswego County.

The Point In Time Survey was conducted by human service agencies throughout Oswego County, with the assistance of COACH volunteers, who surveyed their consumers on their current living situation and if they were without stable housing during the past 3 years. While the survey’s results will not be 100% reflective of the situation, it will provide valuable information for the members of COACH as they work to address homelessness in Oswego County.

Executive Director of OCO, Diane Cooper-Currier, who serves as co-chair of the COACH committee, said that the Point In Time Survey is an excellent tool for evaluating the homeless situation in Oswego County on a particular day and is essential to the process of accessing federal and state funding to combat and alleviate homelessness. “There is a real need for additional services to the homeless in Oswego County such as emergency shelter, supportive housing, and affordable housing that has a supportive aspect,” said Cooper-Currier. “The Point In Time Survey provides us with pertinent information that we can use as we attempt to access these funds for projects that will help us combat homelessness in Oswego County.”

COACH Committee Member, and Executive Director of United Way of Greater Oswego County, Melanie Trexler, said that last year’s survey showed some startling statistics regarding the growing issue of homelessness in Oswego County. “The 2012 Point in Time Survey found that more than 93 individuals were at imminent risk of becoming homeless. 27 were homeless and had no safe, stable place to live,” explained Trexler.

To address the serious issue of homelessness in Oswego County, COACH is in contact with state and federal officials to plead their case and discuss the possibilities of procuring state and federal funds to help combat homelessness. “Oswego County is facing some tremendous fiscal challenges when it comes to addressing the problem of homelessness and the contributing factors that precedes it. Basic needs are rising while funding is decreasing. COACH is dedicated to doing whatever it takes to successfully address the issue and significantly lower the amount of homeless individuals in Oswego County,” added Cooper-Currier.

For more information on COACH and its efforts to address homelessness in Oswego County you may contact your United Way office at 315-593-1900.

Lucky Winner of DuFore’s Diamond Ring is Marlene Davis

January 8th, 2013

76Oswego, NY – Lucky Winner. Marlene Davis was the winner of the United Way of Greater Oswego County’s drawing for a half-carat total weight diamond ring. Valued at $1,200, the diamond ring was donated by DuFore’s for Diamonds in Oswego. The drawing, which is part of the United Way’s Annual Campaign, raised more than $1,300, for the United Way of Greater Oswego County’s Community Fund and made Christmas extra special for the lucky winner. Above from left are: Greg DuFore, Executive Director of the United Way of Greater Oswego County, Melanie Trexler; Marlene Davis, and Tom DuFore.

Oswego County Employees Surpass United Way Goal

January 8th, 2013

74Fulton, NY – When the final numbers came in on the Oswego County employee campaign in support of United Way the results were impressive. According to Resource Development Director for United Way of Greater Oswego County, Lois Luber, participation in the Oswego County employee campaign increased 28% as they well surpassed their goal and raised a record amount of approximately $17,500.

“Campaign Co- Coordinator, John Ferry of the Oswego County Dept. of Social Services did an outstanding job,” said Luber. “His ingenuity and creativeness resulted in an impressive campaign that engaged employees and offered them the opportunity to partake in a number of activities.”

Among the activities that Ferry and his campaign committee offered were: Tuesday morning coffee breaks where employees were invited to stop by the kitchen and complete their United Way pledge form while enjoying coffee and donuts courtesy of the campaign committee; offering gift cards from local businesses to employees pledging a minimum amount; a cake contest; and a number of drawings, including one for prime parking spaces. Theses activities and more played a major role in increasing employee participation.

Kathleen Fenlon, executive director of the Oswego City / County Youth Bureau, who served as co-coordinator of the Oswego County employee campaign, was appreciative of the response the campaign received and complimented county employees for their generosity. “Many Oswego County employees see the impact of United Way in their daily work dealing with a broad cross section of the public. I am proud that our employees recognize this impact, and so generously support the United Way campaign,” said Fenlon.

Cut line for photo: Melanie Trexler (r), executive director, Untied Way of Greater Oswego County congratulates John Ferry of Oswego County Dept. of Social Services and Kathy Fenlon (l), executive director of the Oswego City / County Youth Bureau for their efforts as co-coordinators for the Oswego County employees campaign for United Way. The campaign produced outstanding results with an increase in participation of 28% and a total raised of approximately $17,500 in support of United Way of Greater Oswego County’s Annual Campaign.

United Way Incentive Program a Winner

January 2nd, 2013

75Fulton, NY – As it has for the past four years, the United Way of Greater Oswego County’s Donor Incentive Program is proving to be a worthwhile addition to many companies’ employee campaigns in support of United Way. The Donor Incentive Campaign allows those who donate to the United Way’s 2012 / 2013 Annual Campaign the opportunity to win special prizes as an incentive for supporting their United Way.

“We have received positive feedback from both donors who appreciate the opportunity, and campaign coordinators who are happy to be able to offer the incentive to the employees,” said Resource Development Director for United Way, Lois Luber. “This year we partnered with a number of area businesses so that those pledging a minimum donation of $1.00 per week for one year to the United Way’s 2012 / 2013 Annual Campaign will automatically have a chance at winning some great prizes, which will be awarded in the spring. These incentives are a nice way for us to do something for our donors and hopefully increase the number of first time pledges.”

According to Luber, this year United Way is focused on having gift cards to area restaurants, grocery stores and gas stations as the prizes that donors to the United Way’s 2012 / 2013 Annual Campaign will be eligible to win. “We are pleased to be able to offer these prizes to our donors and are appreciative of the support we have received from those who helped make these prizes available including; Burritt Motors, Constellation Energy Nuclear Group’s (CENG) Nine Mile Point Nuclear Station, Entergy, and Planned Results,” said Luber.

For more information on the United Way of Greater Oswego County’s Donor Incentive Program, or to make a donation to the 2012 / 2013 Annual Campaign, you may contact them at 315-593-1900 or visit the United Way website, www.oswegounitedway.org. Prize drawings will be held in February.

Cut line for photo: Lois Luber (l), resource development director with United Way of Greater Oswego meets with sponsors for the agency’s 2012 / 2013 Annual Campaign Incentive Program. The program offers donors the opportunity to win gift certificates to area restaurants, grocery stores and gas stations when they support the United Way’s Annual Campaign. For more information on the incentive program contact your United Way office at 315-593-1900. Pictured with Luber from left are: Jill Lyon with Constellation Energy Nuclear Group’s (CENG) Nine Mile Point Nuclear Station, Brian Finn with Entergy, and Chris and Rich Burritt from Burritt Motors in Oswego. Absent from the photo is Kevin Riley of Planned Results, Inc.