United Way Helps Bring 2-1-1 to Oswego County

2/26/15

United Way Helps Bring 2-1-1 to Oswego CountyFulton, NY – For those in need of human services, help is only three numbers away. United Way of Greater Oswego County in collaboration with the state of New York, United Ways of Central and Northern New York, and Contact Community Services have brought the 2-1-1 System to Oswego County.

Dialing 2-1-1 will connect callers with the information and answers they need regarding the availability of health and human services in Oswego County and the proper way to access them. Callers can seek assistance with an array of topics ranging from basic needs such as housing, heating and food subsidy to substance abuse, mental health issues and family issues. Whether a crisis situation or information on where to turn to, the 2-1-1 System serves an invaluable link to all types of human services.

“We are very pleased to have such a wonderful resource as the 2-1-1 System in Oswego County,” said Executive Director of United Way of Greater Oswego County Melanie Trexler. “Locating information on human services was a difficult task that may have required several phone calls to find the correct resource. The 2-1-1 System eliminates that problem. To have one number that people can call for assistance with human services is tremendous.”

Trexler recognized the importance of collaboration on this project and praised Oswego County Legislator, District 21, Terry Wilbur. “Terry was instrumental in bringing the 2-1-1 System to Oswego County. His dedication and commitment to his constituents is commendable. United Way is proud to have been a part of this project and appreciate the efforts of Terry, Frank Lazarski of United Way of Central New York and everyone involved in making the 2-1-1 System a reality in Oswego County.”

Trexler added that 2-1-1 System would also prove to be a useful tool for elected officials and staffs at local human services agencies. “It’s not uncommon for representatives to receive calls from their constituents, or agencies to receive requests for services they do not offer. They will now be able to let callers know that dialing 2-1-1 will give them the answers they need, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week,” said Trexler.

In addition to the 2-1-1 number there is also a companion website, www.211cny.com. This comprehensive website has a wealth of information regarding including a list of topics and services available and crisis hot lines for specific agencies.

“The 2-1-1 System is best way to get connected and get the answers you need regarding human services in Oswego County,” added Trexler.

Cut line for photo: Executive Director of United Way of Greater Oswego County Melanie Trexler meets with Oswego County Legislator, District 21 Terry Wilbur to discuss the new 2-1-1 System. Now available in Oswego County the 2-1-1 System provides 24-hour free and confidential information regarding health and human services resources available in Oswego County as well as Central New York. For more information contact your United Way office at 315-593-1900 or visit www.oswegounitedway.org.

United Way to Recognize Volunteers at Annual Meeting

2/26/15

United Way to Recognize Volunteers at Annual MeetingFulton, NY – United Way of Greater Oswego County will hold its “Salute to Leadership Giving and Volunteers” reception March 11 at The American Foundry in Oswego. The reception is combining for the first time the United Way’s annual meeting with The Admiral Society’s Leadership Giving reception. The United Way staff, campaign cabinet and board members have adopted this year’s new format to give them the ability to strongly recognize both volunteers and leadership givers on a more personal level.

When it comes to appreciating the importance of volunteering, no one understands it better than United Way of Greater Oswego County. Volunteers are the lifeblood of the United Way and play a major role in the success of the United Way’s Annual Campaign and its many initiatives. Staying with the theme of recognizing all contributors there will not be an awards ceremony this year. However, a small but notable recognition will be given to the committee of the Harborfest Breakfast, which will be coming up on the 10th year. Held the Saturday morning of Harborfest, and hosted by The Clubhouse Tavern in Oswego, the event raises much-needed funds in support of the Stuff-A-Bus campaign. In the past 9 years, it has helped over 15,000 kids in Oswego County receive school supplies that likely would have gone without.

“For the past 9 years the Harborfest Breakfast planning committee and volunteers has done a remarkable job. The volunteer committee that started this almost 10 years ago is still the same committee. That spirit and dedication is commendable and representative of the level of commitment that United Way enjoys from our volunteers,” said United Way Resource Development Director Ali McGrath. “We cherish each and every volunteer and can’t thank them enough for all they do.”

United Way’s Annual Meeting will also serve as an opportunity to recognize and personally thank donors that are Leadership Givers, those who pledge $500 or more annually.

“We truly appreciate our Leadership Givers,” said United Way Executive Director Melanie Trexler. “From our corporate sponsors to our small business owners and our individual leaders, their exceptional level of giving and their care and concern for our community is inspirational. The generosity of our Leadership Givers is paramount to the success of our Annual Campaign. They set the pace and gets the campaign off to a strong start.”

United Way’s “Salute to Leadership Giving and Volunteers” is made possible in part to Excellus BlueCross BlueShield, Community Bank, Planned Results, Inc., and Bond, Schoenick & King who are sponsoring the event.

Cut line for photo: Executive Director Melanie Trexler and Resource Development Director Ali McGrath meet with member of the United Way’s Campaign Cabinet in preparation for the agency’s “Salute to Leadership Giving and Volunteers” reception. To be held March 11th at the American Foundry in Oswego, the United Way’s reception will combine their Annual Meeting with the opportunity to recognize the agency’s many volunteers and leadership givers. For more information the United Way of Greater Oswego visit www.oswegounitedway.org. From left are: Rob Rolfe of Harmony Financial Services, Brian Finn of Entergy, Brian Cummings of Oswego County Federal Credit Union, Melanie Trexler, Dick Delaney of Novelis, Ali McGrath, Terry Syrell of CENG, and Doug McRae of Bond Schoeneck and King,

Fulton Savings Bank Dedicated to Supporting United Way

2/5/15

Employees at Fulton Savings Bank’s branch office in Central Square Fulton, NY To the employees and management of Fulton Savings Bank “giving back to the community” is more than just a phrase, it’s a mission they are committed to. For decades Fulton Savings Bank has been a strong supporter of United Way of Greater Oswego County. With the completion of this year’s United Way campaign Fulton Savings Bank employees once again demonstrated their support for the agency and the positive impact that it has on Oswego County.

Debra Braden has served as coordinator of the Fulton Savings Bank employee campaign for United Way for the past several years. She, along with co-coordinators Sharyl Kelly and Nancy DeGiliormo, share an infectious passion for United Way that truly inspires their co-workers and serves as the catalyst for the success of the employee campaign.

Braden’s first exposure to United Way was when she served as a community volunteer on the United Way’s Community Investment Committee. As a committee member Braden visited United Way partner agencies that offer programs that are part of United Way’s five specific areas of service; Emergency Services, Children and Family Services, Health and Special Needs, Senior Services, and Youth Development. Learning about the work that these agencies do, and the role they play in assisting United Way in it’s mission of stopping hunger, helping children and youth succeed, and improving the health and well-being of Oswego County made a lasting impression.

“It was an eye-opening experience,” said Braden. “I had no idea of the amount of need that exists in our county. I was somewhat familiar with United Way but I was not aware of what they did exactly, however after seeing first hand the work that United Way supported programs do, and hearing from individuals whose lives have been transformed as a result of these programs, the impact that United Way has on Oswego County was quite evident.”

As part of the employee campaign Braden and her co-coordinators visited each of Fulton Savings Bank’s seven branches throughout Oswego County speaking with their fellow employees in every department in each branch. Their presentations focused on the work that United Way does and the services offered through its partner agencies.

“Each year we share a heart warming story of a family or individual who benefited from a United Way supported program. It’s always enlightening when you realize that the impact of these programs is far reaching. If a mother receives counseling for parenting skills yes, it benefits her children, but it also benefits all the children that her children come in contact with because if they are treated well they will most likely treat others well and that perpetuates itself in a positive way,” explained Braden.

Last year Fulton Savings Bank employees’ United Way campaign raised $10,000. When this year’s campaign was almost at that point. Braden set her sights on surpassing last year’s total. “Sharyl, Nancy and I wanted to find a way that to put us over the top, something that would be fun and generate some excitement. As it was during the Christmas season we thought an ugly Christmas sweater contest might be just what we needed. For a $5.00 donation employees donned their favorite ugly Christmas and were allowed to wear jeans. We visited each branch and had a lot of fun with it, some people even made their own sweaters, and best of all we did exceed our goal and raised $10,479. Coupled with the Fulton Savings Bank corporate donation we provided United Way with a total of $16,979,” said Braden.

Braden added that much of the reason for the success of their campaign for United Way is the culture of community support that Fulton Savings Bank fosters. CEO Michael Pollock has served as a member of the United Way’s board of directors as well as on the agency’s community investment committee. He is well aware of the impact that United Way has on the quality of life in Oswego County.

“United Way is an important part of our community,” said Pollock. “Through my association with United Way I have seen the need that exists and the good that United Way funded programs do. When I was growing up I looked forward to going to CYO to play basketball and meet new friends. It was a great experience that not only provided recreation in a safe, welcoming environment but also provided us with fine role models and positive, real life experiences. The CYO program is one of the programs that United Way funds and it is money well spent. We are proud to support United Way and it’s nice to see our employees come together for such a worthy cause.”

“I know it sounds cliché,” added Braden, “but when it comes to giving back to your community supporting United Way does give you the most bang for your buck. They are amazing stewards of the donations they receive and where else can you donate money that helps so many different programs that serve everyone from youth and seniors to individuals and families. United Way ensures that there are programs that serve those with the most need. I know my coworkers agree with me when I say that United Way has my heart and we will always do what we can to support its efforts.”

Cut line for photo: Employees at Fulton Savings Bank’s branch office in Central Square joined employees donned their finest Christmas sweaters and joined employees from all seven Fulton Savings Bank branches to partake in an employee Ugly Christmas Sweater contest. The contest was part of the fun of the employee campaign for United Way and helped them surpass last year’s campaign total as they raised $10,479 for this year’s United Way campaign. From left are: Hailey Spencer, Vicki Renne, Tina Obey, Laurie O’Neill, Sharon Balducci (kneeling in front) Sharyl Kelly, and Michelle Williams.