Diane Ryan, Deputy Director
Phone: (315) 697-3588
The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program is going on again this year. There is only one location in Madison County - at the DSS building in Wampsville – and appointments can be scheduled by calling the Canastota office (315) 697-3588 x 17. Because of our volunteer schedule appointments are limited to some Monday and Wednesday afternoons between 3 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. Or they can schedule a VITA appointment in Norwich by calling Cindy Gardiner at Cornell Cooperative Extension (607) 334-5841. If the applicant is over 60 they can have their taxes done (other times and locations available) for free by calling Cornell Cooperative Extension (315) 684-3001.
Antara Mitra has been appointed Executive Director of the Community Action Partnership in Madison County. She comes with a diversified array of experience and talents. She most recently served as Program Director of REACH CNY, a Syracuse based non-profit in maternal and child health. As Program Director, she worked closely with various community partners to improve birth outcomes and reduce health disparities. She holds a Master’s Degree in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Miami, and a Master’s Degree in Public Health (MPH) from Syracuse University and SUNY Upstate Medical University.
On Friday, November 18th, CAP will be following a 3 year tradition – They will be placing 50 sets of scarves, hat or gloves on trees in the Dr. West Park in Chittenango and Higginbotham Park in Oneida. These are for people who find themselves in need, or are out in the weather due to lack of housing. They have been donated to CAP for this purpose! We are always trying to meet needs in our community.
This fall back-to school time was a little less stressful and more fun for lots of youngsters in Madison County!! In fact, 123 youth in the county were participants in a program Community Action Partnership was involved with. CAP was awarded a grant from the Community Services Block Grant, to help out school aged youth. Partnering with Herb Phillipson's, the grant allowed CAP to interview and screen families who were low income and in need of school clothes. CAP staff met with each family who provided documentation to meet income qualifications (125% poverty level). CAP met with families who had transportation problems close to their home or work. If approved, the family member and student received a voucher for Herb Phillipson's which could be used for back to school items (clothing, shoes, boots, school supplies).
In many cases the families were facing unemployment, or were employed but didn’t earn enough to buy school clothes, or had a single mom or dad who were facing tough times or a parent who was disabled. Clothing in the stores and at thrift shops was just out of their reach for their budgets..
We all know how great it feels to have something new and in style to wear especially in middle and high school! The kids really felt special, particularly when they could wear clothing that was considered popular. One young boy had been bullied all of last year because of his clothing. Young people needing sneakers, boots, warm jackets (all high ticket items) were really grateful. The parents and youngsters expressed their deepest appreciation either by notes or in person.
One more way that CAP is able to mobilize resources and build resiliency in our community!.
Changes to Madison County Car Seat Program
Due to a significant decrease in funding from the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee for the County’s Child Passenger Safety (Car Seat) Program, the program now requires a referral from patients or clients enrolled in a program with a home visitor from the Madison County Health Department, Department of Social Services (DSS), or Community Action Partnership (CAP). This may be a nurse, caseworker, or a family support worker, who is working with the family. Due to this limited funding, the Car Seat Program may be able to help parents living in Madison County who lack all other resources and have no other options to obtain a car seat for their child.
All referrals will be reviewed to determine eligibility at the Madison County Health Department in Wampsville. If the referral is accepted, a Certified Child Passenger Safety Technician will contact the parent to schedule an appointment in either Wampsville or Morrisville. Once grant funding has been exhausted for this program year, additional funding will not be available until October 1, 2017.
Borrowing a car seat from a friend, family member, or someone who otherwise knows the history of the seat is one option for parents who may be on a fixed budget and not inclined to buy a brand new seat. It is important to know that the seat has not expired, has not been in a crash, and has not been recalled with a safety issue that has not been fixed. If you are unsure of the expiration date or whether the seat has been recalled, check the sticker on the seat that displays the model number and date of manufacturer. Recalls can be looked up on www.nhtsa.dot.gov if you have the car seat manufacturer, model name, model number, and date of manufacturer.
Another option is to ask for a car seat or gift cards that may be used toward the purchase of a car seat as a gift for your baby shower or your child’s birthday. Many car seats available in stores hold a child from birth to a booster seat. While this type of seat may cost more initially, it could be the only car seat your child needs. With some prior planning, a child should not need more than two different types of car seats in their lifetime.
For any questions on child passenger safety, call the Madison County Health Department at 315-366-2361 or visit www.healthymadisoncounty.org.
The Flock has flown!!! Our first sighting of the CAP flamingos has taken place. This year, they begin their journey in Canastota, NY. We will be tracking the flock as it migrates to warmer temperatures. If you are interested in hosting the flock or sending it to a friends' home for the night; please contact Sandra Bain at (315) 706-5611.
As the weather begins to change, and fall approaches...the flock of pink flamingos are coming back through Madison County on their flight south!! Our CAP family is going to help them on their journey; but it is long and they will need to stop and rest along the way. Please keep watching the Community Action Partnership for Madison County Facebook for further details!!!
CAP opened up their new transitional apartment complex on June 22, 2016. This complex is for homeless families and is comprised of four fully furnished apartments for families who will work with an intensive caseworker to re-group and solve their financial, stability and/or economic issues.
Recently Community Action completed a Community Needs Assessment for Madison County. The final report can be read in the attached file below. If you have any questions, please contact CAP at (315) 697-3588.
Community Action’s female mentors & mentees came together to celebrate our 8th Annual Mentoring Program Girl’s Night Out event. The purpose of this event is to prepare the girls in our program for the new school year ahead in a fun and healthy way.
The evening began with the girls participating in a fashion show, showing off outfits they shopped for with their mentors at local 2nd hand stores. Following this was a great interactive presentation with Marla Velky-Reger where the girls created their own snow globes and learned the symbolism behind them when it comes to relieving stress. After enjoying a beautifully prepared summer meal, the stations opened for them to have their hair, nails & light makeup done. They were also able to enjoy a fun photo booth with props and perused the donations of school supplies, clothing, toiletries, jewelry and more!
We would like to extend a special thank you to Katrina Blanchard at Wolf Oak Acres for generously allowing us to use their beautiful event space for this occasion. We would also like to thank Gary Johnson of Elevated Events for generously providing a fun and energetic atmosphere with his music.
One of the girls, age 10, shared with sincerity in reference to the donations, “Thank you, this is so helpful. These
school supplies are going to help me and my family so much.” Another girl shared, “This is the best night that I have ever had!” Some of the girls shared later with their mentors that the event made them feel special, beautiful and happy. Mission accomplished!
The following funders make Community Action’s Mentoring Program possible: Department of Social Services, Madison County Youth Bureau, OPWDD, United Way of Greater Oneida and many other contributions throughout Madison County.
If you have one hour a week, you can make a difference in a local youth’s life. To hear more about this great program at Community Action, please call (315) 697-3588 and ask for Dennis Hoover ext. 24 or Jessica Ginney ext. 42.