charity

Young farmers head effort to feed those in need

Dec 22, 2014
Veronica Volk / WXXI

Farmers and agriculture industry leaders are coming in from all over the state for the New York Farm Bureau’s 58th State Annual Meeting.

The Bureau kicked off its meeting by announcing they had broken their record for this year’s “Harvest for All,” a national farm donation program. In partnership with the Regional Food Bank Association and FoodLink, New York farmers have collectively donated 9.6 million pounds of produce.

FoodLink's Co-Executive Director Jeanette Batiste-Harrison says this particular program is especially valuable to the community.

Gino Geruntino / WRVO

Across central new York, charity groups are hosting Thanksgiving dinners for the area's less fortunate. But in the city of Oswego, one restaurant owner is expanding on that idea and inviting the entire community to join in.

Nestled in La Parrilla's small kitchen, Ray Jock and his sous chef Jim Toy work to prep food for the evening's dinner service. While the two men discuss specials amid the hiss of grilling squash and the clanging of pots and pans, the pair also creates a game plan for their Thanksgiving meal.
 

Ellen Abbott / WRVO

If you have old cell phones that you need to get rid of this holiday season, state Sen. John DeFrancisco has a place for them. DeFrancisco's seventh annual Cell Phones for Soldiers collection drive has commenced.   

L.t Col. Paul Jackson, currently of the Syracuse Recruiting Battalion, was deployed in Afghanistan this time last year. Free calling cards were his lifeline to family and friends back home.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO

A boxing match this weekend between a state senator and the founder of a youth program in Syracuse will raise money and the profile of the North and West Area Athletic and Education Centers. State Sen. John DeFrancisco and local boxing coach Ray Rinaldi will be the only ones on a fight card that’s meant to raise money and promote awareness for a program that keeps inner city kids out of trouble.
 

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

Cardboard boxes lined tables and were stacked 10 feet high in the Teamsters union hall on Syracuse's north side this morning. Dozens of volunteers, from six-year-old Marielle Emmanuel to Syracuse University athletes filled them with donated clothes and food.

For the 14th year, the United Way of central New York put on a clothing and food drive in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Many spend the day remembering the civil rights leader with a day of service.

Gino Geruntino / WRVO

While out shopping for gifts for family and friends this holiday season, some charitable shoppers also reached for dolls, notepads and toiletries to pack into a shoebox for a child overseas. The shoeboxes not only give impoverished kids some necessities, but something less tangible -- hope.

Recently, hundreds of festive shoeboxes line the walls of Oswego Alliance Church. Volunteers take a couple minutes to stack each box, straightening out the red and green columns into one uniform wall. None of the boxes have shoes in them.

Ellen Abbott/WRVO

More than 2,500 low-income families in Onondaga County are getting their holiday stockings filled today. Families have been filing through the OnCenter in Syracuse for the Salvation Army’s yearly Christmas Bureau.

Theresa Johnson of Syracuse is unemployed this Christmas and is happy that for the Christmas bureau program that provides gifts and food for families like hers.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

More than 100 pieces of used firefighting clothing from the Syracuse fire department is going to South America to help protect a volunteer fire department down there.

The Rotary International Club in Syracuse helped coordinate the donation of 55 protective jackets and 84 protective pants to the city of La Serena, Chile, which says firefighters there often battle flames in street clothes.

"This donation is going to very, very helpful to them in that now, at least, they have some protective clothing," the Rotary's Rev. Blessed Sikhosana.

Dan Klimke / Flickr

The results are in from this weekend’s Finger Lakes International Wine Competition in Rochester, and it’s good news for the region. A dozen wines from the Finger Lakes came away with coveted double-gold medals -- twice as many as last year. 

If you have an old cell phone stashed in a drawer that you don't use any more, you can help a soldier overseas keep in touch with home.  Central New York's "Cell Phones for Soldiers" annual collection drive continues, as does the need.

Fashionistas in the Watertown area got a treat recently: a stylish – and affordable – one-day clothing boutique at the Black River Valley Club, to benefit the Watertown Urban Mission.