volunteers

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Like elsewhere around the country, Republicans and Democrats in Onondaga County are making a last effort to get out the vote in the week before the election. Volunteers are making calls, signs and traveling many miles to get their candidates elected.

Michael Koval of Syracuse has been volunteering for the Hillary Clinton campaign for about a month now, sometimes five days a week. On Monday, Koval and the other volunteers were calling Democrats and independent voters in North Carolina.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

The Greater Syracuse Labor Council and the United Way of Central New York are holding their annual food and clothing drive in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Last year the organizations provided items to more than 300 families with the help of almost 150 volunteers.

Helen Hudson works for both the Labor Council and the United Way and said volunteers will sort through the donated items to be delivered to women’s shelters and various churches.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

Volunteer fire departments in central New York are having a difficult time getting enough trucks out of their firehouses.

When a call comes in at night, the Baldwinsville Fire Department is able to roll two trucks from each of its three stations. But district chief Tom Perkins says during the day, when volunteer firefighters are at their day jobs, it’s usually just one, "but they’re not going to be fully staffed."

Perkins says fewer volunteer firefighters in central New York also means departments no longer able to always back each other up during a major call.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO

During the last few weeks of the year many people make donations to local charities, which struggle to compete for those dollars. Non-profits are using social media sites like Facebook and Twitter to extend their reach and attract donors they might not have been able to before.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO

There’s a new free dental clinic in the city of Syracuse, attached to the Amaus Health Services clinic at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in downtown Syracuse. The idea is to offer basic dental care to the homeless and people who have no dental insurance.

The first patient is a Syracuse man named Barry. He says his mouth is a mess after years of neglect.
 

When disaster strikes, like the heavy rainfall and floods in upstate New York in late June and early July, many people want to help their neighbors in need but don't know where to direct their volunteer efforts. Now, the American Red Cross has released a new mobile application that it hopes will solve that problem.

The Team Red Cross app is making disaster relief more accessible to communities. Chief Communications Officer Matt Michael says this will make a big difference in community response.

Food pantries help the needy this holiday season

Nov 21, 2012
Durrie Lawrence / WRVO

It's a familiar scene during the holidays—in food pantries across the nation, volunteers are packing up boxes of frozen turkey, potatoes, and cranberry sauce for needy families on Thanksgiving day. At a small food pantry in Oswego, the scene was no different.

Central New Yorkers are helping the millions of people affected by Superstorm Sandy.  Agencies like the Salvation Army and Church World Service are raising money or collecting donations for storm victims.  Others, like Red Cross Disaster Relief volunteers  will go to the areas hardest hit by the storm.