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Happy New Year Rochester. 24 Ways to Give Back in 2010.

December 24th, 2009

This Rochester Streetcar and Subway weekly pass from December 29, 1940 wishes riders a 'Happy New Year'.

When I started this web site a little over a year ago I made a personal commitment to make sure I gave something back to Rochester. So I identified some of the things I value (education, community, family, etc.) and I did a little research to find local charities and organizations that matched up with those values. It wasn’t very hard really and didn’t even take that much time. Once I picked out a few good groups, the actual act of “giving” turned out to be the easy part!

So it’s the holidays and the curtain is drawing closed on 2009… maybe you didn’t give as much as you would have liked to in 2009. And now you’ve just sucked down a quart of eggnog so you’re suddenly feeling generous? Or maybe you’re looking for some volunteer ideas for next year. First, I’ll tell you about 4 things that RochesterSubway.com (that’s me) did in 2009 to give back. Then I’ll list 20 additional Rochester based charities and organizations that need your help…

4 ways that RochesterSubway.com gave back in ’09:

  1. Rochester Education Foundation (R.E.F.)
    RochesterSubway.com gives 10% of it’s proceeds to the Rochester Education Foundation. The R.E.F. is an independent, not-for-profit dedicated to raising $$, collecting books, and generally improving the lives and education of Rochester’s city school children. Their goal: “To fill the gaps between what our kids need and what district funding allows.” This was a no-brainer for me. Whether you have children or not, the future of Rochester and our community rests on the shoulders of the next generation. We cannot depend on our school system alone to teach our kids. Consider giving money, books, or some of your time to this incredible group.
  2. Rochester Regional Community Design Center
    The Rochester Regional Community Design Center is a group of design professionals, planners, and citizens who share an interest in promoting and implementing good design and sustainability in the built environment. The RRCDC educates citizens, municipalities, and zoning boards on principles of good urban design and help communities produce the necessary ideas, drawings, and reports needed to turn a vision into reality. RochesterSubway.com has given just a little bit of time to volunteer at their design gallery. If you’re interested in design, architecture, or urban planning I’d strongly recommend contacting this group.
  3. WXXI Rochester Public Television
    Okay so I watch a lot of TV. But PBS isn’t just TV, it’s a great educational resource for our community and most of their funding and support comes from individuals and private contributions. It is “public” after all. In 2009 my family donated a few bucks to WXXI and RochesterSubway.com donated time to answer phones during one of their fundraising telethons. And in all seriousness, I can’t even count that as volunteer work because it was so much damn fun. If you watch public television or listen to public radio, please consider giving to WXXI.
  4. Junior Achievement Program
    Junior Achievement programs help prepare young people for the real world by showing them how to generate wealth and effectively manage it, how to create jobs which make their communities more robust, and how to apply entrepreneurial thinking to the workplace. Students put these lessons into action and learn the value of contributing to their communities. JA’s unique approach allows volunteers from the community to deliver their curriculum to students while sharing their own professional experiences with students. Thru the JA program, I helped teach Ms. McMindes’ 1st grade class (at School #16) about how a community works. This one took a little more effort than just writing a check but was the most fulfilling for me personally. If you enjoy working with kids consider spending one day in 2010 as a Junior Achievement volunteer.

And here are 20 more ways you can contribute, now or in the future…

  1. Give to your local fire department – especially if it’s a volunteer dept.
  2. Your local churches, and religious groups do lots of wonderful things and could probably use some assistance this time of year.
  3. YMCA of Rochester does TREMENDOUS work for local families and kids. Give them a call.
  4. YWCA Adopt a Family Program – YWCA will provide you with a list of family members including information such as ages, gender, and gift wishes. Purchase and wrap the gifts and bring to the YWCA . Non-perishable food baskets and gift cards are welcome. For further information call April Adams at 368-2261
  5. Baden Street Settlement – Accepts donations of new unwrapped presents, toys, clothing and food baskets. Money donations are also accepted. Make checks payable to Baden Street Holiday Fund and mail to 152 Baden Street, Rochester, NY 14605, Attn: Anne E. Miller. Items can be dropped off Monday – Friday, 8:30 AM – 4:30 PM through December 18. For further information, call 325-4910, ext. 131 or 132
  6. Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Rochester Annual Christmas Appeal – Make checks out to Annual Christmas Appeal and mail to Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Rochester, Christmas Appeal, 1150 Buffalo Road, Rochester, NY 14624
  7. Catholic Family Center “Adopt a Family” Program – Matches families with a donor who provides Christmas dinner and gifts for each family member. The deadline for donor applications is October 30. To “Adopt a Family,” call Bobbi McGarrity at 232-2050
  8. Central Library, Information Center. Mitten Tree – Accepts donations of mittens, gloves hats and scarves for children and adults. The tree will be located on the first floor of the Bausch and Lomb Public Library Building, 115 South Avenue, November 9 – December 18. Items will be donated to a local non-denominational agency
  9. Community Place of Greater Rochester – Accepts donations of clothing, games, toys, food or money. Checks can be made out to Community Place of Greater Rochester and sent in c/o Family Services Unit, 145 Parsells Avenue, Rochester, NY 14609. Items cam be dropped off at the office through December 5, or call 288-0021, for more information
  10. Memorial A.M.E. Zion Church – Accepts donations of non-perishable food items for Thanksgiving food baskets. Money or food certificates from grocery stores also accepted. Checks should be made payable to Memorial A.M.E Zion Church, and mailed to 549 Clarissa Street, Rochester, NY 14608. Items can be dropped off at the church by November 7. Call 546-5997 for more information
  11. Rochester Family Mission – Accepts donations of children’s gifts or non-perishable food items. Money donations are also accepted. Checks should be made payable to Rochester Family Mission Holiday Project and mailed to 388 Tremont Street, Rochester, NY 14608. For more information, call 436-7523
  12. Dimitri House – Accepts donations of non-perishable food items or money. Make checks payable to Dimitri House and mail to 102 North Union Street, Rochester, NY 14605. Items can be dropped off Monday – Thursday, 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM and 1:00 – 5:00 PM. For further information, call 325-1796.
  13. Greece Ecumenical Food Shelf – Seeking families to provide Thanksgiving dinner to needy families. The deadline for Thanksgiving is October 26. They will also accept non-perishable food items or money donations. Make checks payable to Greece Ecumenical Food Shelf and mail to 500 Maiden Lane, Rochester, NY 14616. For further information, call Carol 227-5953 or Betty at 663-9226
  14. Hillside Family of Agencies – Seeking “Special Santas” to purchase gifts for needy children, teens and special families served by the family of agencies. Accepts new, unwrapped presents, money of food certificates from grocery stores also accepted. Make checks payable to Hillside special Santa Program and mail to Hillside Family of Agencies, 1183 Monroe Avenue, Rochester, NY 14620. For more information, log on to www.hillside.com; to sign up, call 256-7630 before December 11
  15. Hillside Family of Agencies – Needs volunteers to work at the Center filling bags. For more information or to volunteer, call 256-7630
  16. St. Joseph’s Villa Holiday Wishes Program – Accepts donations such as new generic gifts for children (infants to 20 yrs), new clothes, winter apparel, board games. Monetary donations also accepted. Items can be dropped off before December 11 at St. Joseph’s Villa 3300 Dewey Avenue. For further information, call Linda McFarland at 865-1550, ext. 258
  17. Third Presbyterian Church – Accepts donations of new toys and non-perishable food items. Items can be dropped off at the church office, Monday – Friday, 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM, by December 11. Money donations also accepted. Make checks payable to Third Presbyterian Church and mail to 4 Meigs Street, Rochester, NY 14607. For further information call Rev. Rod Frohman 271-6537, ext. 106
  18. Togetherness in Love – Accepts donations of new toys and non-perishable food items. Items can be dropped off at TILC before December 18. Money donations are also accepted. Make checks payable to Togetherness in Love and mail to 1443 East Main Street, Rochester, NY 14609. For further information, call 224-2840
  19. Toys for Tots (Salvation Army) – Groups in churches only need to send a request on letterhead stationary indicating the ages up to 12 and the gender of the children involved. Requests should be addressed to Major Charles Dietrick, P.O. Box 4120, Rochester, NY 14604. To Adopt a Family call Chris Dinottia 987-9540, ext 2233. Bell Ringers needed call 987-9500, ext. 2313. Volunteers needed for Angel Trees Program, provides gifts to children and Toy Shop setup and distribution, call Rosemary Davis 987-9500, ext 2309
  20. Crestwood Children’s Center – Needs volunteers to process donated gifts during the week of December 1. For more information or to volunteer, call 429-2700, ext. 2751

Okay Rochester, there’s no excuses in 2010. Get out there and give back! Have a suggestion that I didn’t mention? Leave it in the comments…

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This entry was posted on Thursday, December 24th, 2009 at 1:13 am and is filed under Opinion, Rochester News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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