Oneida County officials are celebrating another successful year of the County Youth Bureau's Children Care Initiative.

County Executive Anthony Picente says 1.323 local youth gave back 5,685 volunteer hours in 2017 under the program that began in 2009.

“The Oneida County Children Care Initiative helps our young people understand the power volunteerism has in strengthening the foundation of our community and changing people’s lives for the better,” Picente said. “The selflessness of giving to others not only positively impacts those in need, but also goes a long way in building the character of the youth who participate in the program.”

The youth volunteers worked on projects that included assisting in a bicycle giveaway for Utica children, cleaning senior citizens' yards and preparing and serving meals at local food pantries.

“We are continuing to see our youth take ownership and pride in making a difference within our community through volunteering,” said Youth Bureau Director Kevin Green. “This initiative is a testament to the work our youth serving agencies do on a daily basis and to the youth of Oneida County.”

Partners in the Children Care Initiative include the Center for Family Life and Recovery, Thea Bowman House, Utica Safe Schools, the Neighborhood Center, Cornell Cooperative Extension and Dodge Pratt.

photo courtesy of Oneida County Executive's Office