Oneida County is celebrating 10 years of youth volunteerism.

County Executive Anthony Picente says over 13,000 local youth have volunteered nearly 34,000 hours through the county's Children Care Initiative.

"The impact the Oneida County Children Care initiative has had on this community, and on the youth who have participated in it, is immeasurable," said  Picente.  "For 10 years now, this program has shown our young people the power volunteerism has in making positive changes in other people's lives and how that selflessness builds strong character in their own."

The program saw its number of participants last year jump by more than 400 from 2017 and its volunteer hours increase by 4,000.  Last year, 1,798 youth volunteered 9,661 hours.

They assisted with projects sponsored by The Center for Family Life and Recovery, Cornell Cooperative Extension, The Neighborhood Center, Thea Bowman House, Safe Schools Mohawk Valley, the Dodge Pratt Northam Art Community Center and the Salvation Army of Utica.

Youth volunteers worked on projects including cleaning senior citizen's yards, preparing food and serving meals at local food pantries and youth mentoring and tutoring.

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