Joined: Mar 17, 2005
Location: Staten Island
|Posted: Thu Dec 31, 2009 11:03 am Post subject: WHERE TO TURN INTO 2010
From Thu Dec 31, 2009 3:00 am to Fri Jan 15, 2010 2:59 am (included)
As 2009 draws to a close and we embark on a new decade we would like to thank our volunteers and everyone else who made this a very successful year at Where to Turn.
Special thanks to Senators Savino and Lanza, Assemlymen Cusick, Tobacco and Titone, District Attorney Daniel Donovan, Councilmen Oddo, Ignizio and Mitchell, the Richmond County Bank Foundation and the Staten Island Bank Foundation for their ongoing support of our programs
Here are a few highlights.
Our two websites have attracted over 400,000 visitors and we continue to serve a distribution of over 10,000 on a daily basis.
The site is updated every day with articles of interest and our calendar lists upcoming events for any participating organization.
We continue to share information from numerous sources and allow all of our followers to form their own opinions on topics of interest.
We have links to over 800 support organizations and weekly update grant, employment and volunteer opportunities.
In the past year we have expanded our partnerships with the NYPD, the Mayor’s CAU, the Department of Parks and Recreation, the DA’s Office and both the Criminal and Family Courts, South Beach Psychiatric, Friends of Abandoned Cemeteries, the NRPA, the NY Blood Center and many local community and civic groups.
In 2009 over 2,500 volunteers participated in our programs including representatives from almost every school on Staten Island and we have provided volunteers and support for numerous other not for profits on Staten Island.
We have posted updates to our site every day in 2009. We have also partnered with Arnie Korotkin and will continue to post 9/11 articles of interest on a daily basis.
We have kept pressure on our elected officials with letters and OP ED’s addressing everything from the continued lack of support for suffering survivors of 9/11, to the upcoming trials as well as the issue of the remains in Fresh Kills.
We continue to work on plans for the Hearts and Hands Memorial.
Preliminary designs are complete and we have commitments from most of the elected officials on Staten Island.
We have over 8,000 supporters following the memorial on Facebook and hope to begin construction in 2010.
We are trying to get “Extreme Makeover” involved in the project for a 10th Anniversary show.
Working with the 122 and 123 precincts we completed over 350 cleanups with our court ordered participants.
Scott LoBaido also completed 51 American Flag Murals through our Flags Across Staten Island Program
Working with the Criminal and Family Courts on Staten Island nearly 120 juveniles were sentenced to community service for non violent crimes and referred to Where to Turn. We coordinated
weekend activities and these juveniles performed nearly 3,500 hours of community service on Staten Island.
Over 100 local not for profits and nearly 1,000 students attended the two volunteer information forums that we held this year with the help of the Parks Department and South Beach Psychiatric.
Snow Shoveling for Seniors
Over 600 students participated in 2009 and shoveled for 650 seniors free of charge.
Re-Gifting for a Good Cause/Toy Drive
We collected over 2,500 items and toys most of which were redistributed to needy families on Staten Island. The remaining novelty items were sold at our yearly Blood Drive/Flea Market where we also collected nearly 100 pints of blood.
Academic All County Awards
In 2009 we once again partnered with St. John’s University and honored all graduating high school seniors on Staten Island who participated in a varsity sport while maintaining a 90 or above GPA in their junior and senior years.
Prom Dresses for All
We collected over 100 prom dresses which will be dry cleaned and made available to high school girls who are not able to afford them so that they might be able to attend their proms in 2010.
Park and Beach Cleanups
Partnering with the NRPA and the Department of Parks and Recreation we participated in over 20 park and beach cleanups in 2009
Restoration of the Asbury Methodist Cemetery
In the fall of 2009 we began the restoration with weekly cleanups which resulted in the clearing of half the property of 25 years of overgrowth. Our goal is to complete the cleanup in the spring and possibly convert some of the unused space into an urban garden while converting the exterior into the first dog walker’s park on Staten Island.
Looking Ahead to 2010
With the current state of the economy and the fiscal condition of New York we do realize that everyone is going to have to do more with less in 2010.
Our goal is to work with our elected officials and other not for profits to better coordinate and align our various projects.
By working together we have a better chance of getting things done.
We plan to expand our outreach and supply volunteers to more programs outside of Where to Turn.
We plan to hold forums to get input from Staten Islanders to help us prioritize our efforts.
We hope to expand our Crisis Relief Network and get more organizations and schools to participate and post on our website.
We will continue to act as a voice for those in need from 9/11 families to senior citizens.
We will continue to work with at risk students giving them opportunities to better themselves through innovative programs.
We hope to double the amount of volunteers participating in our programs.
But most importantly we will continue to listen to the concerns of those in need and create new programs to address those needs.
We will also add programs that have worked in other areas such as “Pedals for Progress” where we will begin collecting used bicycles. These bikes will be restored and shipped to third world countries
where they are the primary form of transportation. Since 1981 this program has shipped over 125,000 bikes and kept them out of our waste stream.
We hope that others will use our programs as templates and use them in other areas of the country.
In addition we will be continuing with 3 capital projects for which we will require significant funding.
Hearts and Hands Memorial – Creating a permanent home for the United in Memory 9/11 Victims Memorial Quilt by restoring abandoned buildings at the Sea View Campus.
Restoration of the Asbury Methodist Cemetery - Restoring the cemetery to its original condition. Majority of cost will be restoring the stone wall along Richmond Ave.
Restoration of TV studio at South Beach Psychiatric – Updating an outdated facility and create a working space for students to learn TV production skills.
We once again would like to thank all of you who have helped us in the past and hope that even more of you will become involved as we move into this new decade.
Check out our website at www.where-to-turn.org as we look forward to your feedback.
Happy New Year