April is designated as the national month to recognize volunteers. This years' theme, "Celebrating People in Action," rings so true here in our Baldwinsville community. Our history shows many instances of how ordinary people banded together to accomplish extraordinary things throolugh their action.
Here are just a few ways that volunteers have contributed to our community's "uniqueness:"
In 1817, a group of women formed the Female Charitable Society to provide food for starving residents after the "year without a summer." Realizing that there were other needs being unmet, this group is still active today and is probably best known for its medical loan closet, the only one in all of central New York.
Since 1942, the Baldwinsville Theatre Guild has been the oldest continually-performing community theatre group in New York State.
The Friends of the Visitor's Center are a group of dedicated volunteers who staff the Visitor Center from May until September. Since 2005, they have welcomed people from all over the world and offer assistance and information about our community.
Baldwinsville has the only public access TV station in the county. Our PAC-B is maintained and operated by an all-volunteer staff whose goal is to help Baldwinsville residents "tune into your community."
Baldwinsville also has the only community supported volunteer center in the county. The Baldwinsville Volunteer Center has operated as a independent agency since 1998 and continues to provide some unique programs not found in other parts of the county, such as: a school-based mentoring program; holiday assistance through our Christmas Bureau; H.E.L.P. program, which coordinates stocking area food pantries with basic personal care, paper and cleaning supplies; and, until recently, operated a senior transportation program, which is now being handled by Canton Woods' B'ville Express.
Every day here in Baldwinsville, volunteers are taking action. They may be delivering meals to a homebound senior, stocking food on the shelf at one of our food pantries, being a friendly visitor or helping out with an activity at a nursing home, driving a senior to a medical appointment or taking them to get their groceries, mentoring a student, lending a wheelchair or walker at the medical loan closet, sorting donations of clothing at PEACE Family Resource Center or knitting hats and mittens for Christmas Bureau to give to families in need.