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May 6, 2013

OCO Celebrates Community Action Month

May is Community Action Month across the United States and in Oswego County. Kevin Gardner, Acting Chairman of the Oswego County Legislature, recently presented a proclamation designating May as Community Action Month to several representatives of Oswego County Opportunities. Pictured from left are OCO Board members Corte Spencer, Terry Bennett, and Judy Lester; OCO employees Sandy Wells and Betsy Copps, Corporate Services; Oswego County Legislature Acting Chairman Kevin Gardner; OCO Executive Director Diane Cooper-Currier; OCO Deputy Executive Director Sarah Irland; and OCO employees Eric Bresee, Crisis and Development Services; Bridget Dolbear, Nutrition Services; and Patty O'Connor, Crisis and Development Services. Absent from the photo was Janine Krocke, Education Services. For more information about OCO services, contact the agency at 315-598-4717 or visit OCO's website at www.oco.org.

OSWEGO - May is National Community Action Month, a time to celebrate the efforts of Community Action Agencies across the country as they fight poverty. It highlights their role in helping low-income families move out of poverty and achieve economic security. Each year, Community Action Agencies serve 20 million people in rural, suburban, and urban communities across the country through a variety of targeted programs, such as Head Start, Weatherization, job training and placement, financial education, housing, energy assistance, and transportation.

Oswego County Opportunities, Inc. (OCO) is the Community Action Agency for Oswego County. OCO is a private, not-for-profit organization that was launched in 1966 as part of the Johnson Administration War on Poverty. Today, there are approximately 1,200 Community Action Agencies in the United States.

OCO serves 30,000 residents annually through more than 50 human service programs in the following categories:

OCO provides educational services to all ages, support for youth, assistance and housing for the homeless and disabled, meals for the elderly, youth and the homebound, addiction recovery services, reproductive health services, job readiness development, literacy services, independence for the disabled, safety for the abused, and transportation for all.

OCO operates program sites in more than 80 locations throughout Oswego County, partnering with school districts, religious institutions, community groups, government, fraternal organizations, business and industry, and other non-profit agencies to improve the quality of life and create successful communities. The Agency has an annual operating budget of $33 million and is one of the top ten largest private employers in Oswego County.

More than 90 cents out of every $1 spent by OCO goes into program services.

For more information, contact the agency at 315-598-4717 or visit OCO's website at www.oco.org.

County Legislator Kevin Gardner, District 13, Acting Chairman of the Oswego County Legislature, met with several representatives of OCO and presented a proclamation in recognition of the agency's impact on Oswego County residents.

The text of the proclamation issued by the Oswego County Legislature follows.

WHEREAS, a community is created in the hearts of its citizens and sustained by those dedicated to its prosperity; and

WHEREAS, taking action in our community is to often considered to be something for heroes and "activists"; when, in reality, it is just everyday people deciding to make a difference in their community by becoming involved; and

WHEREAS, whether feeding, clothing or providing health care for those most vulnerable, or providing encouragement, training and opportunities to those struggling to gain a foothold to their future, what we do as a community is truly what we are as a community; and

WHEREAS, since its beginnings in the mid-1960s, the promise of Community Action has been to help people and change lives across America; and

WHEREAS, Oswego County Opportunities has been a proud part of the Community Action movement for over 40 years, serving as Oswego County's Community Action Agency; and

WHEREAS,Oswego County Opportunities changes people's lives, embodies the spirit of hope, improves communities, and makes Oswego County a better place to live by helping lift people out of poverty.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Kevin Gardner, Acting Chairman of the Oswego County Legislature, on behalf of the entire Legislature, and the people of Oswego County do HEREBY COMMEND OCO for its living example of community action; and further PROCLAIM the month of May 2013 as


TO encourage all citizens to participate by reaching out and putting their time, talents, and hearts into action within our community, for the future of our community.

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