Exploring Rochester

2017-07-27 14.57.05Meet this month’s blogger, Kate Bucella!  Kate works as the Administrative Assistant in SPCC’s WIC (Women, Infants & Children) Vendor Management Agency (VMA).  VMA manages current stores that are WIC vendors in 16 different counties across upstate NY; they also handle new WIC vendor applications, as well as WIC participant concerns.  Kate has been with the agency for a year and a half and has a background in English and Political Science.  

 

Utilizing Your Local Parks and Recreation Department

By: Kate Bucella

In honor of July being “Parks and Rec” Month (no, not Amy Poehler’s TV show), it seemed like the perfect time to shed some light on all the wonderful resources that Rochester’s Parks and Recreation department provides for our community.  As a non-for-profit agency, SPCC’s ultimate goal is help children and families live their lives in the healthiest and happiest way possible; the Parks and Recreation department can be a wonderful and inexpensive tool in helping to achieve this goal.

Because the Parks and Recreation department is part of the town government, it means many of the activities and programs they provide are low in cost or free to town residents—a seriously awesome perk that we should all take advantage of!  What are the activities and programs you ask?  Well, to be honest, it varies and every town is a little different.  Most Parks and Recreation departments provide sports and physical activity classes for children as well as adults, and many departments have an indoor gymnasium available for activities like basketball or ‘rainy day’ options.  They also have summer camp programs, a youth business education program, summer meals for kids—the list just keeps on going!

It’s also a pretty cool perk that some towns have their own community centers.  Like the town of Greece has its’ own with free membership for town residents and a low cost membership for non-residents.  The same is true for the Webster Rec Center and Penfield Community Center, while the Gates Community Center is free to both residents and non-residents.  Although smaller towns may not provide a community center, many provide free classes and activities as well as free concerts and festivals.

If you’re not into the structured activities, the department also maintains the parks and nature areas owned by each town.  Many of these parks have trails and playgrounds available for families to utilize and some (like these http://www.cityofrochester.gov/sprayparks/) get super fancy and have splash pads and pools available for use in the summer.  Going on a hike or a picnic or even spending a few hours on the playground are a great way to get outside and away from the distractions of life (couldn’t we all use that from time to time?!)   According to the National Wildlife Federation, “children benefit greatly from playing outdoors”.  Well, I could have told you that!  But, I probably couldn’t have told you truly how many benefits kids get from spending time outdoors, like the reduction of hyperactivity symptoms, higher scores on standardized testing, lower stress levels, increased fitness levels, improved vision, increased exposure to vitamin D and lower chances of obesity—um… maybe I need to reevaluate my weekend plans to make it to a park?!   We think that utilizing the local parks is a great way for parents and caregivers to contribute to the health and well-being of their children for free; it is also a wonderful way to encourage an active lifestyle for children not involved in structured sports programs (which can be costly, and let’s face it, not every kid is into it).

So, what’s the take away?  No matter what town you live in, there is most likely a Parks and Recreation Department nearby with activities and resources available for you to utilize!  Listed below are the websites for several Parks and Rec departments in the Monroe County area, and if your town is not listed below please check online on your town’s website for more information.  Happy summer from everyone at SPCC!

Rochester Parks and Recreation: http://www.cityofrochester.gov/recreationbureau/

Brighton Parks and Recreation: http://www.townofbrighton.org/220/Recreation-and-Parks

Greece Parks and Recreation: https://greeceny.gov/departments/cscparks/general-information

Irondequoit Parks and Recreation: http://www.irondequoit.org/town-departments/recreation/summer-day-camps/17-departments/115-programs-and-activities

Webster Parks and Recreation: http://www.ci.webster.ny.us/104/Parks-Recreation

Penfield Parks and Recreation:  http://www.penfieldrec.org/

 Gates Parks and Recreation: https://gatesrecparks.org/

Other Resources: http://www.nwf.org/What-We-Do/Kids-and-Nature/Why-Get-Kids-Outside/Health-Benefits.aspx

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this moment 

A Friday ritual. A photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment we want to pause, savor and remember. If you’re inspired to do the same, leave a link to your ‘moment’ in the comments for all to find and see. 

this moment 

A Friday ritual. A photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment we want to pause, savor and remember. If you’re inspired to do the same, leave a link to your ‘moment’ in the comments for all to find and see. 

Another Bright Light

 

TAPSSintern2017atMINO

TAPSS participant Naomi on her 1st day at MINO

Allow us to introduce you to another bright light here in Rochester:  A ministry called MINO – Mothers in Need of Others, that has proven invaluable to many of the young families we provide services to. Below you will find a message from MINO’s founder, Maria Wehrle, describing what MINO provides, as well as sharing some ongoing needs they have that YOU may be able to help meet!  We also want to mention and highlight how appreciative we are to this ministry for not only partnering to provide much needed household and baby items for families, but also for providing short-term work experiences for young moms in our teen parent program (TAPSS). Below is a picture of a young woman in our program who experienced her first day “on the job” at MINO this week, and was described by Maria as “a lovely person and a very hard worker”. Thank you Maria and staff for providing these much needed opportunities for young moms in Rochester!


Hello SPCC Friends!

For those of you whom I haven’t had the pleasure of meeting, permit me to introduce myself! My name is Maria Wehrle and I manage a thrift store out of Wedge Market of The Pillar Church at 46 Mount Hope Avenue where I also operate two outreach programs. The first of these is Mothers In Need of Others (MINO-pronounced: “minnow”). MINO was started in 2004 to meet the needs of single parents in the Rochester area. Through MINO we work with case managers and church outreach workers to assist them in providing FREE maternity, baby items, feminine and personal hygiene products, and household items to moms and their families. For a family to receive needed items, their case worker or church contact just needs to email mothersinnneedofothers@gmail.com or call me at (585) 348-8596. If we have the item(s) needed, we can schedule an appointment for the caseworker or church contact to pick it up for the family! It’s really that simple! No extra paperwork and a family’s privacy is completely protected!

The second ministry is Furnished 4 Life. For families who have some income to purchase items, we operate the Furnished 4 Life Thrift Store. The store is open to the public, offering an array of new and “like new” items at drastically reduced prices. Our store hours are Mondays & Wednesdays from 10am-5pm, Fridays from 10am-2pm, and Saturdays from 1pm-5pm. We do have some furniture pieces and small appliances for sale in the store currently and are looking to expand our inventory in the near future, as we secure  transportation and individuals to help us transport the items. Proceeds from our thrift store support job development efforts in the city!

We absolutely love the family atmosphere and close relationships we have developed with many of our client representatives. We would like to continue helping meet the needs in the community, but we need your help! We are in great need of the following items:

  • Baby and toddler clothes (Boys & Girls; size preemie-5T)
  • Baby Gear (cribs, car seats, strollers, high chairs, baby seats, etc.) – All are inspected, cleaned and recall checked!
  • Household items (dishes, drinking glasses, silverware, cooking utensils, pots & pans
  • Linens (sheets, blankets, towels, rugs, curtains)
  • Small appliances (microwaves, crock pots, coffee pots, electric skillets, fans, heaters, etc.)

Please help us spread the word to your friends, family, and neighbors who might be moving, downsizing, or looking to donate items after their garage sales!

Looking forward to meeting you!

Maria Wehrle

Furnished 4 Life/MINO ministries
(585) 348-8596

this moment 

A Friday ritual. A photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment we want to pause, savor and remember. If you’re inspired to do the same, leave a link to your ‘moment’ in the comments for all to find and see. 

this moment 

A Friday ritual. A photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment we want to pause, savor and remember. If you’re inspired to do the same, leave a link to your ‘moment’ in the comments for all to find and see.