In Schenectady, Bernie Witkowski has been helping poor families move into new homes by volunteering at more than 30 Schenectady Habitat for Humanity homes over the last two decades. Not only is Witkowski, a former General Electric employee, knowledgeable in all areas of the building processes, but he’s also well-liked and brings a contagious, positive, “get-the-job-done” attitude to every job site where he works. For those efforts, Witkowski was recently recognized by Habitat for Humanity of Schenectady County as the organization’s Volunteer of the Year. Habitat relies on over 1,800 volunteers annually to build decent, safe housing for families in Schenectady County. For more information about Habitat for Humanity of Schenectady County, visit www.schenectadyhabitat.org.
In Clifton Park, students from Shenendehowa High School helped raise nearly $800 to help find a cure for Niemann-Pick C, a rare progressive genetic disorder characterized by an inability of the body to transport cholesterol and other fatty substances inside of cells. The students — representing the graduating classes of 2018, 2019 and 2020 —initiated a schoolwide campaign called “Thanks$4Giving,” in which they solicited donations of $4 for the cause. The effort was on behalf of fresman classmate J.P. Honsinger, who suffers from the disease. For more information on Type C Niemann-Pick Disease and to donate, visit the National Niemann-Pick Disease Foundation website at www.nnpdf.org.
In Albany, members of the New York Farm Bureau and the Food Bank Association of New York State announced that farmers from across the state had donated 9 million pounds of fresh food and farm products this year through the month of November to regional food banks. That translates to more than 7 million meals being provided to New Yorkers in need. The food is collected through the “Harvest for All” donation program, a nationwide annual farm donation partnership linking Farm Bureaus and Feeding America in each state. In addition to the food donations, the New York Farm Bureau Young Farmers and Ranchers Committee gave a $500 contribution to the Food Bank Association of New York State.
High Notes is a feature of The Gazette Opinion section that appears every Monday to spotlight the good being done in our communities by individuals, organizations and businesses. Reader submissions to High Notes are welcome. Send suggestions to Editorial Page Editor Mark Mahoney at [email protected].