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What you need to know for 01/17/2018

SICM’s Day of Service still growing

SICM’s Day of Service still growing

Five of Schenectady’s parks will get a spring cleaning Saturday as part of Schenectady Inner City Mi

Five of Schenectady’s parks will get a spring cleaning Saturday as part of Schenectady Inner City Ministry’s third annual Day of Service.

Volunteers are being lined up to help rake and pick up refuse in Hillhurst Park on Campbell Avenue, Jerry Burrell Park at the corner of Schenectady and Hamilton streets, Wallingford Park at the corner of Congress and 5th streets, Steinmetz Park on Lenox Avenue, and Front Street Park in the Stockade.

So far, about 50 people have signed up to lend a hand, but more help is always welcome, said Janet Mattis, SICM’s community outreach coordinator.

At a glance

Volunteer for Schenectady Inner City Ministry’s Day of Service:

WHEN: Saturday, 8:45 a.m. to noon

WHERE: Volunteers will gather at 8:45 a.m. at Faith United Methodist Church, 811 Brandywine Ave., for registration and a continental breakfast, and then will be dispatched to clean up five of Schenectady’s parks.

The event will be held rain or shine, unless there is a torrential downpour. Advance registration is strongly encouraged by contacting Janet Mattis at 374-2683 or

The parks the volunteers will beautify are ones SICM uses as sites for its summer lunch program, which distributes healthy lunches to needy children free of charge when school’s out.

Saturday’s cleanup work in the parks is appropriate for anyone ages 10 and up.

“I’m not sure what awaits us at some of the sites, but last year, there was plenty to do,” Mattis noted.

And even if there’s not enough work for everyone in the parks, another cleanup effort will be in progress in the city’s Northside neighborhood, organized by Michael Aragosa of Marty’s True Value Hardware. SICM plans to send any extra helpers to assist with that, Mattis said.

Last year, 150 volunteers participated in the Day of Service, including youth groups, community members and college students.

This year’s event will result in more than pristine parks; it’s also an opportunity for community members to give of themselves, said the Rev. Phillip Grigsby, SICM’s executive director.

“It’s a fun event and it also helps the community, so it’s really a win-win situation. The parks get heavy use, so we’re glad to help clean them up.”

This year, SICM decided to modify the annual Day of Service to encompass several days, with varied volunteering opportunities. In March, more than 200 spring bags were assembled for children whose families visit SICM’s emergency food pantry.

On May 5, the organization will host the Crop Walk, which raises funds to help end hunger. There will also be a post office food drive to benefit the food pantry on May 11.

And June 8, SICM will gather volunteers to assist the Schenectady Home Furnishings Program, which provides household furnishings to Schenectady County residents in need.

For more information about any of the Days of Service, contact Mattis at 374-2683 or

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