In Schenectady, about 25 students from Niskayuna and Schenectady high schools spent a recent afternoon distributing nearly 500 donated winter scarves throughout the city as a gift to people in need. CDTA provided a bus to take the students to various spots along the State Street corridor, including Liberty Park through Steuben and State streets. At each stop, the students tied scarves to lamp posts, street signs and railings and attached inspirational notes. "I am not lost," started one message pinned to a scarf. "If you need this to stay warm, take it — it is yours. Stay warm and pay it forward when you can." Teachers Monica DiCocco from Niskayuna high and Anne-Marie Warren and Sara Telban from Schenectady high served as advisers for the project. For more information on the project and photos of the kids, click here.
In Schenectady, the Schenectady District of the Boy Scouts of America contributed hundreds of pounds of food to families in need during the Thanksgiving holiday, thanks to the generous support of donors from the community. More than 450 Scouts and 350 parents collected about 12,000 pounds of food, a 20 percent increase compared to 2015. These efforts were in support of Concerned for the Hungry, a volunteer organization that fights hunger in Schenectady County, and other local food pantries. The Scouts have been involved in this effort for over 30 years.
In Saratoga Springs, about 50 women came together to help build affordable housing for two area families. On Jan. 21, Habitat for Humanity of Northern Saratoga, Warren and Washington Counties hosted its inaugural Women’s Build Day. The effort coincided with the national Women's March demonstrations around the country that day. The volunteers worked on a condominium on Cherry Street that had been taken over by the city of Saratoga Springs and donated to Habitat. The home will be occupied by two families in need, who will pay a discounted rent. Members of the families who will be moving into the two-family duplex this May assisted volunteers with the project. In addition to providing affordable housing for the families, the Women's Build Day was designed to "empower women and provide them the opportunities to learn and use construction skills while inspiring them to advocate for decent and affordable homeownership in their communities," according to the organization.
High Notes is a feature of The Gazette Opinion section that appears every Monday to spotlight the many good works being done by individuals and organizations in our communities. If you have a suggestion for High Notes, please send it to Editorial Page Editor Mark Mahoney at [email protected].