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The Telegram
  • United Way, Friends of Rachel Club team for Day of Caring

  • The United Way of the Valley and Greater Utica Area and Frankfort-Schuyler Central School’s Friends of Rachel Club sponsored a Day of Caring at Folts Homes in Herkimer Thursday.

    About 20 student members visited Folts Homes, giving residents and students a chance to make Valentine’s Day crafts together and to get to know one another.

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  • The United Way of the Valley and Greater Utica Area and Frankfort-Schuyler Central School’s Friends of Rachel Club sponsored a Day of Caring at Folts Homes in Herkimer Thursday.
    About 20 student members visited Folts Homes, giving residents and students a chance to make Valentine’s Day crafts together and to get to know one another.
    United Way Community Engagement Manager Adam Lawless said the program started out with 25 residents and as it went on more began to filter in. “The purpose of a Day of Caring is to create a chain reaction of caring and kindness and that is the exact reaction we created here today,” he said.
    Deandra Rigo, Folts Homes activities director, said this was the first year Folts Homes has celebrated a Day of Caring with United Way.
    “This is a wonderful opportunity which brings a mixture of students and residents together, and anytime we hold intergenerational activities it seems to bring cheer to both sides,” she said.
    Rigo added she hopes to see Folts Homes continue with the event in the future.
    Claxton Manor resident Rose Maiolo said while she enjoyed her time at the event decorating flower pots with students, she was looking forward to the miniature concert of love songs performed by the students. “I can’t wait to hear the students sing, that’s what I like most,” she said.
    The Friends of Rachel Club is part of a program that provides schools the opportunity to partner with Rachel’s Challenge to continue a chain reaction of kindness and compassion in schools and the community.
    “Today is not just about making crafts, but spreading happiness, and it’s really cool to have a positive impact on people’s lives,” said Friends of Rachel Club member Alyssa Unsinn. Unsinn said she and other students were able to learn from the residents. “I listened to their stories and I’ve learned it was a different experience for them to grow up compared to students now.”
    “It’s is fantastic to see the students working with the residents,” said United Way Executive Director Brenda Episcopo. “This was our first time teaming up with the Friends of Rachel Club and we’re really happy to be working with them and supporting Folts Homes.”
    The United Way is a local independent nonprofit organization that helps schools, groups, teams or anyone who would like extra volunteer help, said Episcopo.
    “The United Way perfectly suits the needs of the community through volunteer services,” she said.
    If a community group of any kind is in need of volunteer assistance Episcopo encourages them to contact the United Way at 733-4691 or visit the website www.unitedwaygu.org.

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