STEM in Action: 4-H Tech Wizards Build Wheelchair Ramp

The 4-H Tech Wizards engineered some magic this summer when they built a wheelchair ramp for a disabled Broome County resident. The Tech Wizards club at the George F. Johnson Dream Center in Johnson City, NY hosted the project, where six youth volunteered over three days to build a 37 foot-long ramp for a homebound senior.  Each young person was paired with an adult mentor from either Cornell Cooperative Extension of Broome County, Sarah Jane Johnson United Methodist Memorial Church, or the Broome County Council of Churches.

Youth and mentors were led by Ron Wenzinger of the Broome County Council of Churches “Ramp It Up” program. Wenzinger, an experienced carpenter, made sure that the youth not only learned carpentry skills, but understood the engineering principles that go into construction. While the youth and their adult mentors spent the mornings and afternoons measuring, drilling, and building, lunchtimes and breaks were used to ask and answer questions about slope, weight bearing, turning radiuses, and more.

Check out the full article in the 4H Newsletter.

CV students help build ramp for Harpursville woman

To date, the Ramp It Up program run through the Broome County Council of Churches has built 78 ramps in six years. Saturday’s work at a Harpursville woman’s home will make it 79. 

To view the full article, enter here.

Steve Degnan’s mom is a superhero, in his eyes. The woman who raised him, his brother and two sisters has always been “sharp as a tack,” he said.

But old age and a one-year-old broken hip started taking away her ability to move around. Degnan and another person had to support 85-year-old Jeanne Marie Degnan down the four or five steps from the front porch of their shared Harpursville home to the driveway.

“She’s not very stable on a walker, and she needs the wheelchair more,” he said.

A group of Chenango Valley Central School District students and other charity organizations got together Saturday to offer Degnan and his family a helping hand in the form of a wheelchair ramp that is becoming more and more critical for Degnan’s mom getting out and about.

About a dozen members of the district’s Interact Club, a student volunteer group sponsored by the Hillcrest Rotary, dug in the dirt together to construct the 79th ramp in the six-year history of the Ramp It Up program. More than a dozen students, plus adults from the club and the high school staff, had completed much of the wooden ramp by noon, but would stay until about 4 or 5 p.m. to finish it off.

The Broome County Council of Churches started the program following the 2006 and 2011 floods that devastated the Southern Tier, said program coordinator Ron Wenzinger. This year, volunteers have built ramps for people in Whitney Point, Windsor and Vestal, among other locations.

An application process vets potential ramp recipients, factoring in medical or physical conditions, financial aid and whether an applicant uses a wheelchair or walker, Wenzinger said.

The closest Sonja Jensen has gotten to building a wheelchair ramp was constructing theater sets for the high school drama club. But the 16-year-old Chenango Valley senior and co-president of the Interact Club knows how difficult it can be to maneuver in a wheelchair.

“I worked at a summer camp for adults with physical and mental disabilities. A lot of them were in wheelchairs, and it was really hilly where we were,” she said. “I’m just happy to make it a little easier for someone.”

When Degnan’s father passed away three years ago, Degnan said his dad’s dying wish was for him to take care of his mom. Saturday’s work, he said, helped with that.

“We grew up on the south side of Binghamton, helping our neighbors,” he said. “My dad used to tell me it’ll pay off someday. These kids are proving that.”

Sara Tracey, stracey@pressconnects.com | @PSBTracey

Ministering to Broome’s congregation living behind bars

Rev. Cris H. Mogenson’s “church’ doesn’t have stained glass windows or a steeple. And his congregants wear orange jump suits instead of their Sunday best.

For the past 14 years the Free Methodist minister has been coordinating chaplain at the Broome County Sheriff’s Correctional Facility ministering through the Broome County Council of Churches to people whom, he knows, some in the larger society would just as soon forget.

The 53-year-old Mogenson considers it a theological calling. He points to Jesus’ commandment in Matthew 25:36 to care for the sick and visit those in prison. “It’s the disenfranchised who are in here, and Jesus would be visiting the fringe,” he said.

Mogenson works alongside Rev. Stanley Gerlock who has been part-time Catholic chaplain for 25 years. The minister also supervises some 90 volunteers also who provide a range of services from Bible studies to rosary groups to Arabic classes.

Mogenson compares jail ministry to working in a hospital emergency room. You catch people in a time of crisis and offer hope. “We’re not proselytizing, we’re interceding. We’re intervening to try and stop a problem before it becomes worse,” he said.

Realistically, however, discouragement comes with the job. “You have to be geared to the prospect of recidivism'” Mogenson said. He knows two-thirds of inmates will wind up back in jail. He also knows, while some people deserve to be behind bars, poverty and drug addiction play a role in this pattern.

But “once in awhile something clicks, something changes, and you get to see that,’ Mogenson emphasized.

Mogenson came to the jail ministry after having what he calls “an epiphany ” during a board meeting at a church where he was a pastor. The board was arguing about the color of the church’s carpet, “majoring in the minor” is how he puts it. “I decided I had had it. I was going back to the front lines.”

For his part, Gerlock really was reluctant to take the job as Catholic chaplain after being asked by the late Msgr. Peter Owens. That reluctance is now long gone. He has become so attached to the job that he asked to continue at the jail even after retiring as a parish priest 10 years ago.

The best part is when inmates take small steps to begin getting their lives back together, Gerlock said. For example, he remembers one inmate who told him “thank you” as the man was leaving the jail. The man then asked for a blessing to help deal with the difficulties of his life.

“You could have given me $1,000, and it wouldn’t have meant as much,” Gerlock said.

Read the complete article at:  http://www.pressconnects.com/story/news/local/2014/09/04/jail-ministry-broome-connections/15031773/

TICKETS AVAILABLE FOR THE JOHNNY HART MEMORIAL CHRISTIAN FELLOWSHIP BREAKFAST

TICKETS AVAILABLE FOR

THE JOHNNY HART MEMORIAL CHRISTIAN FELLOWSHIP BREAKFAST

 

The Johnny Hart Memorial Christian Fellowship Breakfast is scheduled for 7:30 a.m., Thursday, August 14, at the Kalurah Building at 625 Dickson Street, Endicott.

A panel of Champions Tour professional golfers will be moderated by Fred Funk, winner of eight PGA Tour and nine Champions Tour events in his career. He also was a member of two Presidents Cup and one Ryder Cup teams for the U.S. The breakfast is hosted by Bobby Hart.

Tickets are $10 and can be purchased in advance at the offices of the Broome County Council of Churches, the DICK’s Sporting Goods Open office and many area churches. The ticket price also includes admission to the Thursday Pro-Am tournament.

Free parking is available at the site all day with free shuttle service to the golf course.

For more information, you can call the Tournament Office at (607) 205-1500 or email Keli Cooper at breakfast@dsgopen.com.

AmazonSmile $5 Bonus Father’s Day Promotion

 

To celebrate Father’s Day, from now through 6/15/2014, the AmazonSmile Foundation will donate an extra $5 for each customer who makes an eligible purchase at smile.amazon.com in support of Broome County Council Of Churches Inc. This is in addition to the regular donation of 0.5% of the purchase price.

In honor of Dad, shop at AmazonSmile through 6/15/14 and Amazon will donate an extra $5 to Broome County Council Of Churches Inc. Click here to get started: http://smile.amazon.com/ch/15-0547374

Promotion details

 

Faith: Faith in Action program puts good works in practice

Check out the article regarding our Faith in Action Program:  http://www.pressconnects.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2014306060037

Board Member Publishes a book

Sean Brady joined the board of directors of the Broome County Council of Churches in January of 2013.  Since then one of his major accomplishments was to help guide us through a strategic planning process.  Little did we know but he was working on a book on the importance and art of decision-making as well.  Check out this article on Sean and his book: http://www.pressconnects.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2014305140003

A List of CHOW’s Soup Kitchen Meeting Times

Monday

1. Endwell United Methodist Church

3301 Watson Boulevard, Endwell

754-5735

5:00PM-6:00 PM

2. First United Methodist Church

53 McKinley Avenue, Endicott

748-7434

11:30AM-12:30AM

3. St. Patrick’s Church

9 Leroy Street, Binghamton (rectory rear door)

722-1060

11:30AM-1:00PM

4. Salvation Army

127-131 Washington Street, Binghamton

722-3059

9:30AM-10:15AM and 5:00PM-5:45PM

5. Conklin Avenue Baptist Church

91 Baldwin Street, Binghamton

724-1252

5:00PM

*last Monday of the month only*

Tuesday

1. First United Methodist Church

53 McKinley Avenue, Endicott

748-7434

11:30AM-12:30AM

2. United Presbyterian Church

42 Chenango Street, Binghamton

722-4219

5:00PM-6:00PM

3. Salvation Army

127-131 Washington Street, Binghamton

722-3059

9:30AM-10:15AM

4. First Presbyterian Church

29 Grant Avenue, Endicott

748-1544

5:30PM

5. Sarah Jane Johnson United Methodist Church

308 Main Street, Johnson City

797-3938

5:30PM

6. St. Patrick’s Church

9 Leroy Street, Binghamton (rectory rear door)

722-1060

11:30AM-1:00PM

Wednesday

1. First United Methodist Church

53 McKinley Avenue, Endicott

748-7434

11:30AM-12:30AM

2. Kirkwood Methodist Church

255 Main Street, Kirkwood

775-3785

4:30PM-6:00PM

*4th Wednesday of the month only*

3. St. Patrick’s Church

9 Leroy Street, Binghamton (rectory rear door)

722-1060

11:30AM-1:00PM

4. New Heights Ministry

17 Front Street, Binghamton (back door)

723-0005

4:00PM-5:00PM

5. Salvation Army

127-131 Washington Street, Binghamton

722-3059

9:30AM-10:15AM

6. St. Ambrose Parish

202 Garfield Avenue, Endicott

754-2330

5:30PM

7. Tabernacle United Methodist Church

83 Main Street, Binghamton

723-8983

6:00PM

8. First United Methodist Church

109 Second Street, Deposit

467-2290

4:30PM-6:00PM

* 2nd & 4th Wednesday of the month*

Thursday

1. Centenary United Methodist Church

438 Chenango Street, Binghamton

722-1305

4:30PM-6:00PM

*1st and 3rd Thursday of the month*

2. First United Methodist Church

53 McKinley Avenue, Endicott

748-7434

11:30AM-12:30AM

3. St. Patrick’s Church

9 Leroy Street, Binghamton (rectory rear door)

722-1060

11:30AM-1:00PM

4. Salvation Army

127-131 Washington Street, Binghamton

722-3059

9:30AM-10:15AM and 5:00PM-5:45PM

5. Shepherd’s Bowl Anglican Church

356 Conklin Avenue, Binghamton

723-8032

5:30PM-6:30PM

6. Central United Methodist Church

17 Nanticoke Avenue, Endicott

754-6060

5:00PM

7. Whitney Point United Methodist Church

7313 Collins Street, Whitney Point

692-3638

5:00PM-6:00PM

*last Thursday of the month*

Friday

1. First Presbyterian Church

1175 Conklin Road, Conklin (inside the Conklin Fellowship Hall)

775-0365

6:00PM-7:00PM

*last Friday of the month*

2. First United Methodist Church

53 McKinley Avenue, Endicott

748-7434

11:30AM-12:30AM

3. Grace Tabernacle Church

98 Glenwood Avenue, Binghamton

729-3626

5:30PM-7:00PM

4. St. Patrick’s Church

9 Leroy Street, Binghamton (rectory rear door)

722-1060

11:30AM-1:00PM

5. Our Lady of Good Counsel

701 Main Street, Endicott

748-7417

5:30PM

6. Salvation Army

127-131 Washington Street, Binghamton

722-3059

9:30AM-10:15AM and 5:00PM-5:45PM

Saturday

1. All Saints Church

475 Main Street, Johnson City

797-3354 or 341-2978

12:00PM

2. Boulevard United Methodist Church

113 Grand Boulevard, Binghamton

797-5675

3:30PM

* 2nd and last Saturday of the month*

3. Chenango Bridge United Methodist Church

740 River Road, Chenango Bridge

648-4339

12:00PM-1:00PM

*last Saturday of the month*

4. Faith Evangelistic Church

227 Grand Boulevard, Johnson City

729-6303

12:00PM-4:00PM

5. First United Methodist Church

53 McKinley Avenue, Endicott

748-7434

12:00PM-1:00PM

*5:30PM-6:30PM only on the 3rd Saturday of the month*

6. Main Street Baptist Church

117 Main Street, Binghamton

723-0031

4:30PM-6:00PM

*2nd and 4th Saturday*

7. Salvation Army

127-131 Washington Street, Binghamton

722-3059

5:00PM-5:45PM

Sunday

1. Faith Evangelistic Church

227 Grand Boulevard, Johnson City

729-6303

12:00PM-4:00PM

2. First United Methodist Church

53 McKinley Avenue, Endicott

748-7434

8:30AM-9:15AM

3. Salvation Army

127-131 Washington Street, Binghamton

722-3059

5:00PM-5:45PM

4. Trinity Memorial Church

44 Main Street, Binghamton

723-3593

12:00PM

Volunteer Information For CHOW Pantries and Kitchens

CHOW oversees over 60 soup kitchens and food pantries. To eliminate food insecurity from Broome County, CHOW would have to provide the county with 7.8 million pounds of food for the year. Currently CHOW turns out 3.1 million pounds of food a year, with a 4.7 million pound shortage.

What is a soup kitchen? CHOW’s soup kitchens provide Broome County with 833,333 meals a year.  Soup kitchens are places where anyone can go and receive a free nutritious meal to help alleviate hunger for those who are incapable of providing regular meals for themselves and/or their families. Both soup kitchens and pantries are highly effective because they are often a person’s last resource for food.

Why does a soup kitchen need volunteers? Soup Kitchens need volunteers to help cook the food, serve it, prepare the room where people will eat and help clean up after them at the end of the meal.

What should I bring with me when I volunteer? Be sure to wear comfortable, closed toe shoes. Anyone with long hair must bring hair ties and a hat, or they will have to wear a hair net. (This is strictly for health code purposes.) Wear comfortable and casual clothes, but don’t wear anything too baggy that might be a hindrance while cooking or helping set up / clean the soup kitchen. Make sure you bring any medications that you might need. A photo ID might be required the first time one goes to a kitchen to volunteer.

Which soup kitchens need extra volunteers?

Endwell United Methodist Church located at 3301 Watson Boulevard, Endwell (needs volunteers on Mondays from 5:00PM-6:00PM) call 607-754-5735 if you’d like to serve

First United Methodist Church located at 53 McKinley Avenue, Endicott (needs volunteers for lunch Monday through Friday from 9:00AM-1:00PM; for lunch on Saturdays from 12:00PM-1:00PM; for dinner on the 3rd Saturday of the month from 5:30PM-6:30PM; for breakfast on Sundays from 8:15AM-9:15AM) call 607-748-7434 and ask to speak to Jan

The Salvation Army located at 127-131 Washington Street, Binghamton (needs volunteers for breakfast Monday through Friday from 9:30AM-10:15AM; for dinner Thursday through Monday from 5:00PM-5:45PM) call 607-722-3059

Chenango Bridge United Methodist Church located at 740 River Road Chenango Bridge, NY (needs volunteers the last Saturday of the month from 12:00PM-1:00PM) call 607-648-4339 and ask to speak Hudda

Centenary United Methodist Church located at 438 Chenango Street Binghamton, NY (needs volunteers for dinner on the first and third Thursdays of the month from 4:30PM-6:00PM)

First Presbyterian Church located at 29 Grant Avenue Endicott, NY (needs volunteers for dinner on Tuesdays from 5:30PM-7:00PM) call 607-748-1544 and ask to speak to Analise

All Saints Church located at 475 Main Street Johnson City, NY (needs volunteers for lunch on Saturdays at noon) call 797-3354 and ask to speak with Debbie

First United Methodist Church located at 109 Second Street Deposit, NY (needs volunteers for dinner on the second and fourth Wednesdays from 4:30PM-6:00PM) call 607-467-2290

Central United Methodist Church located at 17 Nanticoke Avenue Endicott, NY (needs volunteers for dinner on Thursdays at 5:00PM) call 607-754-6060

United Presbyterian Church located at 42 Chenango Street Binghamton, NY (needs volunteers for dinner on Tuesdays from 5:00-6:00PM) call 607-722-4219 **additionally requested volunteers for help with their data entry**

Our Lady of Good Counsel located at 701 Main Street Endicott, NY (needs volunteers for dinner on Fridays at 5:30PM) call 607-748-7417 ** volunteers must be Virtus certified; this is a free course than can be completed online or at the church**

What is a food pantry? A food pantry is a room in a local Church or Temple that distributes 3 meals for a 5 day span for every single person who resides in a house in need. CHOW’s pantries put an additional 10,000 meals back into the community every week. If a person is in danger of not having enough food for the month they can call First Call for Help (2-1-1), which pairs them with a local church’s pantry that can supply them with these emergency meals.

What should I bring with me when I volunteer? Dress in comfortable casual clothes and wear closed toe shoes. Please bring any necessary personal affects (i.e. medicine). Bring a photo ID with you the first time you volunteer at a pantry.

Which pantries need help? Thankfully many citizens of Broome County already volunteer their time and efforts to ensure that the hungry are fed in our community. If you would like to volunteer in a pantry here is a list of local pantries that need volunteers:

Centenary Chenango Street United Methodist Church located at 438 Chenango Street Binghamton, NY (needs volunteers on Thursdays from 5:00-6:00) call 607-724-3546 and ask to speak with Linda

First Congregational Church located at 30 Main Street Binghamton, NY (needs volunteers the last two Mondays of the month from 9:30AM-11:00AM) call 607-723-8981 and ask to speak with Karen

New Life Ministries located at 201 Hill Avenue Endicott, NY (needs extra volunteers on Mondays and Thursdays from 4:30PM-6:00PM) call 607-785-8579

Temple Concord located at 9 Riverside Drive Binghamton, NY (needs extra volunteers on Thursdays from 5:30PM to 7:00PM) call 607-723-7355

St. Paul’s Episcopal Church located at 200 Jefferson Avenue Endicott, NY (needs extra volunteers on Tuesdays from 1:15-2:45 and Thursdays from 3:45-5:45) call 607-748-8118

If you would like to volunteer for a soup kitchen or a pantry please fill out the form below and fax it to (607) 724-9148. Every volunteer opportunity is different, some can be set up as a onetime occurrence, other locations may ask that you join a “team” that agrees to meet certain weeks, or you can volunteer regularly. If you do agree to volunteer at a certain location you must show up. If you are unable to make your volunteer shift then you must alert the head of the pantry or soup kitchen at least 24 hours in advance.