Author Archives: bparker

Turning Point Thanks Community for Successful 2016 Back to School Supply Drive

Families choose two “bonus” supplies per student during the Bath Back to School Drive Distribution Day, August 19, 2016 in Bath, NY.

Families choose two “bonus” supplies per student during the Bath Back to School Drive Distribution Day, August 19, 2016 in Bath, NY.

Turning Point would like to thank all of the businesses, organizations, and individuals who donated supplies, resources, and time to their 2016 Back to School Supply Drive. Turning Point coordinated the drive that helped more than 250 students in Bath area school districts and 174 students in Hornell area school districts have a successful start to their 2016-17 school year, equipping students with both backpacks containing school supplies and vouchers for fresh haircuts.

Steuben County Rural Ministry, now offering Turning Point programs in Canisteo, provided socks and underwear to 100 children in 39 households. In the spirit of cooperation and non-duplication of efforts practiced by service providers across Steuben County, Turning Point Corning made referrals to the Salvation Army’s school supply distribution efforts.

In Bath, Corning Incorporated volunteers coordinated by United Way of the Southern Tier helped to fill backpacks with supplies, and Assemblyman Phil Palmesano joined four other volunteers to help hand out the backpacks. In addition, more than 20 vouchers for haircuts were donated to students by Hairstyling by Donna, Hairstyling by Emily, Vanity Hair Salon, Hairstyles by Alisha, and Cortney Covell with D’s Beauty Shops. Other businesses and organizations that helped make the drive in Bath a success included:  4imprint, Avoca Methodist Church, Avoca Wallace Lions Club, Bath First Presbyterian Church, Bath Rotary Club, Bath VA, Bethel Assembly of God, Brookside Farm, Centenary United Methodist Church, Cohocton Assembly of God, Community Bank NA, Corning Incorporated, Family Video, Ferguson Ministries, Five Star Bank, Institute of Human Services, John Taggart Insurance, Law Office of Susan Betzjitomir, Mount Washington Church, Olympia Sports, ProAction of Steuben and Yates, Inc., Serv-U Credit Union, St. Mary’s Church, St. Thomas’ Episcopal Church, State Farm in Bath, Steuben County’s PROS program, Treu Office Supply, United Way, VFW Post 1470, Wallace Wesleyan Church, and Wal-Mart.

In Hornell, six volunteers helped to fill and distribute the backpacks and supplies, and 68 vouchers for haircuts were donated to students by Bee Bop Hair Shop, Bel Taglio International, Cutting Dynamics, K & A Hair Studio, Salon 96, Shear Perfection, Rocky’s Red Carpet, Garcia’s Barbershop, and Tip Toes Salon. Other businesses and organizations that helped make the drive a success in Hornell included:  Hornell Elks Lodge, Hornell Association, Loyal Order of Moose #210, Canisteo American Legion, Arkport Presbyterian Church, Arkport United Methodist Church, Cohocton Methodist Church, Corp. Joseph J. Mooney Post, Hornell Rotary Club, Our Lady of the Valley Parish, United Methodist Church of Hornell, South Dansville Methodist Church, Arkport Cycles, Serv-U Credit Union, The Evening Tribune, and Christ Episcopal Church.

For more information about, or to get involved in next year’s Back to School Supply Drive or other Turning Point programs in your area, please call Turning Point at (607) 776-4575 in the Bath area, (607) 698-4725 in the Canisteo area, (607) 968-4234 in the Corning area, or (607) 324-3457 in the Hornell area.

Turning Point Applauds the Community for Record-Breaking Support of the 8th Annual Steps To End Poverty in Steuben (STEPS) Walk

Walkers gathered on May 21, 2016 in Centerway Square on Market Street in Corning to support the 2016 Steps To End Poverty in Steuben (STEPS) Walk.

Walkers gathered on May 21, 2016 in Centerway Square on Market Street in Corning to support the 2016 Steps To End Poverty in Steuben (STEPS) Walk.

Turning Point would like to applaud Steuben County community members, businesses, and organizations for their record-breaking support of the eighth annual Steps To End Poverty in Steuben (STEPS) Walk walk-a-thon held on Saturday, May 7 in Hornell; Saturday, May 14 in Bath; and Saturday, May 21 in Corning.

This one-mile walk not only raises awareness about poverty in Steuben County, but also raises funds for Catholic Charities of Steuben’s Turning Point programs, which stabilize families in economic crisis and support them as they strive for self-sufficiency.

This year, the STEPS Walk raised a record of more than $35,200 county-wide, with funds for Turning Point Corning leading the pack at almost $12,700, a 130% increase over the previous year! Funds for Turning Point Bath came in a close second at more than $12,600, and funds for Turning Point Hornell totaled more than $9,800!

These figures not only represent individual donations collected and donated by walkers, but also include Event-level and Route Sign-level sponsorships by Steuben County businesses and organizations.

Turning Point would like to thank these fine businesses and organizations who were Event-level sponsors for the 2016 STEPS Walk:  American Legion Post 846, Bright Ideas by Martinec, Canisteo Valley Family Practice, Chemung Canal Trust Company, Corning Inc., Corning Natural Gas, Guthrie, Hornell Evening Tribune, The Leader, Maple City Dodge Inc., Meyers RV, Savona Rod & Gun Club, Serv-U Credit Union, Sons of the American Legion Post 846, Steuben Courier Advocate, Three Birds, Thurston Christian Church, VAC Employees Federal Credit Union, and Woodhouse Stadium Grill.

Turning Point would also like to thanks these fine businesses and organizations who were Route Sign-level sponsors for the 2016 STEPS Walk:  Atlas Brick Oven Pizzeria, Bath Mini Storage, Brown & Powers Funeral Home, Bullseye Shooter Supply, Carpenter’s Funeral Home, The Cellar, Corning Credit Union, Corning Dental Associates, Corning Elks Lodge #1071, Corning Inc. Sullivan Park, Crystal Cleaners, Culligan Water, Cutler’s Carpet, Fagan’s Inc., Farm Credit Services, First Heritage, Five Star Bank, Goodrich Auto Works, H. P. Smith & Son Inc. Funeral Home, Hornell Association, John W. Taggart & Son Insurance Services, Keller Williams, Knights of Columbus Assembly 732, LOGO Print Company, Magic Hair Styling, Marino’s on Loder, Market Street Apothecary, Pflumm’s Country Store, Phillips Funeral Home, Serv-U Credit Union, Steuben Trust, United Steel Workers Local 1000, Wegman’s, and WLEA.

Funds raised through the STEPS Walks help to sustain Turning Point programs across Steuben County—programs that provide our neighbors in need with access to food, clothing, shelter, utilities, public transportation, needed medications, affordable medical insurance, and supports for long-term success.

To support the work of Turning Point services in your area today, please go to CatholicCharitiesSteuben.org, click on the “Donate Now” link, and select the Turning Point service area closest to your area of Steuben County from the drop-down menu next to “Designation”.

For more information about or to get involved as a volunteer for the STEPS Walk event, please contact Fundraising Director Paula Smith at 607-968-4107 or [email protected]

Help Fight Child Poverty in Steuben County

Much has been written and spoken within the past several months about the great challenges presented to our community about the decline of the middle class, the working poor and the pervasive poverty that surrounds us.

While unemployment is down, more and more workers have difficulty finding a job that pays a living wage. The number of working poor in our community continues to grow.

Children are the most vulnerable and make up the highest segment of our population living in poverty. One in four children live in poverty, based on the Federal Poverty Line Guidelines. About 45 percent of students in Steuben County are eligible for free or reduced meals at school. Fifty percent of all SNAP (food stamps) participants are children.

Most children living in poverty have parents who work, but low wages and unstable employment leave those families struggling to make ends meet. The low wages paid by businesses are costing American taxpayers nearly $153 billion a year to pay for public-assistance programs. In New York State, it is $3.3 billion.

Over 50 percent of the more-than 5,000 families living in poverty in Steuben County are headed by a single parent. Of these households, only 15 percent are headed by a single father in poverty, while 44 percent are headed by a single mother in poverty. Almost half (45 percent) of all households headed by a single mother live at or below the poverty level, a shocking figure created or supported by policy choices-federal child care subsidies have been cut to the point where it is impossible for many single moms to work before their children are in kindergarten. Low-paying jobs and lack of transportation are also major causes of poverty and child poverty.

Poverty can impede a child’s ability to learn and contribute to social, emotional and behavioral problems. Children in poverty are 33 percent more likely to have developmental delays or learning disabilities than other non-poor children. Poverty can contribute to poor health and poor mental health, and cause children to become more likely to suffer from poverty as an adult.

The National Center for Children in Poverty estimates that a single mom with two children needs an hourly wage of $22 an hour to cover a basic needs budget.

Despite the myths and misconceptions regarding poverty, the vast majority of our friends and neighbors living in poverty are suffering because of circumstances and decisions over which they have no control. The poor in our community are not sponges, leeches, lazy, unwilling to work or undeserving of our help. Granted, there are some who are abusing public assistance, but they are the minority.

Despite well-publicized stories of those who commit fraud for public assistance dollars, the food stamp programs, Medicaid and other programs actually are so well-managed and have such frequent re-enrollment verification requirements that they have lower rates of abuse than comparable programs in private insurance or bank lending. We spend our public assistance funds wisely in the U.S.

Catholic Charities of Steuben embraces the challenge of helping the less fortunate among us, but we need your help. Our eighth annual STEPS (Steps To End Poverty in Steuben) Walk-a-thon was held May 7 in Hornell, May 14 in Bath, and May 21 in Corning. One hundred percent of the funds raised in each location stay in each location and serve children in the surrounding areas. Remember, the greatest responsibility of any community is to care for its children.

To help, please go to our STEPS Walk website, where you can make a donation to the Turning Point location you’d like to support. You also may mail your check made out to “Catholic Charities of Steuben” to Catholic Charities of Steuben, 23 Liberty St., Bath, NY 14810 and designate “Hornell STEPS Walk,” “Bath STEPS Walk” or “Corning STEPS Walk” in the Notes field.

For more information, please call Paula Smith at (607) 968-4107.

Andy Mazzella is on the Board of Directors of Catholic Charities of Steuben.