Donations make a difference in the lives of local senior citizens
More than 500 emergency meal packs were prepared for Ulster County seniors by the State University of New York at New Paltz community for Make a Difference Day on Oct. 24.
Mary Jo DeForest, deputy director of the Ulster County Office of the Aging, said, “The event was a valuable contribution to our community as shelf stable meals for homebound seniors provide food security in the event of emergency situations.”
Michael Patterson, director of Student Activities and Union Services on campus, said 313 campus community members participated by donating money or food items to the drive, and 157 volunteers helped with the collection, packing and other events over the weekend. He added that more than $2,500 worth of food was donated to the organization’s Meals on Wheels program. Additionally, students made 160 cards to be distributed to senior citizens in local nursing care facilities.
“The students really enjoyed being a part of the project and they made a big difference in the lives of seniors throughout the region,” said Patterson.
Susan Zimet, Ulster County legislator and chair of Arts, Education, Tourism – Office for the Aging and Veterans, said, “It was so impressive to see the row of students on a Saturday afternoon using their personal time to give to the seniors of Ulster County. On behalf of the seniors of Ulster County – a big thank you to SUNY New Paltz.”
The national day of community service came to a close with a free concert for local residents ages 55 and older and their caregivers. Patterson said approximately 35 seniors attended “An Evening of Music” on campus. Attendees were joined by a number of students who, in addition to performing, served as companions and ushers at the event.
Make a Difference Day 2008, which is held annually on the fourth Saturday in October, marks the fourth time the college has participated in USA Weekend’s nationwide event.
Located in the heart of a dynamic college town, 90 minutes from metropolitan New York City, the State University of New York at New Paltz is a highly selective college of about 8,000 undergraduate and graduate students.
One of the most well-regarded public colleges in the nation, New Paltz delivers an extraordinary number of majors in Business, Liberal Arts, Sciences, Engineering, Fine and Performing Arts and Education.
New Paltz embraces its culture as a community where talented and independent minded people from around the world create close personal links with real scholars and artists who love to teach.