The Geneva Center of Concern Supports and Collaborates with Several Regional Groups and Agencies that Serve the Citizens of Our Community in Need
Recent partnerships have included:
Safe Harbors of the Finger Lakes (https://shfiny.org/):
The Center provided essential supplies for which the organization had run critically low including diapers and personal items essential for women fleeing abusive environments.
Geneva High School:
The Center became aware of high school students who were not taking SAT and ACT tests because they were unable to cover the fee cost. These tests are often required for college applications; the Center Board approved $1,000 to aid students in covering exam fees. Students helped through this program have gone on to SUNY Oswego, SUNY Cobleskill, Alfred University, FLCC, and University of North Carolina at Charlotte. The Center strives to leverage capable students into a successful academic opportunity.
The Center budgets $3000 annually to fund scholarships for three graduating Seniors having financial need; scholarships are awarded following a competitive application process. This is one of the Center’s oldest programs and has benefited hundreds of Geneva and DeSales students.
Geneva Boys and Girls Club: Working cooperatively with the Center, personnel from the Club area available to help deliver items to homes. Trucking and transport services are provided for food and household items, as well as the delivery of fresh dairy and produce items as available. In this manner, products are distributed more efficiently throughout the community and greatly reduces waste. The Center shares expenses with the Boys and Girls Clubs for this service.
Cornell Milk Program. This dairy distribution service was established for our region by the Director of the Geneva Boys and Girls club. Cornell University operates a full-service dairy farm and, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there was an overload of products when students were unable to return to in-class learning. Boys & Girls Club Director, Chris Lavin, took this opportunity to provide fresh milk to the entire area, including the Center’s Food Pantry.
Face Mask Distribution: Because of the need for masking to prevent spread of the COVID-19 virus, medical masks were in limited supply, leaving many people without the means of obtaining them for their families. In response to this shortage and having the desire to help, local citizens began creating homemade masks. The Center of Concern became a “hub” for mask deliveries and news soon spread that anyone in need could visit the Center to pick up masks for their families. Selecting a special, home-made mask became a “fun” way to deal with a medical crisis in the community.
Blueprint Geneva: This organization works cooperatively with the Center by delivering food resources including food for clients with restrictive dietary needs. The Center’s Director’s knowledge of special citizens with special needs allows for efficient distribution.
USDA Farmers to Families Program. The Geneva Center of Concern has linked into this Federal program through the Geneva COVID-19 Task Force. During the summer months, we received biweekly shipments of mixed produce. The Center was able to augment our food distribution program with fresh fruits and vegetables.
Catholic Charities of the Finger Lakes sponsors the Geneva Community Lunch Program which provides lunch to-go from 11:45am-12:15pm Monday through Friday at the Methodist Church at 340 South Main Street. Everyone is welcome. The number of people served daily ranges from 100 to 150. The Center ensures enough bread and dessert products are available. Additional volunteers are needed on two week days. Catholic Charities also offers other services to clients and, as needs arise, families are directed to them by Center staff.
City of Geneva COVID-19 Taskforce: The Center Board President, Bill Simon, serves as the Center representative on the Taskforce, which is comprised of five sub-committees: Housing, Health, Services, Communications and a Central Management group. Bill chairs the Services Group, addressing Food, Clothing, Domestic Abuse, Emergency Shelter, Childcare, and Emergency funds (vouchers for rent, medication, etc). He also reports to the City Council, and has been please to report that Geneva citizens who need food during the Pandemic have had multiple sources for obtaining food. The committee has been able to distribute food and other needed products seven days a week at different times and locations, allowing for food access on a continual basis.