Your Community

Your Community 02.03.22

Literacy Volunteers Of Rensselaer County Announces Appointment Of New Executive Director

 Troy, NY – Literacy Volunteers of Rensselaer County today announced that its Board of Directors has appointed Nancy Benz as the organization’s new Executive Director, effective January 13. Ms. Benz succeeds longtime Executive Director Judy Smith, who will retire early this year. 

 “We are excited to welcome Nancy Benz to LVORC at an important time for the organization,” said Laura Salkowe, President of the Board. “As our new Executive Director, we believe her skills and experience will be an asset to current literacy programs as well as growing our program offerings in Albany County and beyond.” 

 “I am honored to have the opportunity to lead Literacy Volunteers of Rensselaer County,” said Nancy Benz, Executive Director, LVORC. “The organization is poised to strengthen its vision and build on its successes over the years. I look forward to being part of the effort to bring the organization to the next level and make a positive difference for even more people who are in need of help with language and communication skills.”

 Ms. Benz is a seasoned non-profit professional with more than a decade of experience in New York’s Capital District non-profit sector including as Vice President of Fund Development at Planned Parenthood Mohawk Hudson and Girls Incorporated of the Greater Capital Region. She most recently served as Senior Director of Fund Development at the Animal Protective Foundation. 

 After serving for nearly a decade in the role of Executive Director, Judy Smith retired this year. 

 “It has been my pleasure and a gift to work with our Board, our staff, volunteers and our students over these past eight years,” said Ms. Smith. “I have also become even more aware of the great need for LVORC’s work in the community and the abundant generosity of our volunteers and community.” 

 “We are grateful for Judy’s leadership and all that she has done for LVORC to achieve the mission of our organization. On behalf of the Board, we wish her all the best in her well-deserved retirement,” said Board President Salkowe.

 SEFCU to Donate $15,000 to Fight Hunger Thanks to Buffalo’s Playoff Run

Thanks to Buffalo’s 47-17 win over the New England Patriots and the 36 points the Bills scored during last Sunday’s thriller against the Kansas City Chiefs, SEFCU will donate $15,000 to FeedMore WNY.

The combined point total and SEFCU’s respective pledges of $125 and $250 per point scored by Buffalo netted $14,875.

The credit union rounded up to donate an even $15,000, which will help FeedMore WNY provide meals to homebound neighbors across Western New York.

It will also allow the nonprofit organization to provide food and support through nearly 300 pantries, soup kitchens, emergency shelters, and other hunger-relief agencies across Erie, Niagara, Cattaraugus, and Chautauqua counties while also offering nutrition assistance, education, and other supports to those in need.

This is the second straight year SEFCU is donating to FeedMore WNY based on the number of points the Bills score during their playoff run. SEFCU has donated a combined $35,000 to fight hunger in Western New York thanks to Buffalo’s continued postseason success.

News From Averill Park CSD

Congratulations to the varsity boys bowling team for winning the Suburban Council Gray Division championship! This is the first league title that the team has won since 2000, when they competed in the Colonial Council.

The District has put together a new Community Engagement Team with participants from throughout the school community. The goal of the team is to create proactive, collaborative communication between the District and the community. Thank you to all who joined the team and participated in its first meeting in mid-January!

The Averill Park High School Robotics Club competed in a state qualifier at West Genesee CSD. One of the AP teams won the event and will be moving on to the state competition in March. The Club will compete in one more state qualifier in February in Queensbury. Great job everyone and good luck!

As always, for the latest news from the District, please visit our website – averillpark.k12.ny.us. You can also follow AP on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Submitted by Dr. James Franchini, Averill Park CSD Superintendent

Mission: Meeting the needs of and creating opportunities for every student every day. #AP_EveryStudentEveryDay

Troy resident Jessica Lee Cruz named Airman of the Year by the New York Air National Guard

New York Air National Guard Staff Sgt. Jessica Lee Cruz, a Troy resident, has been named Airman of the Year for the 5,900- member New York Air National Guard.

Cruz is assigned to the 109th Airlift Wing, based at Stratton Air National Guard Base in Scotia. She is an air transportation specialist in the wing’s 109th Logistics Readiness Squadron.

Cruz was chosen for the honor by a board which evaluated candidates from the New York Air National Guard’s five flying wings and its Eastern Air Defense Sector selected for their performance in 2021.

The award recognizes Airmen who exhibit outstanding leadership abilities, job performance, and personal achievement during the competition year.

As an air transportation specialist, Cruz is responsible for processing passengers and baggage aboard all Department of Defense and civilian owned military aircraft in accordance with all applicable Air Force rules and regulations.

She has served in the New York Air National Guard since 2017.

During 2021, Cruz volunteered for a deployment to Ali Al Salem Airbase, Kuwait where she built pallets and checked in more than 27 tons of cargo. Additionally, Cruz deployed to Greenland to provide support for the National Science Foundation, where she moved over 141,000 tons of cargo and processed 133 passengers for 33 missions.

Cruz also volunteered to be part of Operation Allies Welcome, a mission to provide services to Afghan’s evacuated by the United States prior to the Taliban takeover of that country. She deployed to Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst in support of that mission.

She is currently serving on the New York National Guard’s COVID-19 response mission.

“It does feel good to be recognized. As a guardsmen, you spend a lot of time away from your family and from your home-life and to be recognized for those things feels great,” Cruz said.

“Staff Sgt. Cruz emulates the Air Force core value of service before self with her continual willingness to step up whenever the need arises,” said Chief Master Sgt. Mark Mann, her supervisor in the logistics readiness squadron.

“Staff Sgt. Cruz is an asset to the Air Transportation career field, the Air National Guard and the United States Air Force. She is a natural born leader, and has a great career ahead of her. All of us within the squadron are extremely proud of her and her accomplishments,” Mann added.

As the New York Air Guard’s Airman of the Year, Cruz will compete against Airmen from the other 53 states and territories to be the best in the entire 101,000-member Air National Guard.

In civilian life, Cruz is a Rensselaer County corrections officer. She resides in Troy with her daughter.

Small World Registration – Nursery School Registration

Small World Nursery School, 566 Brunswick Road, Troy is offering Nursery School Classes in September, 2022 for 2,3 and 4 year old children.

We are practicing social distancing along with following CDC and NYS Health Guidelines.

Small World has been in the Brunswick area for 44 years and at it’s current location since 1999.

Our classes are aimed at preparing your little ones with socialization skills and readiness for kindergarten.

Registration will begin February 7 for fall classes. For information Small World can be reached at (518) 279-0085 or at sm.world566@nullgmail.com.

Youth Climate Activists Fighting for Change

Troy Climate Action, a local youth environmental organization with over 20 members, recently celebrated its first anniversary. 

The group was started by Averill Park High School junior and climate activist Isabelle Relyea. Troy Climate Action has been advocating for change and educating the public all around the local area. Members come from a range of schools, including Averill Park High School, LaSalle Institute, Albany Academy, Troy High School, Poestenkill Elementary School, and Garner Dickenson. 

They have done numerous trash clean-ups, a series of climate protests at the Troy Farmers Market, postering campaigns, attended climate demonstrations, volunteered at local gardens, volunteered with the City of Troy on a recycling drive, and so much more in the past year. They just reached 500 Instagram followers, where they share all of their events and over 80 infographics that educate the public on various environmental issues. 

Troy Climate Action intends to have an even greater local impact in 2022. Events are being planned for this spring, and they will require your help. All are welcome to join. The more people actively striving to make New York a more environmentally friendly state, the better. Visit @troyclimateaction on Instagram or search https://sites.google.com/view/troyclimateaction

Community Caregivers Presents Lunchtime Chats

CAPITAL DISTRICT – Simply call (518) 992-6661 or you can contact us and we will set it up for us to dial you! February 2022 – Friday, February 4th Topic: Hiking and Outdoor Fun in New York; Tuesday, February 8th Topic: Healthy Eating and Wellness Speaker – Lester Rosenzweig; Friday, February 11th Topic: Valentine’s Day Party; Tuesday, February 15th Topic: Travel to Alaska; Friday, February 18th Topic: Little Known Facts about Presidents and their Wives; Tuesday, February 22nd Topic: What is it like to be a Medical Student? Speaker: Meghan Goodard and Andrew Cyr, Medical Students; Friday, February 25th Topic: The Lives and Music of the Rat Pack – Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., Dean Martin, and Friends. Community Caregivers Office: (518) 456-2898, Chat Number (518) 992-6661. All are Welcome! Our Lunch Time Chat program is open to all. Each call has an interesting program that includes an opportunity to discuss the topic. Chats are most Tuesdays and Fridays, always at 1:00 P.M. Simply dial-in to hear about a variety of interesting topics! It’s Free and easy to join! Community Caregivers is a non-profit agency supported by community donations, and grants from the Albany County Department for Aging, the NYS Department of Health and Office for the Aging & The U.S. Administration on Aging.

Transfiguration Parish Book Nook is Open!

The Transfiguration Parish Book Nook on Hillview Drive in Speigletown is open on Saturday morning, February 5, from 9:00 am until noon with many new arrivals! The February half-priced specials are on authors Nora Roberts and John Sandford. 

The children and young adult books, the historical novels, religious and biographies/autobiographies are all 6/$1. There is a great selection of LARGE PRINT books as well as self-help and cookbooks. Come check us out and see the new donations. Books in good condition may be donated during church office business hours. PLEASE do not leave books outside the church doors. 

Thank you for your continued support. See you at the Book Nook!

Souper Bowl at Stephentown Federated Church

We celebrate the NFL’s Super Bowl with our own “Souper Bowl” on Sunday, February 13th at our service at 9:30am with Pastor Chris Garrison. Bring the groceries and monies you would like to donate to the Stephentown Emergency Food Pantry which we house at our church. The church is handicapped accessible. Mask required. The church is located at 1513 Garfield Road, Stephentown, NY 518-733-5813

4/29-5/1/2022 – Bus Trip to Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard & Boston

Join Hope 7 Community Center for our Spring bus trip fundraiser to Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard & Boston. We will depart from Field & Stream/Dick’s Sporting Goods, Latham Farms, on Friday, April 29th and return on Sunday, May 1st, 2022. 

Stops to include Lemon Tree Village Shops in Brewster, wine tasting at Cape Cod Winery, ferry trip to Vineyard Haven with a 4 hour private tour of Martha’s Vineyard and time to shop and/or explore Hyannis, Provincetown, and Boston. 

Cost per person (based on room occupancy) – Double: $530/person, Triple:$510/person, or Quad $490/person. 

This cost includes the bus, hotel, driver’s tip, wine tasting, breakfast each morning, lunch on Friday, ferry to MV, tour of MV, boxed lunch during MV tour and dinner Saturday. 

Proceeds from this trip to benefit Hope 7 Community Center’s Food Pantry.

Limited spaces are available. For more information or to reserve your space, please contact Michelle at 518-590-6781 or mhouser35@nullaol.com.

East Greenbush CSD Opens Kindergarten Registration for 2022-23

EAST GREENBUSH – The East Greenbush Central School District is now enrolling kindergarten students for the 2022-23 school year. To be eligible for kindergarten in September 2022, your child must turn five years old by December 1, 2022.

Kindergarten registration packets are being mailed to all eligible families in the district database. If your child is not currently in the district database, please call the school your child will attend to have the registration packet mailed to you. If you are not sure which school they will attend, call the Registrar’s office at 518-207-2062. The packet will provide you with a list of all the documents you need to bring as well as all the forms you need to fill out prior to registration.

Visit egcsd.org/registration for more information.

Free Tax Help is Available and Can Help You Get Your Refund Faster

The IRS is experiencing massive backlogs because of the Covid-19 pandemic. It may take 9-12 months for your return to be processed and to receive your refund if you physically mail your return to the IRS. However, you can generally expect to receive your refund in three to four weeks if you electronically file the return. 

You can electronically file your 2021 return starting Monday, January 24, 2022. 

The IRS’s “Free File” Program may be able to help. Free File partners will e-file your return for free. This year, you can e-file with Free File if your adjusted gross income is $73,000 or less. Links to these free tax preparation and e-filing services are available at www.irs.gov/freefile 

Free tax assistance is also available in many communities. The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program and Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) Program provide free tax preparation and e-filing services. Locations can be found at www.irs.gov/vita or from your local United Way. The AARP Tax Aide Program also provides free tax preparation. VITA, TCE, and Tax Aide each have different eligibility requirements. 

If you qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), you also qualify for free tax help by IRS-trained volunteers. You may qualify for the EITC even if you’re single and have no children. EITC eligibility can be complicated. Check if you qualify at www.irs.gov/eitcassistant 

In addition to e-filing, you will usually receive your refund faster if you ask for the payment to be directly deposited into your bank account. 

If you have questions about e-filing, refunds or other income tax issues, the Legal Aid Society of Northeastern New York’s Low-Income Taxpayer Clinic (LITC) may be able to help. The Clinic’s services are free of charge. You can call the LASNNY Legal Line at (833) 628-0087 and ask for our LITC. The Clinic does not generally provide tax preparation services.

Do You Have An Hour a Week to Spare to Help Someone in Our Rensselaer County Community? Community Caregivers Could Use You! 

RENSSELAER COUNTY – We need drivers to take folks to appointments, or to the grocery store. We also need help checking in on isolated people in our community by making weekly phone calls or visits. Our clients and volunteers must be fully vaccinated to participate. Our volunteer orientation is online several times a month. Please call Heidi Buono, Service Coordinator for Rensselaer County at (518)366-9173, heidi@nullcommunitycaregivers.org, or Meredith Osta, Volunteer Coordinator, at (518)456-2898,meredith@nullcommunitycaregivers.org. Information on, and donations to, our programs can be seen at communitycaregivers.org.

Seeking Tax Assistance Volunteers

CAPITAL DISTRICT – TaxAide, the free income tax assistance program sponsored by the AARP Foundation and the IRS, is seeking volunteers for the coming tax season.   TaxAide volunteers answer questions, prepare and file returns for low to moderate income taxpayers and seniors from February 1 to April 15 at various sites in the Capital District.  

Volunteers typically participate one day per week, with flexible schedules to accommodate volunteer availability. No experience is required, but computer experience is helpful for tax counseling.  Volunteers who do not wish to prepare returns are also needed to greet taxpayers and confirm appointments. Training is provided for all positions. Volunteers may be reimbursed for a moderate level of necessary travel expenses. 

For more information on how you can join our team in Saratoga, Warren and Washington counties contact Communications Coordinator [your name], [your phone number or] at [your email address]. For further information, visit www.nytaxaide.org 

Youth Scholarships at Dyken Pond Environmental Education Center

 Grafton – A gift of time spent in nature can benefit a child for years to come.  The Friends of Dyken Pond are proud to announce that scholarships are available to youth and schools for 2022.  Rensselaer County schools can apply to the Friends of Dyken Pond for field trip scholarships for a day of STEAM exploration at the Dyken Pond Environmental Education Center, covering costs of bus transportation and field trip fees.  For summertime, the Friends of Dyken Pond will sponsor youth aged 11 – 17 to attend a DEC summer youth overnight camp. Youth may apply by contacting the Center for an application. Deadline for DEC camp scholarships is February 15.  Registration opens on March 6, 2022. For more information on this opportunity, please visit: https://www.dec.ny.gov/education/29.html.  Beginning March 1, youth ages 6 – 13 can also apply for a scholarship to attend our own Dyken Pond Center’s Outdoor Adventure Camp. This week-long day camp runs from mid-July through mid-August and provides age appropriate activities in ecology, wildlife and outdoor living skills. Games, hikes and hands on discoveries will give campers a lifetime full of memories. Scholarship applications, camp schedules and details can be found at www.dykenpond.org or by contacting the Center at (518) 658-2055 or dykenpond@nullgmail.com.  Funds for scholarships are provided in part by McCarthy Charities and Stewart’s Holiday Match.

Albany-Tula Alliance Seeks Entries for 2022 Multimedia Contest

CAPITAL DISTRICT – The Albany-Tula Alliance is seeking Capital Region students from high school to first-year college to enter a multimedia contest on the importance of discerning fact from fiction.

For the past quarter-century, the Albany-Tula Alliance has been a cooperative sister city initiative between New York’s Capital Region and the Tula Region in Russia. Through the years there have been many cultural, educational, scientific and business exchanges between the two. Even though government relations remain strained the friends of the Alliance continue to work together as citizen diplomats.

The annual Essay Contest is asking students to submit a creative response to the prompt: “How can you form an unbiased opinion of another culture without being able to travel there?” Students can submit their responses in dozens of different forms from a poem to podcast, from a sculpture to a collage, from an essay to a song or video.

The deadline for registration and essay submission is Friday, February 28, 2022. The participant of the winning essay will win $1,000, second prize is $750, and third prize is $500.

For complete rules and detailed information on the Albany-Tula Alliance Essay Contest visit www.albanytula.org/contest.

Glass Lake Men’s Golf League

RENSSELAER COUNTY – Attention all golfers. The Glass Lake Men’s League at Burden Lake Country Club is looking for new members. Open to the public and members of Burden Lake Country Club. The league plays Tuesday nights from mid-April to mid-September, with tee times from 3:00-4:00pm. The league will also have two tournaments. The first being at a local golf course and the second at Burden Lake Country Club. All skill levels are welcome. For more information on dues and how to become a member, contact Kean Toomey at kean.toomey@nullgmail.com

Poestenkill Area Food Insecurity

POESTENKILL – Any greater Poestenkill area residents currently experiencing temporary or long term food insecurity can turn to The Bread of Life Food Pantry at the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Poestenkill for supplemental food assistance. We provide basic nutritional foods and related items the first and third Thursday of each month from 4:30 to 6:30 PM in a very discreet, nonjudgmental manner. We offer drive-thru service where each guest receives a product list to form your order, we then fill your order and bring the completed order back to your vehicle. Delivery service to Poestenkill Seniors unable to visit our Pantry is also available. Please try us, we are here to help. Our phone number is: 518-283-6045 to leave a message. Thank you.

Hope 7 Food Pantry

TROY – The Hope 7 Food Pantry located at 520 Pawling Avenue, Troy NY serves the East Side of Troy, Wynantskill and Northgreenbush.

Pantry Hours: Mon-Fri – 9:30am-11:45am; Thursday – 5pm-7pm. Last Saturday of each month 9:30am-11:45am

What to bring: Proof of residence (Troy’s East Side, North Greenbush, or Wynantskill) – (utility bill to your address in your name). ID’s for each person residing in household.

Johnsonville Thrift Shop

JOHNSONVILLE – The Johnsonville Methodist Church Thrift Shop, located at 22 Bridge St., Johnsonville, NY 12094, is open 9-12 every Wednesday and the first Saturday of each month. Closed on holidays. Look for our sign at the corner of Route 67 and Route 111. We have a great selection of adult and children’s clothing, boots, shoes, coats, purses, special occasion and career clothing, jewelry, toys, linens, household and decorative items. Our well-organized book room has over 1,000 books available.

The Anchor Food Pantry 

SCHODACK – The Anchor Food Pantry  in an attempt to keep the residents of the Town Of Schodack apprised during these Covid 19 times has an update regarding hours  of operation and procedures. The Pantry is open on the following days for servicing clientele and the general public.

Monday Evenings-5pm-7pm, Tuesday and Thursdays -9am-2pm, and the first saturday of each month 10am-1pm. We ask to call ahead at 518-732-4120 for food calls so staff can prepare order for delivery to your vehicle.

The Anchor food Pantry would like to inform the public and clientele of following guidelines that as set forth by governing bodies.

All clientele will be required to show proof of income example( Pay stub, retirement  statement, social security or unemployment benefits) proof of residency, and verification for those residing in the household . The Anchor asks that those using the pantry for food benefits abide by these policies so that the pantry can obtain necessary funding and donations to aid all those needing its services and goodwill in these pandemic and uncertain economic times.

Donations are currently being accepted clothing wise for fall /early winter apparel preferably during business hours. As always we thank  the citizens of Schodack for their present, past, and future support of aiding those in need during these seemingly never ending difficult economic times.

Looking for ways to help The Anchor Food Pantry. Just a suggestion: 

 Return your recyclable cans and bottles to The 6  Cent Redemption Center 550 South Street-Rensselaer  – Rt9J.

Just inform the staff you are donating to the Anchor  Food Pantry account and account will be credited automatically.

10 Tips for ‘Nonviolent Communication’ (1)

To maintain supportive relationships and reduce stress at home, workplace and the community.

Let me remember that myself and all the other persons (2) have the same needs (3).

Let me reflect every day on how compassionate I am, towards myself and other persons. 

Let me check my intention to see if I am as interested in the other person getting her or his needs met, as I am, in mine.

When I am unable to fulfil a person’s request (4), let me say what need of mine is preventing me, instead of saying “I can’t do it.”.

When I am feeling (5) upset, let me think about what need of mine is not being met and what I can do to meet it, instead of blaming other persons or myself.

Before agreeing or disagreeing with the other person, let me tune into what she or he is feeling and needing at the moment.

Before asking a person to do something, let me decide whether I want to request or demand (6).

Let me say what I want the other person ‘to do’, instead of saying what I don’t want.

Instead of vaguely saying to a person “I want you to be responsible/kind etc.”, let me clearly spell out ‘what I want her or him to do’ to be such a person.  

When a person does something, I like, instead of appreciating the action or the person, let me offer my gratitude (7) by saying what need of mine was met by that person’s action.

(1) Nonviolent communication (NVC), also called ‘Compassionate communication’ is our natural state of being according to Marshall Rosenberg who developed it in 1960’s. Multiple videos on NVC can be viewed on youtube by searching for “Introduction to nonviolent communication” including the quotes.

(2) A ‘Person’, includes a boss, cashier, child, coworker, convict, customer, doctor, infant, in-law, janitor, judge, own self, partner, parent, patient, police, president, priest, relative, student, teacher, etc. 

(3) Needs: Basic human needs are: Autonomy, Connection, Honesty, Meaning, Peace, Physical wellbeing and Play.

(4) Request: A request is action specific, doable, positive, time specific and doesn’t put the other person under any pressure. The other person is more likely to fulfil a request with pleasure than a demand. 

(5) Feelings: Pleasant feeling arises when a person’s needs are met: Affectionate, Confident, Excited, Exhilarated, Graceful, Hopeful, Inspired, Joyful, Peaceful, Refreshed, etc.

Unpleasant feeling arises when a person’s needs are not met: Afraid, Annoyed, Aversion, Confused, Embarrassed, Fatigued, Pain, Sad, Tense, Vulnerable etc. 

(6) Demand: A demand focusses on own needs without concern for the other person’s needs and deprives them of choice. A demand is likely to discourage a potential helper or they may help with a grudge, resulting in a negative relationship.

(7) Gratitude: The primary purpose of expressing gratitude is to celebrate the awesome power we have, to help each other fulfill our needs thus making life better for everyone. The secondary purpose is to let them know that they have enriched our life. Gratitude infuses energy and motivation to make each other’s lives more wonderful. 

When we regret not following NVC, we can get remotivated by Marshall Rosenberg’s quote: “Anything worth doing is worth doing poorly. We don’t aim at perfection. We try to be progressively less stupid!”. 

(Adapted from  https://www.cnvc.org/trainings/articles/10-steps-peace)

For FREE, anonymous, 24/7 help, you can contact the national ‘Domestic Violence Hotline’ at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233), TEXT ‘START’ to 88788 or CHAT at https://www.thehotline.org/.

FREE Helplines 24/7

ALCOHOLISM, DRUG ABUSE AND PROBLEM GAMBLING 877.846.7369 or Text 467369. Visit https://oasas.ny.gov/

CHILD ABUSE is when a person does serious physical injury, creates a substantial risk of serious physical injury or engages in sex with a child in their care and when a caregiver allows someone else to abuse the child in their care in a similar manner. 518. 474.8740. Visit https://ocfs.ny.gov/programs/cps/ 

CRISIS FOR FOOD, HEALTH, HOUSING, HUMAN TRAFFICKING, EMPLOYMENT AND TRANSPORTATION: For non-emergency help for paying your bills or to help someone, get the most up-to-date information by calling United Way 3 digit number -211. Visit https://www.211.org/

DOMESTIC ABUSE of an intimate partner is ‘ridiculing, humiliating, putdowns, isolating, manipulating, ordering, intimidating, threatening, beating, sexual coercion and controlling money’. The abused person, family member or friend can anonymously call one or more of these agencies: Equinox 518.432.7865; Unity House 518.272.2370; YWCA NENY 518.374.3386; Wellspring 518.584.8188; National Domestic Violence Hotline 800.799.7233. Visit https://www.thehotline.org/

HELPING YOUNG PEOPLE WITH RELATIONSHIPS: Dating, personal safety and supporting others. 866.331.9474 or Text ‘LOVEIS’ to 22522. Visit https://www.loveisrespect.com

HUMAN TRAFFICKING: Human trafficking crime occurs when a trafficker uses fraud or coercion against a person to solicit labor or engage in commercial sex acts. If the person engaged in commercial sex is under 18 years, it is a crime even when force, fraud, or coercion is not used. 888.373.7888 or Text 233733. Visit  https://humantraffickinghotline.org/

SEXUAL ASSAULT: Eight out of 10 sexual assaults are committed by someone who knows the victim. Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network 800-656.4673; Albany County sexual assault hotline 518.447.7716. Visit  https://www.rainn.org/

SUICIDE PREVENTION LIFELINE offers confidential crisis and prevention resources for people in distress and their loved ones. 800.273.8255. Visit https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/

What’s the Big Deal with Sports Betting?

CAPITAL DISTRICT – Mobile Sports Betting was legalized in New York State last year, and the regulators have been approved to launch as early as this weekend, Saturday January 8, 2022. Access and availability to gambling outlets continue to increase across New York State. For many, gambling is a form of entertainment and causes little to no harm. But there is another side to gambling that often is not discussed.

Problem gambling and gambling disorder affect upwards of 8 million Americans every year (National Council on Problem Gambling). While most who choose to gamble are able to do it responsibly, it is important to understand the risks associated. When there is an increase in access and availability to something, the risk of developing a problem also increases. The New York Council on Problem Gambling (NYCPG) simply defines problem gambling as anytime gambling causes problems in your life. Problem gambling can cause personal, family, relationship, and/or career issues. These can include arguments over money and time spent gambling with loved ones, missing deadlines and being distracted at work, or feeling depressed or anxious because of one’s gambling.

With the launch of mobile sports betting, bettors will have access to wager 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. There are endless amounts of bets that can be made in a 24-hour period, expanding from simply betting on the outcome of a game to also include in-game bets, point-spreads, the over/under, parlay bets, futures, and many more (The Game Day).

Recent research has estimated that 6-9% of young people and young adults experience problems related to gambling — a higher rate than among adults (National Center for Responsible Gaming). A concern with mobile sports betting and the technology utilized is that it engages a younger generation of bettors, including individuals who may have never gambled before or at traditional venues for gambling. The potentially endless access to gambling in the palm of a young person’s hand could quickly escalate to be problematic for them and their loved ones.

Unlike substance use disorder, the warning signs of problem gambling and gambling disorder do not always present themselves in a physical way. It is often referred to as the hidden addiction. Warning signs include:

• Gambling to escape or avoid worries, frustrations, or disappointments

• Neglecting other responsibilities to concentrate on gambling activities

• Increasing amounts of money bet in an effort to win back losses

• Gambling with money needed for necessary expenses, such as groceries, bills, or medication

• Borrowing or relying on others to get out of debt

• Feeling desperate, depressed, or having suicidal ideations because of gambling

There is help available for anyone impacted by problem gambling. Problem Gambling Resource Centers (PGRCs) are located in every county and borough across New York State. PGRCs are designed to provide information and access to support to anyone seeking help as a result of problematic gambling. This includes help for the individual betting, for their loved ones who are impacted, as well as community partners seeking to provide support.

For more information on your local PGRC, please visit https://nyproblemgamblinghelp.org/

Poestenkill “Bread of Life” Food Pantry 

POESTENKILL – We are open two times each month on the 1st and 3rd Thursdays beginning at 4:30 pm and ending at 6:30 pm. Bring proof of your current residence and grocery bags for your food request.

Starting in November 2021, we will now greet our guests inside the Evangelical Lutheran Church, 772 Route 351, Poestenkill, side entrance.

Please wear a mask and check the extra’s tables. Two guests at a time, fill out food selection forms while waiting in your car. We will continue to practice social distancing and safety for our volunteers and guests.

Delivery service to Poestenkill Seniors unable to visit our pantry is available. Call and leave your name and number at (518) 283-6045.

Our newest program offers infant and baby items (food, diapers and wipes) for those who reside in the Poestenkill area. Pre-orders only by a phone message at (518) 428-0124, a private Facebook message, or email: breadoflifepoestenkill@nullgmail.com. We do not currently stock these items in our pantry as selections are very individualized. 

Newly Diagnosed with Parkinson’s? Consider Attending PD SELF – Parkinson’s Self-Efficacy Learning Forum

CAPITAL DISTRICT – A national program being offered in Albany. The program provides people newly diagnosed with Parkinson’s with an in-depth understanding of the disease and the tools to manage it with confidence.  There is no cost to attend.  Registration is required.  Space is limited. Care partners are encouraged to attend.

This year the program, starting in September, has been adapted  to be fully online. Find out more at www.cdparkinsons.org/pd-self

St. Jude the Apostle Knights of Columbus Bottle & Can Donations

WYNANTSKILL – Help Support Local Charities – St. Jude the Apostle Knights of Columbus has teamed up with 6 Center Redemption located at 461 Main Avenue in Wynantskill to accept bottle and can donations that have a NYS deposit.

This is to support local charities and those in need.

• Bring your clean, NYS deposit empties to 6 Center Redemption in Wynantskill.

• Say they are to support the St. Jude the Apostle Knights of Columbus.

• They do the rest, that’s it!

• Thank you for your support!

Team “Knocking Out Alzheimer’s” Bottle Drive, The Fundraising Continues …

WYNANTSKILL/RENSSELAER – Team “Knocking out Alzheimer’s” is partnering with the  Alzheimer’s Association. Return your bottles and cans and help the Northeastern New York Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association. Through an arrangement with: Six-Center Redemption 

Two Locations: 461 Main Ave Wynantskill (Corner of Sharpe and Main Ave) & 550 South Street Rensselaer.

No need to count the cans or bottles, no waiting or standing in lines to feed your cans or bottles into a machine.

The Alzheimer’s Association will receive six cents for every container you donate to the cause. Simply drop off your containers and say: “These are for the Alzheimer’s Association.”

The mission of the Alzheimer’s Association is to eliminate Alzheimer’s disease through the advancement of research; to provide and enhance care and support for all affected; and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health. The first survivor of Alzheimer’s is out there, but we won’t get there without you.  Join the fight with your bottles & cans! Check us out on face book  – Knocking out Alzheimer’s

Hudson-Mohawk Search & Rescue is Looking for Volunteers to Join our Team

CAPITAL DISTRICT – If you enjoy being outdoors in the wilderness, working with others to help people, follow directions well and have a willingness to learn, then our SAR team might be for you! Prior knowledge is helpful, but definitely not required as we provide the training. Check out our website at: www.humsar.org for more information.

Search and Rescue Volunteers Needed

CAPITAL DISTRICT – the Tri-State Emergency Team is recruiting volunteers to provide wildland and underwater searches within a 100 mile radius of Waterrford, NY.  This includes all aspects of field and underwater search.  The Tri-State Emergency Team responds when requested by NYS Forest Rangers and other police agencies throughout New York State, Western Vermont and Massachusetts.   We are looking for certified scuba divers, experienced boat handlers, and people who enjoy hiking and the outdoors in general who wish to help people in need.   The team will provide training and complete support as needed.  Our headquarters is located in Waterford.  Applicants need not live in Waterford to volunteer. If interested, please call 518-237-6744 or visit our website at www.tri-stateemergencyteam.org

New York State Commission for the Blind 

CAPITAL DISTRICT – The New York State Commission for the Blind (NYSCB) provides free vocational rehabilitation and other services to legally blind New York State residents, including children, adults, and older adults.  NYSCB assists participants in   achieving economic self-sufficiency and full integration into society.  Call toll-free (866) 871-3000 or visit our website:  visionloss.ny.gov

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