Women Transcending Boundaries Bringing Women of Faith Together after 9/11

March 14, 2010

A-OK! Weekend 2010

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1st A-OK! WEEKEND SPREADS CARING ACROSS CNY Dancing by new Americans at the closing celebration for A-OK! Weekend.

What a wonderful weekend of kindness and caring, A-OK! Weekend, Acts of Kindness, became Sept 11-12, 2010.  Children helped repair bikes, painted a mural and baked cookies for firefighters.  College students painted, cleaned and carted clothing and materials from one place to another.   Others tried to beautify the creation by cleaning up, planting trees and clearing brush.  Hundreds came out to honor 9/11 by doing acts of kindness and having fun activities at the hubs spread across the city. It was a weekend of support, sweat and smiles!

Nicholas Turner, 4, gets help fixing his sister's bike from volunteer Frank Cetera at the St. Lucy's Roman Catholic Church hub.

Click here for more pictures

Read about it on facebook


Exciting Event at Hendricks Closed the Weekend

More than 100 people came out in the rain to the closing celebration Sunday, Sept 12 at Hendricks Chapel on the SU campus to hear stories of all the good things that happened and to share picnic food.  Entertainment for the event included new Americans singing and dancing and the gospel group, “Five to Life.”

Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner declared Syracuse a “city of compassion,” part of the Campaign of Compassionate Cities and the Syracuse Common Council issued a proclamation of support, as well.

This amazing weekend of caring was coordinated by Women Transcending Boundaries (WTB), a non-profit corporation formed after 9/11 to bring together women of various faiths and cultures. WTB leaders got the idea from the expansive volunteer effort, Big Sunday,  in southern California.

WTB President Gay Montague says we'll do it again next year. Ch. 3's Laura Hand emceed the closing event.

The A-OK! anchors (leaders) and WTB members thank everyone who joined us in the amazing project. Special thanks  goes to the CNY Community Foundation and New Times for their support. Other major contributors include the Gifford Foundation, the Sugarman Law Firm, Wegmans, Bond Schoeneck & King, Liverpool Credit Union, and the Barney II Foundation

To see the project list and maps of where all we did work, click the A-OK! logo at the top right and or click on this Google map.

What fun! Children paint a mural inside one of the buildings at St. Lucy's Roman Catholic Church

The work doesn’t end here.  “Treat every day like it’s this  (Acts of Kindness) day,”  said one of the participants at the closing celebration. Please join with us as we continue to transcend boundaries, and help us make our community a healthier, safer, more inviting, and better place to live!

WISDOM in Detroit Sponsors A-OK! Weekend Too!

After hearing about A-OK! Weekend here, the women’s group WISDOM partnered with interfaith groups across Michigan to stage their own A-OK Weekend.  More than 600 volunteers came out, from metro Detroit and as far away as Northern Michigan.  Dozens were  teenagers. After opening ceremonies they spread out to 11 sites in a four mile radius in Southwest Detroit to mulch and weed, plant flowers, trim bushes, board up decaying buildings, pick up garbage, paint over graffiti, clean up playgrounds for children, and other projects. WISDOM was enthusiastic about the response. And it all started here!

Many Groups Volunteered at Our A-OK! Acts of Kindness Weekend

AOK_logo_Aug_125Nearly 100 organizations participated in  A-OK! Acts of Kindness Weekend on September 11-12, 2010.   Seven hubs were busy with activities all across the area.  See who gave time and made a difference at our SlideShare online site or skim the list below.  Saturday was a glorious day and even Sunday’s drizzle didn’t dim the spectacular weekend of volunteering and connecting across Central New York. Scroll down to review the projects below.


100 Black Men of Syracuseare working with the Syracuse Parks Conservancy to do beautification at city parks. Sign in at Sunnycrest Park.

ACTS Alliance of Communities Transforming Syracuse is promoting a grocery store to provide full-service access to fresh, nutritious, affordable food, as opposed to the corner stores with limited offerings on Syracuse’s low-income South Side.

ALS Walkto raise money for medical research.  Lemoyne College students are volunteering here.

Beaver Lake Nature Center wants to engage city youth to work at the annual Golden Harvest Festival September 11 & 12.  They need volunteers and transportation

Bikes for Peace will hold bike repair clinics, offer bike safety instruction by Bryan Morgan of Dynamic Health and Fitness on Saturday, September 11.  They have trained volunteers but need additional volunteers, especially bicycle mechanics.  Donations of bicycles and bicycle parts can be delivered in advance to Wayne’s and Meltzer’s Bicycle at 2540 Erie Blvd. E., or to Assisi Center on Sunday.  Children are invited to bring their own bikes and learn to repair them.

Books Are Food for Thought will deliver new and gently used books to South Side Church of Christ on Saturday for distribution to children who receive free meals.

Brady Faith Center would like four volunteers to help with simple landscaping around the Center.  It  will provide supervision for the project.

Butternut Community Policing Center will build a game room downstairs, installing supports, walls, doors, heating, electrical work, and carpet.  This will be a recreation area for youth of the North Side with computers, games, craft activities, and birthday parties.  It has enough volunteers

Butternut Style will spruce up Butternut Street around the Butternut Policing Center –clean around trees and plant flowers, repair and repaint signs, paint porches, clean windows, build containers for garbage.  In advance volunteers will go door to door to describe the project, compile a list of needs, and ask businesses and neighbors to donate supplies and volunteer their time.

Center for New Americans– Members of King of Kings Lutheran Church, Liverpool, are volunteering here to help organize the new warehouse: polish silverware and clean other items for a silent auction; wash and sort dishes and other household items; do light construction tasks (spackling, plumbing, etc.); appraise antique items.

CNY Community Foundation will send volunteers to Butternut Style and the Butternut Policing Center.

City of Syracuse employees
City of Syracuse Police Dept. employees
City of Syracuse Fire Department employees
Onondaga County employees
All of the above will enlist volunteers to help.

Community General Hospital will bring health professionals from the hospital to offer blood pressure screenings at Hopps Memorial C.M.E. Church, Saturday, September 11, 10:00 am to 2:00 pm.

Crouse Hospitalwill bring health professionals from the hospital to offer blood pressure screenings at Sunnycrest, 10:00 am to 2:00 pm on Saturday, September 11.

CYO on North Salina Street needs to redo itsgymnasium.  Fifteen foot walls need to be painted and the floors need some degree of resurfacing.  10 to 4 on both Saturday and Sunday.  A supervisor will be provided.

Dunbar Associationwill collect professional attire for particpants with Jobs Plus for interviewing for jobs. Contact is Coretta Washington, 476-4269, corettawashington@dunbarassoc.org

Eastwood Neighborhood Association is providing lunch for the volunteers who will be working at the Eastwood hub on Saturday, 9/11.

Eastwood Parents Networkwill provide children’s activities at the Sunnycrest Hub.  www.eastwoodparents.org

Eastern Farm Workers:  Lemoyne College students will transport clothing (many bags of it) from a home on Euclid Ave to St. John the Baptist, 406 Court Street, then sort and arrange.

Elmcrest Children’s Center, 960 Salt Springs Road: Youth will prepare and serve a dinner for police and fire department personnel who have been so helpful to them in the past.  No volunteers are needed.

Exploring Spirituality – Ralph Singh will tell stories from different faith traditions to children (and the young at heart) at hub sites.

Fair World Market Place,4471 East Genesee Street, will collect food for a food pantry by offering anyone who brings one or more non-perishable items for a food pantry a 10% discount off any one purchase item on Saturday, September 11, 10:00 am to 6:00 pm.

Faith Hope Center – to be announced

The First Tee of Syracuse will provide staff and equipment to coach people on golf.  A few volunteers needed.

Francis House  – to be announced

Gregg Harris Military Hospitality Room to be announced.

Hendricks Chapel at SU will host a celebratory event for the closure of A-OK! Weekend, 5-7,  Sept 12.   Groups of various faiths and cultures will perform. Need volunteers from 4-5 pm to set up and 7-8 pm to clean up.

Home HeadQuarters will be collecting care packages for incoming refugee families and delivering those to Interfaith Works.

Honey Tree Day Care, at Eastwood Baptist Church, 3212 James Street: Lemoyne College students will  paint 5 day care classroom walls and hallway at the Greater East Syracuse Day Care from 10-3 on Saturday. Option to finish up if needed on Sunday. Center will  provide some volunteers, beverages, snacks, materials. They need extra paint brushes.

Housing Visions is hosting a Block Party for the 600 Block of Catherine Street, Saturday, 8 a. to 5 pm.

Huntington Family Centers needs adult volunteers on Saturday to clean out a recently-purchased building near the office on Gifford Street.  They will provide supervision and a dumpster and would appreciate donations of snacks and food.

Imagine Syracuse: Hugs at the Hubs.  To raise awareness of the need for organ donations Imagine Syracuse will set up at St. Lucy’s Church a table with information about organ donations and will offer hugs, tying into the youtube sensation of people offering “Free Hugs”; invite children to make signs announcing free hugs.

Imagine Syracuse: Young Musicians.  They will collect donations of musical instruments at hub sites for the Young Musicians Project, an offshoot of El Sistema; schedule entertainment by local musical groups; invite children to make thank you cards to give donors.  They need musicians, volunteers, tables, posters, markers. see also OnCenter.

Imagining America needs volunteers to set up and clean up for Art-in-Motion Open Hand Theater large-scale street show to be held in the street in Armory Square.  Volunteers needed on Saturday  for set-up from 10-noon and clean up from 3-4:30. (rain location: Plymouth Church, 232 E. Onondaga St.) This project is based on the belief that art can connect and strengthen communities. People in various parts of the city have been creating giant puppets and theatrical scenes reflecting their neighborhood identities.

The Inner Beauty Parlor Teens will make Friendship bracelets…teen (or adult) volunteers needed who know how to make bracelets and all are invited to make a bracelet!  Meet at Huntington Family Center Hub on Saturday from 11-2

InterFaith Works will set up a craft station at each hub site for children to make cards to send to children and families impacted by the oil spill on the Gulf coast, 10:00 am to 2:00 pm Saturday or as determined by the hub chair.  They will provide a volunteer from a faith community to be a table captain at each hub site. Joanne Fabrics will donate supplies.  The created cards will be blessed on October 7 at an Interfaith Prayer Service and the cards will be sent to interfaith agencies on the Gulf coast for distribution.

Interreligious Food Consortium will organize food donations, provide collection bins, and provide some volunteers at hub sites and other locations where food donations are solicited, such as Ophelia’s and Fair World Marketplace.  They need volunteers to accept donations, estimate quantities, and sort for food pantry pick-ups; they will provide food bins and some volunteers.

Islamic Society of CNY will collect non-perishable food for food pantries; clean up the neighborhood; offer free ethnic meals for volunteers and needy people on  Sunday.  They will provide all supplies, food, and volunteers; can provide youth volunteers for other projects.

Jowonio School, 3049 East Genesee St. needs volunteers for three projects from noon to 5pm on Saturday and Sunday:
Construct a children’s labyrinth
Tidy up the school’s outdoor spaces, including Trike Town
Recruit volunteers for respite programs
Also needed: volunteer labor, food (lunches, snacks, drinks), work gloves, shovels, topsoil, turf, bulbs, truck to haul materials beforehand, 2 sturdy benches.

KJ’s Angels Memorial Fund volunteers  will plant daffodils and  remove leaves and debris from the common area in Oakwood Cemetery, Comstock Avenue and Colvin. They need 15 people to assist on  Sunday, 12 to 4.  They also need 100 daffodil bulbs, trash bags, digging tools, bulb planting instructions, trash disposal. T Bring tools for raking and planting bulbs/cleaning out beds.  Meet at Islamic Society (mosque) across the street from cemetery to sign in and share a meal.

King of Kings Lutheran Church, 8278 Oswego Road, Liverpool, will partner with the Center for New Americans on Saturday.

La Casita Cultural Center is planning a big story-telling event. Stories can be told in English, Spanish or through signing or painting. We will have a big canvas at St. Lucy´s (preferably outside) and table where voice and image can be recorded for those who wish to participate. They would like to share this collection of stories for all to see and listen to at a community venue later on in the fall. The project is The Big Draw: What is your story? This will be a collective community story, visual and oral histories.  They will provide volunteers and materials, but additional volunteers and art materials would be appreciated.  11 to 4 at St. Lucy’s.

LaVallee’s Karate, 5612 Business Ave, Cicero, will collect “Wish List” items for the SPCA September 6-12, 4:00 to 9:00 pm, at LaVallee’s USA Black Belt Champions in Cicero.

Liverpool First United Methodist Church will honor first responders with a free lunch Saturday 10 to 2, and Sunday school students twill make cards to thank first responders on Sunday.

Mothers Against Gun Violence will work on a South Side creek cleanup.

Newell Street Garden needs a fence. Supervision and posts and pickets are available.  They need five skilled volunteers to dig holes, mix and pour concrete. They need the concrete and paint and saws.

Nottingham Senior Retirement Center residents will read to children at St. Lucy’s hub.  St. Lucy’s will send performers to both Nottingham and the Heritage at Loretto.

NIA will provide NIA healing aerobic dance instruction at hub sites:
Saturday – St. Lucy ’ s Roman Catholic Church at 1:00 pm;  Sunnycrest Park at 2 p.m.;  Hopps Memorial C.M.E. Church at 3:00 pm
Sunday -Assisi Center at 1 :00 pm

Northside Learning Center, 808 N. McBride, wants volunteers to paint a mural on an outside concrete wall and repair a fence.

Northside Collaboratory will provide arts and crafts for children, music, food, health screenings, sports activities in conjunction with the Assisi Center.

OnCenter will collect musical instruments for Imagine Syracuse: Young Musicians.

The Oaks at Menorah Park 18 Arbor Lane, Dewitt – residents will write letters to military personnel.  They would like a choral group to sing for residents on Sunday.

Onondaga County Executive’s Office will work at the Samaritan Center on Saturday making sandwiches for guests who visit the center that day.

Onondaga County Health Dept. has organized health screenings by medical professionals at hub sites on Saturday and Sunday.

Ophelia’s Place, 407 Tulip Street, Liverpool, will offer a discount on coffee purchase in exchange for donations of non-perishable food for a food pantry on September 11.

Person to Person Citizen Advocacy will organize a Game Day with residents at Loretto, 700 E. Brighton Ave. They need 40 volunteers to play board games (optional to bring your own) and visit with residents of Fahey and Cunningham Rehabilitation Centers and Residences, on Sunday, September 12, 1:30 – 4:30 pm.  Meet in lobby of Cunningham (the taller building).  Due to the variety of nutritional needs, do not bring food.  Snacks will be  provided at 3:30.

Raging Grannies will sing at the St. Lucy’s Hub.

Rahma Clinic, 3100 South Salina Street, will have a grand opening on September 11.  This is a free clinic for people with no insurance.  They will offer health screening, henna painting for children, youth activities, cleanup around the building.  The clinic will be open on  Saturday: 11:00 am – 3:00 pm.

Rapha Community will hold a “Heart-Beat” drumming session at Forman Park., 700 block of E. Genesee St. Anyone with or without a drum, percussion instrument, rain stick, etc., is welcome. (Organized in conjunction with Imagine Syracuse.)  We will let our drums and hearts beat as one on this day of service, sending away fear and despair, calling in kindness and joy. Date and time: Saturday, September 11, 1:00 to 3:00 pm.

Red Hot Mamas – Several of the Mamas will be at St. Lucy’s Church inviting people to write letters and cards of gratitude and encouragement for our members of the military on Saturday, September 11, 10:30 am -12:30 pm.  They will provide volunteers and note cards.

Respite Volunteers Clearinghouse– will staff an information tables at all hubs on Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 11 and 12, 9:00 am – 3:00 pm to recruit community volunteers to offer respite care for local agencies:  Jowonio School,  Person to Person Citizen Advocacy,  Catholic Charities of Onondaga County Respite Programs, Exceptional Family Resources,  Alzheimer’s Association

Say Yes to Education will provide pro bono lawyers at all hubs.

Sheridan Park Association, Eastwood, Nichols and Burnett Avenue (near the Brooklyn Pickle)  will hold a Memorial Service for first responders  “We Remember” at Sheridan Park with a color guard, fire and police department participation, speaker, and opening and closing prayer. Open invitation: Attend, pray, and remember those we have lost. Saturday, September 11, 5:30 pm.

Somali-Bantu Association to be announced.

South Side Interfaith Community Development Center, 500 West Newell Street,  is organizing (in collaboration with other organizations) a cotillion and formal fashion show for teens at a location to be decided. They need ballroom dance instructors, DJ, planners, publicity, refreshments/formal meal; borrowed gowns and tuxedos.

Southern Sudan Initiatives is raising awareness about the need to build a school for women and children in Southern Sudan, where people need drinking water, health care, and education  They will sing and drum at two hubs and at the closing event at Hendricks Chapel to give back to the community.  They are also looking for a community center where the 100 “Lost Boys” of Sudan living in Syracuse can gather, learn, and build community. They need volunteers to hand out information and to help network.

The Spa at 500 and The Art of Massage will provide chair massages for volunteers coming off a project.

Spay/Neuter Assistance Program – will have an information table with literature on spay/neutering; discount coupons from area vets & grooming salons; display cages of kittens for adoption (with application forms)  Renee-Noelle Felice will tell stories about animals and offer a workshop for children to make treats for dogs and cats.  She needs  2 volunteers to help with the information table and workshop on Saturday from 11 to 4 at Assisi Center.

St. Joseph’s Hospital will send professional staff from the hospital to provide blood pressure screenings at the Assisi hub, 10:00 am to 2:00 pm on Saturday.

St. Lucy’s Roman Catholic Church will send performers to both Nottingham Senior Retirement Center and the Heritage at Loretto.

Starfish International – will provide Progressive Muscle Relaxation sessions at times and locations below. They will need up to 21 chairs (depending on the number of participants) and 12 DD batteries.
Saturday:  11am. at Hopps Memorial C.M.E. Church; 12:30 at  Rahma Free Health Clinic and 2 p.m. at  St. Lucy’s Church and Huntington Family Center
Sunday:  11 a.m. at   Assisi Center, 12:30 at   Mary Nelson’s Youth Center, and 2 p.m. at  Sunnycrest Park

Stone Soup Children’s Garden, 410-412 Gifford Street.  This is a collaboration of the West Side Initiative, St. Lucy’s, Brady Faith Center, and Huntington Family Center.  LeMoyne College students have volunteered to dig 14 post holes and erect a fence and an additional three for gardening.  The groups will provide supervision, materials, and youth to paint the fence. They also have a small number of bricks to lay for an edging, and small gardening jobs.

Sunnycrest Parks Association will have volunteers on hand both days at Sunnycrest Park Hub with assistance and to show what needs work and to supply trees to be planted.

Syracuse City Schools to be announced.

Syracuse Parks Conservancy will be giving each Hub 200 bulbs each. Will help with plantings at Eastwood firehouse, Lougan Park and on the west side.

Syracuse Grows will offer tours of community gardens to those who sign up: NORTH SIDE: 207 Isabella Street SOUTH SIDE: 612 W. Newell Ave. & 341 Midland Avenue EAST: 127 Harvard Place (off Westcott Street) WEST SIDE: Lipe Art Park on West Fayette Street.

Syracuse International Film Festival will document the weekend activities with five videographers traveling the city to showcase many of the projects.

Syracuse Jewish Federation and Jewish Community Center will collect, during the week leading up to September 11,  non-perishable food and hygiene items for a food pantry.

Syracuse Parks Conservancy will be giving each Hub two hundred bulbs each, Will help plant them at a fire house, Lougan Park and on the west side.

Syracuse Peace Council will conduct a bike clinic (Bikes for Peace) at St. Lucy’s Church Hub.

Syracuse University is connecting students from a variety of programs to volunteer activities.

Temple Adath Yeshurun, 450 Kimber Road.  Sunday School students will collect baby items (diapers, clothes, wipes, formula, etc.)  for the Mary Nelson Center on September 12. Items will be delivered to the Center. Additional donations of baby items are welcome. The men’s club will paint the Mikvah at the Temple. The Hazak (senior group) will visit residents at Menorah Park. The youth group will collect food for the Interfaith Food Consortium.

Temple Concord will clean up Thornden Park on Sunday from 1:30 to 4 pm.

Triangle Park, Lodi and North Townsend — volunteers needed to plant daffodils and mums.

University United Methodist Church, 1085 East Genesee Street.  Saturday: Children’s craft activities and music on the front steps both at 11 am,  food demonstration from 10am –noon,  and blood pressure screening, HIV testing, free legal advice and credit reviews from 10am -2pm.  In addition to being a hub for other activities, UUMC is partnering with Labors of Love, a group of volunteers doing house repairs throughout the city.  Sunday: a free community breakfast from 9 am -10am.

Upstate University Hospital will provide professional staff from the hospital to offer blood pressure screenings, 10:00 am to 2:00 pm on Saturday at St. Lucy’s Roman Catholic Church Hub.

Vet Farms of Baldwinsville will  develop a vegetable garden involving area veterans in growing food that enhances the health and nutrition for people in need.  They need volunteers, materials, food, and donations of farm equipment (especially a farm tractor).  They will provide veterans willing to work, food, and some materials.

Visions for Change will do a poverty-simulation at (note: new location!),Grace Episcopal Church, 819 Madison St. between Crouse and University Ave. 12:30-3:30 both days, with an orientation at snack at 12:30 and simulation from 1-3, then debriefing from 3-3:30.

Watson Greenhouse will give away house plants at the Assisi Center Hub.

West Side Learning Center, 422 Gifford Street, needs 8 large classrooms and one large hallway painted. Alpha Phi Omega has agreed to do this.

Xi Chapter, Lambda Kappa Mu Sorority, Inc. will volunteer at Hopps Church Hub on Saturday.

The Zen Center, 266 West Seneca Turnpike, needs volunteers to clear the woods/brush around a public art piece  commissioned by the Zen Center and created  by Cayuga-Seneca artist Tom Huff, a resident of the Onondaga Nation. This is the first  in a series called “Art Along the Creek.” (Note: The Gifford Foundation, the Allyn Foundation, and the Alex Nason Foundation are helping fund the sculpture.)  They need the use of trimmers, scythes, several gas-powered weed-eaters, gloves, other tools for clearing and beautifying the land. The Zen Center will provide finger food and drinks; donations of paper cups will be appreciated.  Times are Saturday, Sept. 11, 9-11:30 am and/or  1:30-4:00 pm. SUNY ESF volunteers will remove invasive species along the creek from 11 am to 3 pm.

For information other events, click here.

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