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Monthly Archives: April 2016

Photo Friday: Ascend/Descend

Written by Mary Beth Schwartzwalder  • April 29, 2016


Food $en$e Comes to the Northside

Written by Lexie Kwiek  • April 28, 2016

Lexie2_for webEditor’s Note: Lexie is a proud AmeriCorps VISTA alum with a master’s degree in Communications & New Media Marketing from Southern New Hampshire University. She currently works as the Volunteer & Community Engagement Coordinator for the Syracuse Northeast Community Center and NEHDA. We’ve asked her to write guest posts for us, taking a deeper look into the Northside, its businesses, organizations, and residents. All of her posts can be found under the “Syracuse Northeast Community Center” and the “NEHDA” categories.


This month, the Syracuse Northeast Community Center (SNCC) had their first distribution as a Food $en$e site.

Food $en$e is a program of the Food Bank of Central New York that is designed to help stretch grocery dollars. For $15.50, you can purchase a food package with 4-5 meat items, 4-5 staple items (like pasta, soup, or rice), and 2 fresh produce items. Just some of the items in this month’s package were:  lettuce, pasta, potatoes, sausage, ground chicken, and green beans.

Food Sense SNCC 2

The SNCC Pantry supports nearly 300 people a month, but they are only able provide enough emergency food for three days/nine meals for each individual in the household. The Food $en$e program helps to stretch monthly grocery budgets, and also gives families more meal options when combined with items they received through the pantry.

As the only distribution site on the Northside, it seemed like a perfect fit to add Food $en$e to SNCC’s programming- and the response from the community has been extremely positive. The number of orders for next month has already doubled from the first distribution, and there is still another week for people to sign up! The next order deadline is Friday, May 6th, with a distribution date set for Wednesday, May 18th.

Food Sense 1

This program is available for anyone looking to make their grocery money go further. Both cash and EBT payments are accepted, and there are also monthly specials that can be bought and added to the order.

With the need for nutritious meals in our community so high, SNCC offers many ways for groups and individuals to get involved. Consider hosting a food drive, sponsoring a Food $en$e package, or even spending a few hours volunteering in the pantry. Stop by SNCC at 716 Hawley Ave to learn more about these opportunities, or call the Center at 315.472.6343.

Wine, Food, and Door Prizes at Syracuse Soapworks’ Open House

Written by Mary Beth Schwartzwalder  • April 27, 2016


This Sunday, from 11:00 AM – 4:00 PM Syracuse Soapworks is hosting a Spring Open House, featuring a wine tasting from Vinomania, a jam tasting from Elaine’s Homemade Jam, door prizes, and more. Guests are invited to browse the jewelry, pottery, textiles, photography and other gift items from over 30 local artists and artisans.

Our Partners Are Hiring!

Written by Mary Beth Schwartzwalder  • April 25, 2016

idealist postings

Our partners at Cooperative Federal, Home HeadQuarters, Near West Side Initiative, Northeast Hawley Development Association (NEHDA), and Syracuse Model Neighborhood Facility are all looking for AmeriCorps VISTAs. This new cohort of VISTAs will serve at each organization and partner closely with CenterState CEO‘s Economic Inclusion team. Click below for details:

Cooperative Federal

Home HeadQuarters

Near West Side Initiative


Syracuse Model Neighborhood Facility

In addition, Cooperative Federal is hiring for two other team members: Bookkeeping and Mortgage Servicing Specialist and Financial Education and Asset Building Program Specialist. For full descriptions and directions on how to apply, visit CoopFed.org.

Photo Friday: Entangled

Written by Mary Beth Schwartzwalder  • April 22, 2016


Celebrate Earth Day on the Northside

Written by Liz Wierbinski  • April 20, 2016

Liz2Liz is a graduate of SUNY Albany with a master’s degree in Social Work. She’s currently working with NEHDA and Northside UP as our Community Prosperity AmeriCorps VISTA.

As part of our collaboration with NEHDA, we’ve asked her to write guest posts for us each month as she explores the Northside, its businesses and residents.  All of her posts can be found under the “NEHDA” category. You can learn more about the organization by visiting their website and Facebook

Clean Up Cuse

Earth Day marks the anniversary of an environmental movement that began in 1970. The founder of Earth Day, Gaylord Nelson, a U.S. Senator from Wisconsin, was inspired after witnessing the devastation caused by a massive oil spill in Santa Barbara, California in 1969.

Today, Earth Day has become the largest secular observance in the world and is celebrated by over a billion people each year. It is a day that encourages people to get outside with their friends and neighbors to care for the land they inhabit.

This year, Clean Up ‘Cuse is taking place throughout the City of Syracuse. On the Northside, NEHDA is organizing clean-up efforts in two areas – North Salina Street and the Hawley-Green Neighborhood – on Saturday, April 23. Registration for volunteers will be at 9:30 AM with the clean-up starting at 10:00 AM. Coffee, juice, donuts, and snacks will be provided along with all necessary clean-up materials. Come out and enjoy the warm weather and sunshine while helping to keep the Northside beautiful!

To volunteer for Clean Up ‘Cuse: Northside, contact Liz at liz@nehda.org or (315) 425-1032 ext. 103.

YWCA’s Day of Commitment: Addressing the Barriers to Progress in CNY

Written by Mary Beth Schwartzwalder  • April 18, 2016


When: April 21, 8:30 AM – 11:30 AM (coffee starter at 8:00 AM)

Where: Sky Armory, 351 South Clinton Street

This Thursday, join the YWCA for this year’s Day of Commitment: “A Real Conversation: Addressing the Barriers to progress in CNY.” Speakers include Melanie Littlejohn, Regional Executive Director for Upstate New York Division;  Mark D. Muhammad, Associate Professor of Communication at Onondaga Community College; and Emad Rahim Kotouc, Endowed Chair and Fulbright Scholar at Belleview University.

The event is made up of six workshops along two different tracks: “Delving Deeper: Understanding Inequality in our Region” and “Making Progress: Creating Solutions That Drive Change.” After the workshops, attendees will be given Training Certificates and are invited to attend the luncheon. For a full list of workshops, click here.

Individuals must register for some or all of the event’s components. Reduced prices are available for nonprofit staff and students. To stay up-to-date on the Day of Commitment, like YWCA on Facebook.

YWCA of Syracuse & Onondaga County is dedicated to eliminating racism, empowering women, and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all. 

Photo Friday: Post-frost Exuberance on Salina Street

Written by Mary Beth Schwartzwalder  • April 15, 2016


See “Jeffrey” This Weekend and Support Friends of Dorothy House

Written by Mary Beth Schwartzwalder  • April 13, 2016


Phot credit: Rarely Done/Courtney Lepore

Rarely Done Productions presents “Jeffrey,” a comedy about a man trying to navigate the AIDS epidemic in the 1990s. A review on Syracuse.com commended the writers, actors, and directors for soliciting laughs from the audience and creating a down-to-earth depiction of the “pursuit of love.”

“Paul Rudnick is one of this country’s best-known playwrights, and he is appreciated especially for his comedy. In ‘Jeffrey,’ which Rarely Done Productions opened on Friday, Rudnick succeeded with an especially tough job: to write a play about AIDS that sustains a humorous vein.

The audience’s steady laughter on opening night was a response not only to Rudnick’s skill as a writer, but also to the jubilant, rollicking tone that the actors set under the canny direction of Dan Tursi.”

Read the entire article here. 

Ticket sales from “Jeffrey” benefit Friends of Dorothy House, an initiative on the Northside to support people with AIDS through home-based care, recuperative or hospice care, supportive housing, and emergency assistance. To purchase your tickets for the last two performances this Friday and Saturday, visit Rarely Done Productions’ website.

To learn more about Friends of Dorothy House, follow them on Facebook.

Open Hand’s Circus Camp Celebrates 25 Years!

Written by Mary Beth Schwartzwalder  • April 12, 2016

Open Hand Theater‘s Circus Camp, an opportunity for kids to experience the power of creativity and friendship, turns 25 this summer! The Camp provides “a mixture of creativity, giant puppets, physical activities and performance arts” while developing skills in problem solving, leadership, and teamwork. To get the full Circus Camp experience, watch the video below:

Registration is open for children ages 8-14 to participate in one of three sessions from July to August. Any child who registers before April 15th will qualify for the “early bird special.” If you child is in need of additional support, Open Hand is collaborating with The CNY Chapter of the Autism Society of America to fund special education services during Session II. For more information, including tuition and registration, visit Open Hand’s website.