CSRC to Host Annual Volunteer Conference

October 31st, 2013 | Categories: Uncategorized

Judy Pedersen

The Center for Social Responsibility and Community at SUNY Oneonta will present its 13th annual Conference on Volunteerism and Social Responsibility on Saturday, Nov. 2. Registration will begin at 9:15 a.m. in the Morris Conference Center on the college’s campus. Admission is free, and community members are invited to attend. Doughnuts and lunch will be provided, and every participant will receive an official conference T-shirt.

Conference attendees will be invited to enter an essay contest on the topic “How Does Helping Others Help You?” The winner will receive a Kindle Fire. Additional details will be announced at the conference.

Designed to inspire participants to make a difference in their communities, the program will open with a keynote address titled “Creating Hope…One Heart at a Time” by licensed social worker Judy Pedersen, founder and executive director of Hearts of Hope.

Based in Cooperstown, N.Y., Hearts of Hope is a community service program that creates and distributes handmade clay hearts with messages of hope to people in need. Since its inception in 2005, more than 39,000 keepsake hearts have been made and delivered to individuals nationwide. This includes patients facing cancer and other life-limiting illnesses, men and women serving in the military, and communities that have experienced tragedy. Each heart is tied with ribbon, accompanied by a hand-written card with a simple message of caring and compassion.

Following Pedersen’s presentation, participants will have the opportunity to attend “funshops” on topics ranging from anger management to flood relief. Topics and presenters include:

• “Release Your Inner Awesomeness!” by Christian Vesterfelt of SUNY Delhi;
• “Fifty Shades of Red” by Cathy Harris of SUNY Delhi;
• “Flying the Plane While You’re Building It!” by Sarah Goodrich of Schoharie Area Long Term Recovery;
• “How DOH Collage Touches Lives!” by Asante Shipp-Hilts of the Department of Health;
• “Helping Hands at Home” by Dawn Synan of the Robynwood Adult Home;
• “St. Jude’s…A Place of Hope” by members of the St. Jude’s Club at SUNY Oneonta;
• “An Experience You Will Never Forget” by Donna Maranzana and Judy Gibson of Pathfinder Village;
• “Students Sacrifice Break as part of SUNY Serves: Sanding on Sand after Sandy” by students from SUNY Delhi and SUNY Oneonta;
• “Everyone a Changemaker: Becoming a Social Entrepreneur” by Matt Whitman of AmeriCorps at SUNY Cortland;
• “Healthy, Happy, or Jeopardy?” by Dr. Julie Dostal of the Leatherstocking Education on Alcoholism/Addictions Foundation (LEAF); and
• “A How-To Guide on Creating Hope” by Joshua Thomas of Hearts of Hope.

The conference is co-sponsored by the Center for Social Responsibility and Community, the O’Connor Center for Community Engagement at SUNY Delhi and the Center for Community Engagement at SUNY Cobleskill. To pre-register or for more information, contact Linda Drake, director of the Center for Social Responsibility and Community, at (607) 436-2098 or csrc@oneonta.edu.