Volunteers at Work

September 28, 2022

Here’s the blog-spot where we show off all of our volunteers. If you haven’t already surmised, we LOVE volunteers, and bragging them up is a lot of fun. If YOU are interested in spending some free time with us, please visit our VOLUNTEER PAGE, where there is a contact form to get you started!


Meet Amanda. 9.27.22

Students working towards certain specific degrees are able to fulfill internship requirements here, and we’re fortunate to have partnerships with our local colleges to make this an opportunity we can offer. Here is Amanda, a student at Siena and helping in Room 7 this fall. Mrs. Jackie is thrilled to have her help!


Welcome Back, Stephen! 9.23.22

Stephen has been volunteering with Crossroads for over 2 years, helping with communications and events. And now we have him back in person to help with even more. Projects and preparing materials for classrooms and therapies are functions that Stephen is great with, and he adds his friendliness and caring to everyone he comes in contact with. We are so appreciative of Stephen’s help!


Welcome, Ivy! 9.15.22

Our third SUNY student volunteer this session is Ivy, and we are glad to have her help in Room 5. She, too, is a senior, and a big help in a busy classroom. Ivy brings experience from a job running an after school program, and her ability to be flexible as well as kind, is appreciated.


Welcome, Ashley! 9.13.22

We welcome Ashley, also a SUNY Albany senior. She is working in Room 7 and Mrs. Jackie is enjoying her sweet and gentle manner with the students. Prior to fall session starting, Ashley was here working on laminating, copying and cutting to help teachers and therapists prepare for the new school year. She is a hard worker with a great way with kids and we are happy to have her with us.

Classroom Helper volunteer with child

Ashley


Welcome, Brianna! 9.12.22

Brianna is a senior at SUNY Albany, who is working with us this fall in Room 5 and in After Care. She is caring, and competent. Mrs. Rebecca is already singing her praises for her help in Room 5, and Ms. Steph, in After Care told of Brianna calming a child’s first-time-away-from-home-jitters, forming a bond that will likely be long-lasting. We also appreciate Brianna for completing a hefty list of preparation projects during the school vacation weeks, helping teachers and speech therapists get ready for the fall session.

SUNY Albany student volunteer with student

Brianna


PIONEER BANK VOLUNTEER DAY – 8.17.22

We were fortunate today to have some delightful volunteers from Pioneer Bank here, celebrating their community volunteer day, “Pioneer’s All Together Forward Day.” Refilling and raking out mulch on our enormous playground, cleaning up leftover leaves around the perimeter, and even offering some IT expertise, were some of the tasks they helped us with, all with smiles and some of the most cheerful people you’ll ever meet. Thanks so much for your volunteering to make our community a better place!

 

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Meet Misha – 8.5.22

We’re overjoyed to have Misha with us this summer as a Classroom Helper in Room 5. He has been coming to school daily to help with the classroom’s activities and lessons, and his teaching team is thrilled to have his extra hands in this busy room.

Here he is chatting with “A” who is enjoying an afternoon snack.

Misha is a Sociology major at Union College, who is from Delaware. He enjoys working with people and getting involved in the community. We’re thankful for that along with his respectful and courteous manner, and kind easy-going nature with the kids.

Thank you, Misha, for spending your time helping our kids. You are making a difference! 

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6.6.2022  Best Wishes to Ella!

Ella has been a Classroom Helper with Room 5 this year, coming in for part of her day once a week. She has been so great with the children, pitching in with anything needing doing, and anyone wanting extra attention and help.

When Ella is here, it’s not like having a volunteer in the room, it’s like having another teacher. She jumps right in, knows what to do to help. We will miss her!

— Rebecca Oliver, Early Education Teacher, Room 5

The class presented her with a kid-painted pot with a plant, and Kelly Young presented her with a certificate of appreciation!


5.15.2022 An amazing team from Mohawk Honda and Mohawk Chevrolet

Today, starting at 10 this morning, team members from Mohawk Honda started arriving, each with a smile and a desire to help. We had set up a day with Kirk Austin several weeks ago, and just last week, he had come with a team of colleagues to assess what we were asking for help with. This being the case, we’d provided a very expansive list and explained that we did not expect for them to  do everything on the list, but to choose amongst the jobs and do what they most felt able to do.

They started off with 3 crews. Inside, 2 people painted hallway walls, covering recent patchwork, and making it look great. One of them remarked, “there’s nothing like a fresh coat of paint,” and that is totally true. At the same time another team of 2 replaced missing ceiling tiles in the gym, cutting the sheets to size and finagling them into place. They later removed the blinds, which have become unsightly and are never used, but drawn up tight for safety. Meanwhile a group of 3 started outside digging out a new space in our butterfly garden, to house the plants planted with the DEC recently, and some donated milk weed plants to lure in some monarchs.

More volunteers arrived, joining the efforts. A wife and some children were also part of the help.

Volunteers soon moved onto the playground, and began the dig for a new sandpit. Sandboxes have repeatedly become battered by so much use, and so this year, we are trying something new: a sandpit. It is simply a large rectangle dug down about 3 inches deep, and lined with tarps, secured with landscape staples, and then poured with sand. We hadn’t purchased nearly enough sand for the job, and Kirk went and bought many more for us! They also brought out the trucks and plows for sand-play. The job turned out beautifully; the kids are going to be thrilled.

The fading paint of the crosswalk has been a concern lately, and today’s volunteers restripesd it. It is wonderfully visible and should prevent people from parking on it. Volunteers also restriped the walking path that we’ve created around the edge of the parking lot; no more faded paint there either!

The mulch in the pavilion area was raked, as well as under the swings where it always gets kicked away. Raking of the front lawn, too, makes it look amazing.

When all was said and done, and the group, now close to 20 people, were lined up for a picture, everyone was hot, sweaty, and smiling widely. What a team!

We are deeply thankful for all of this help and generosity. It is truly kind to spend a Sunday helping us, and tackling the very jobs that we aren’t able to manage.

Now for some pictures!

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5.13.2022 Congratulations to Amira and Emilee!

We are so proud of two of our volunteers! Amira and Emilee are graduating this weekend from SUNY Albany! We have so enjoyed having both young women here with us and are sad to say goodbye, however we are overjoyed for their success and know that each will bring a special skill-set learned at Crossroads to wherever the next stop is.

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5.5.2022 Mohawk Honda is in the House!

We have the best community, do we not? Today two gentlemen from Mohawk Honda prepped our crosswalk and walking path, so that next week they can reapply the paint clearly. What a great job, and so nice to boot!


4.29.22 CAP COM Volunteers at work!

What a day! It was amazing of about 20 volunteers from CAP COM to come over and tackle several outside jobs we needed done. They cleaned up all of our garden areas today, fixed the doors on our bike shed, painted 4 picnic tables, and built an outdoor shelving unit.

The place looks amazing. We are deeply thankful for all of your incredible help, CAP COM!

4.22.22 CAP COM Volunteers at work!

Playground Cleanup & Mulching


4.20.22 Crystal and Francesca 

Members of this year’s Golf Tournament Committee, Crystal Hoey and Francesca O’Connor have been out pounding the pavement for a couple of months, helping to bring in sponsorships and donations of items for this year’s tournament. Today they came in and filled the Breakfasty Bags that we’ll give to the golfers before they hit the course.

The beautiful bags were generously donated by Barbara Pitcher, and the items inside were donated in part by Glenville Hannaford, Glenville Walmart and Rotterdam BJs, as well as our Hole in One Breakfast Sponsors: CAP COM and MVP. Help us thank all of our event sponsors


4.17.22 HAPPY VOLUNTEER APPRECIATION WEEK

Volunteers help in so many ways. From taking care of our garden, to helping in the classrooms, from music-making with the children to keeping our supplies organized, the kindest of people come to help expecting nothing in return. Our board of trustees is a group of volunteers overseeing our finances and ensuring that we are always focused on our mission, giving guidance and encouragement, time, talent and treasure.

We are grateful! Many thanks to each and every one of you.

Not yet engaged? We hope that you will consider joining the volunteer base at Crossroads!


3.17.22 Meet Amira and Emilee!

We’re fortunate to be located centrally to some phenomenal colleges in the Capital District, and can offer great volunteering experiences to students interested in education and the therapies. Here are two gals, both from SUNY Albany, who’ve been helping as Classroom Helpers. Emilee, on the left, is with Room 4; Amira, on the right, is with Room 3. Both are loving their work here and the classroom teams and students love having their help.


3.16.22 Emilee at work!

Emilee is a student at SUNY Albany, and a new volunteer at Crossroads. She has been assisting in Room 4, offering extra hands and enthusiasm to the classroom on the days she is here.

The other day, however, we had a Staff Day, and Emilee had extra time to provide. She spent hours copying and putting together Policy & Procedure Manuals for classrooms and departments. We couldn’t be more grateful. Here she is working, and also shown with Kathy D. our Human Resources Specialist.


12.16.21 Why Do you Volunteer? Devendra Singh

We’re so happy to introduce Devendra! He is a big help and we love having his kind help and positive manner.


7.28.21 Why Do You Volunteer? Crystal Hoey.

When you meet Crystal, you feel like you have known her forever. That’s because her whole personality is as warm and bright as can be. She’s been volunteering at Crossroads for more than a few years now so today we got to ask her why. Here’s what she had to say:

“Number one it’s a lot of fun – volunteering is just plain fun to do. It’s fun to help other people. It’s fun to learn new things. It’s just fun,” she says.

“Second, I think it’s really important to give back to my community. If I can do something to make it easier for someone else – like the staff that works here, that works so hard – it makes me happy to know that I could take a little bit off their plate and make their day just a little bit easier.”

“Third, it’s not about me but it does make me feel good to volunteer. I feel it’s important to do it for the greater good. It makes me feel good but it’s so much more than that part – me feeling good. It’s that I know that I’m helping with something good and positive, something that is important to help bring about. I’m so passionate about children and helping them and those who help them is just really important to me.”

In addition to volunteering at Crossroads, Crystal also volunteers for several other important causes, including the Spina Bifada Association, the Regional Food Bank, and the City Mission. She’s also a member of the Scotia Glenville Kiwanis Club and the Scotia Lions Club.

It was exciting to hear Crystal talk about why she has such a strong drive for volunteering built into her. “My parents volunteered all the time,” she says with a laugh. “So I always got dragged around to volunteer and it just stuck. We all volunteered through church, 4H, the food pantry, Scouts, and just everything.”

“Gradually I got involved in my own volunteering. It was just an expectation in my family and in my community really. One of the things I remember from growing up is singing at nursing homes and how happy it made the residents there.”

When asked about why she likes volunteering at Crossroads so much, she said, “Everyone here is so open and friendly! They’re so generous and kind, and happy for any little thing I do. It makes me know I’m doing good.”

Crystal grew up in Spencer, New York, a very small town. Her graduating class was somewhere around 70 students, she recalls. She started babysitting as a young teenager and had her first job at the local gas station at age 16. “Working was just as much of an expectation in my family as volunteering was,” she says with a smile.

Crystal is an amazing person, and a huge asset wherever she is. We’re blessed to have her spreading her light and love here at Crossroads Center for Children.

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6.8.21 Welcome Back, Volunteers!

We’re so happy to announce that we are able to have volunteers back in the building! Today we welcomed Marjorie inside… she has been working hard on our garden beds making them a delight for the children and staff alike. Marjorie will be helping inside, too, now, with organizing supplies, and helping to keep our library neatly organized.

See below to learn about Marjorie and her amazing help in the garden.

Please reach out if you are interested in volunteering!


10.14.21 Our volunteers are making a difference at Crossroads. See them here at work!

Crossroads is still restricted from having volunteers and visitors in the building. Please keep us in mind for the future if you are interested in lending a hand.


10.14.2020  Why Do You Volunteer? Marjorie Powell.

Meet Marjorie! Marjorie joined us this past summer when it was time for our garden to be worked. We didn’t have our regular volunteers and weren’t even sure if we’d be allowed to open for Summer Session. When she offered to give us a hand with the garden, we were elated. Here’s her story.

I just heard of Crossroads Center for Children from a friend who started as a volunteer and whose granddaughter attended the school. She always told me how important the school was and how wonderful the staff is. Her enthusiasm was contagious! So when the opportunity arose for me to tend to the gardens – of course I said yes!!

While working in the gardens, I was able to observe how the staff interacted with the children. Their kindness and compassion was truly amazing and heartwarming. For these reasons, I am proud to be a volunteer and a small part of the Crossroads family. ~Marjorie Powell

We are so thankful for Marjorie’s help and am glad she’s part of the Crossroads family, too! The children enjoyed the garden through the summer, picking and tasting tomatoes, squash and cucumbers, and helping with watering. Still today, the garden is producing peppers and tomatoes.

Our garden has three beds and a space for shrubs and bushes. The three beds are for: 1) flowers, 2) herbs and 3) vegetables. The space beyond the raised beds currently has lilac shrubs. That is the area our Bender’s Butterfly Science Garden will be placed in the spring.


7.3.2020 We’re thankful to Marjorie Powell for coming to the rescue of our garden this year! She has offered to take care of our students’ raised garden beds and it’s already looking fantastic.

At this time, we are still restricted from having visitors and volunteers in the building, so Marjorie is helping with outdoors tasks until we can bring her inside.


2.3.2020 Our Resident Artist.

Check out the progress Megan has been making with the “Inside Out” wall mural. Her plan for this mural includes adding puzzle piece leaves to the tree around the emotion characters from the movie. We adore Megan and her amazing art!


1.3.2020 Welcome to Theresa!

Theresa is a new volunteer Classroom Helper who has recently joined us from RSVP Colonie Seniors. She will be helping the team in Room 5 weekly, and we’re thrilled to have her with us.


12.5.2019 Multi-talented!

We’ve talked about Crystal so many times on our website and social media, but today it’s important to take a moment to feature her again. Crystal is a Speech Language Pathologist who works in a district elementary school nearby. She is also a mom, and volunteers for many organizations. Think she’s probably super busy? Indeed she is! Yet she still makes the time to come to Crossroads each week and give her hands and heart.

Crystal helps with anything and everything, from making copies of handbooks for new employees, to making P.E.C.S. (Picture Exchange Communication System) pieces for students.

Not only is Crystal super productive and helpful, but she’s a joy to be around. Upbeat and positive, her energy is infectious. Truly, Crystal gives everyone she meets the feeling that they are the most important person in the room.

We’re so thankful to Crystal for all she does here at Crossroads!


11.22.19 Old Friends!

We were so happy to have Cameron and Meghan here today from Johnstown High School to contribute their wonderful community service to our school! These two are old friends of ours – Meghan is a former employee and Cameron an alumni student! Their help with our annual campaign mailing, making PECS, and cutting out pages of our communication channels was an absolute gift! It was thoroughly excellent to have them here, and we’re so thankful for their volunteerism!

 


Folks from LifeSong are here weekly, helping out with a million things. We love them!

Follow LifeSong’s activities here: 


10.22.19 Welcome back, Mrs. Mari!

 

Reading With Mrs. Mari is a favorite activity here at Crossroads, for students and teachers alike. Mari has been volunteering for over 2 years at Crossroads, but has been taking some time for her family lately, and we’ve missed her. When she’s here, classrooms sign up for a slot to go to the library, based on their schedules. Mari reads books, sings songs, shares animals and hands-on materials, and leads a craft, all in a half hour!

Our students need opportunities to listen to different people reading – it’s one of the activities that helps them to want to read too. Students here also need chances to practice transitioning to different places, and going to a class in the library is a perfect match for this, since it is a place they will visit in their next schools and in their own communities all their lives. 

Mari is a retired educator and a grandmother. We’re thrilled to have her as one of our wonderful volunteers!


9.27.10 Meet Megan.

Megan is a mom. She’s a librarian. She’s an artist. She’s kind, energetic, positive and wonderful to be around. She’s a volunteer at many places, including Crossroads.

We’re lucky to have her as a volunteer here.

Megan started with us last spring. When we met to talk about volunteering, we quickly came to the agreement that her art would be a blessing here at the school. She spoke about a vision of adding color and creativity to the walls where the children would be able to see them every day. She’s been doing that ever since.

Megan’s first endeavor was to create a mural in honor of Autism Awareness Month, and by the end of April it was complete.

 

The mural is adored by everyone here, and the title speaks to our mission and makes us all proud.

Next, Megan wanted to give a sense of meaning to one of the fire extinguishers. Knowing that so many children do not grasp the function of a fire extinguisher, she painted around it to give it visual meaning.

When an artist loves a particular animal, that animal always starts to appear in that artist’s work. Megan’s love of horses is something we’re so fortunate she is sharing with us.     

Her latest efforts are to convey the story and characters of the INSIDE OUT movie. We can’t wait to see these pictures come to life on our walls.

 

Megan, all of us at Crossroads thank you for your time and school beautification projects. You and your artistry are wonderful here.


1.23.19 How awesome is it when someone offers an extra set of hands, when they provide needed help?

We think it’s REALLY awesome!

Crystal is a Speech Therapist at a school nearby but wants to help us too. She is amazing, coming in twice each week after her OWN school day to help the teachers and therapists here at Crossroads Center for Children by pitching in with laminating, copies, cutting and pasting and creating materials. She’s a phenomenal help, and we’re so lucky to have her!

Crystal has also helped with our Mulching Days on the playground, as well as donating 12 bags more of mulch and bringing her husband over to apply the mulch the day after, because more was still needed.

Further, Crystal has donated to our program to purchase Learning Without Tears materials for the school year, because she sees how great of a curriculum it is and wants to help us achieve it. She has continually contributed to fundraisers and campaigns held by the school!

She says she loves being a volunteer here. “Everyone is so friendly and happy. It’s great to be able to contribute, and I love what you do here. I love the ABA!”

We’re so glad she’s here to help us, always with a smile and positive words. We love having her here!


Crossroads Center for Children is located at 1136 North Westcott Road, Schenectady, N.Y. 12306. Our mission statement – To prepare individuals with and without developmental disabilities for life success within their family and community – is benefited by involvement from our community. Please consider being a volunteer at Crossroads.

Learn more about volunteering:

Volunteer at Crossroads Center for Children

Join our Team!Learning at Crossroads