As many have stated, these are challenging times, no less true for FOCUS Greater Syracuse. I am happy to say, however, that we are alive and functioning, albeit remotely.
A quick summary of much that has happened since late March:
- Our FOCUS Forums have been hold but we are investigating the option to conduct virtual forums and hope to begin to do so in the near future. We have been working with our SU Community Link intern on a final report on the survey we conducted earlier this year on potential topic areas of interest for our forums.
- We are in the initial stages of planning, together with Syracuse University’s Office of Community Engagement and the City of Syracuse, our very popular Citizens Academy to be held this Fall. Citizens Academy is an eight-week program that introduces people from all walks of life to the operations of local government and the people who make it work. More than 400 people have been through the Academy and we look forward to opening the application process again as soon as possible. The specifics on how we will proceed with this program will be ironed out as we learn more about how we reopen Onondaga County and the City of Syracuse.
- The Wisdom Keeper committee has been meeting and is recommending that we hold off our next Wisdom Keeper celebration until the Spring of 2021.
- We are finishing up a few health and age-friendly-related projects that are due to be completed this Spring. Additionally, we continue to seek new projects for which FOCUS is uniquely suited and are submitting applications as appropriate.
From a financial point of view, funds are very limited and there are more unknowns than usual about the potential for sponsorships of our flagship programs.
FOCUS is an independent 501 (c) 3 organization supported by your charitable contributions, grants and sponsorships. Donations can be made using the DONATION link on the homepage or by sending a check to our offices at 201 E. Washington St., Suite 704, Syracuse, NY, 13202.
Rita L. Reicher, PhD