518.587.9826
10 Franklin Street, Saratoga Springs, NY

Franklin Community Center Blog

Meet our newest team member, Mary Alice

July 25th, 2017

Help us in welcoming Mary Alice Cole as the latest member of the Franklin Team!!

Hello to all from Mary Alice Cole, your newest partner in the food pantry. I’m beyond excited to be a part of Franklin’s caring community as Julie’s Food Pantry Assistant. I love people and food, so there’s no other place I’d rather be! As a mom to 4 adult children & Mimi to 5 grandchildren, “What’s for Dinner” is a daily question. At the end of a tiring day, everyone wants to eat, BUT who’s going to cook? Simple, nutritional, great-tasting recipes that anyone can cook are key in our kitchen.

Community and service has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. As a young student, I volunteered visiting the elderly, which led to working as a nursing assistant during high school.  While my husband and I raised our family, we continued volunteering through Boys & Girls Scouts, our church, school and Regional Food Bank.  While working and assisting families at the Make-A-Wish Foundation and Cornell Cooperative Extension, I was lucky to have worked with the best-dedicated, caring individuals.

Most recently, Franklin came to my attention while working with students in the Saratoga Springs City School District. Project Lift and Holiday Assistance programs piqued my interest on how to get involved. When I realized there was a position for a Food Pantry Assistant, I had to pursue the chance to be a part of the Franklin family.

I look forward to meeting all of you while supporting Julie as the food pantry program…and garden continues to grow.

Welcome Chloe

August 8th, 2016

My name is Chloe Williams and I am excited to be joining Franklin Community Center as the Family Outreach Educator for Dorothy Nolan and Division Street Elementary Schools.  I grew up in Saratoga and volunteered with Project Lift and Franklin Community Center in high school and college.  I have been excited about the work this organization does for many years and am enthusiastic to join the strong team here.  I graduated from Vassar College in 2014 with a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology.  After graduating, I taught at Esperanza Academy, a tuition-free independent middle school for girls in Lawrence, MA through AmeriCorps Social Justice Teaching Fellowship.  My experiences at Esperanza Academy solidified my passions for working with families and children.  I am eager for this opportunity to work with families in our wonderful town.

My Testimony by Anthony

May 16th, 2016

My name is Anthony, I’m 30 years old and I’d like to share my great experience I have had with the Franklin Community Center. I first heard of the Center while researching for emergency food help in Saratoga Springs, I had just moved into town and was desperately looking for work and some type of income only to be met with a serious challenge.  I was really hungry and nobody would give me a opportunity where I could produce food for myself that day, everything was focused around putting me into a program (Food Stamps) to getting jobs that would only pay two weeks later even if I ‘theoretically’ got hired (which there was no guarantee).  So naturally, I was facing a period of time where I was literally starving without anything to fall back on I started feverishly searching Google only to come to some information about the Franklin House, I decided to go there to see if I could get some help, and what I found was pleasantly surprising.

I was greeted by Julie, who is the coordinator of the pantry/ and community center.  She is very kind and also makes you feel welcome, which is refreshing as I don’t really know anyone in the Saratoga Springs area.    They have a garden outside and the community center grows their own veggies and fruits when it’s the season for it.  Inside is where the food pantry is located.   Not only did I get a sufficient amount of food to help me get through my adjustment period, the food is actually good which is quite surprising since I have frequented other pantry’s and they didn’t have a nearly as good selection or even gave you as much.  The Franklin Community Center went above and beyond to make sure that not only I was taken care of food wise, with a plethora of healthy options… they even offered to give me some food for my cat, which really gave me the overall impression that The Franklin Community Center is a great place, with some great people working there.

I would highly recommend this Food Pantry to anyone that needs immediate help and doesn’t know where to go for it.    Thank you so much for helping me and giving me meals to make it through !

Sincerely,

Anthony

I definitely got more than I gave!! By Gina Peca

January 28th, 2016

I definitely got more than I gave!

FCC-Web-Logo

I am now settled in my new old house on Catherine Street in Saratoga and loving it. But I felt that I needed to do something meaningful with my time.  So I started volunteering at the Franklin Community Center.*  (http://www.franklincommunitycenter.org/)  The more I learn about the place, the more I realize that this is the right fit for me.

There is a food pantry, a clothing store, a furniture matching program, Project Lift University for kids in the Saratoga schools and so much more. (They even had Halloween costumes that had been donated – I wish I knew that when my kids had outgrown theirs!)  This agency provides much needed services to individuals and families.  Often when we think of Saratoga, we think of affluence.  But there are many people in need.

Today I worked in the food pantry. Staffed by volunteers, there is a concerted effort to provide people with healthful food and real choices.  People whose food stamps allot them $4 a day for food.  People who need baby formula and diapers and deodorant and shampoo and tampons and sanitary pads and toothpaste and soap.

I saw donations come in from companies like Panera and from individuals. I saw beans and pasta and peanut butter, which is to be expected.  But I also saw chicken and apples and potatoes and beef and onions.

It made me realize that we can do so much. We can purchase extra tuna fish or a package of diapers.  Pick up some shampoo and soap and deodorant.  How about peanut butter and crackers or those tuna packets for the homeless.  You know there are sales and coupons.  What if we picked up a few extra items when we went to the supermarket.  Do you have any idea what a difference we could make?

I left there today feeling humbled and grateful. People from all walks of life can fall on hard times.  And sometimes we need a helping hand.  I want to be that hand.  I want to remember to be grateful for the things I have.  And I want to remember to think of others when I am at the supermarket shopping for my family.  I can certainly pick up shampoo and deodorant.  And if chicken or beef is on sale, I can pick up that too.

Today I gave a few hours of my time. But I got so much more in return.

 

*Donations of Food, Clothing or Household Items
Donations of non-perishable food items for our food pantry can be dropped off at 10 Franklin Street, Monday – Wednesday from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and on Thursday’s from 2:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.  Please use handicapped entrance through fence gate.  Clothing and household items can be dropped off at our Distribution Center, located at 101 Washington Street, on Tuesdays from between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. We must limit clothing donations to two bags of in-season clothing.

From Francine… A Voice In Our Community

January 13th, 2016

We are proud to share Francine D. Grinnell’s story with you…

Writers are often encouraged to write about what they know. As a local freelance multimedia journalist for the past 15 years, I covered local news throughout the Capital District in print, photographs and on video for most of the local news publications. With a reputation as “a one man band”, I had to do it all. I enjoyed every moment; it was the work I love to do, and anticipated the long run I was blessed to have to continue for years to come.

In 2014, I received a letter from the managing editor of a regional news organization informing me that financial constraints necessitated deep cuts to staff and freelance budgets that would impact me directly. Six of my vendors were gone seemingly overnight. I so loved the work, the people I encountered daily that shared their stories with the readers through me and the adrenalin driven pace that I didn’t realize I was one step away from having the rug pulled out from under me. In a very short period of time, I lost the home I loved in Greenfield, two apartments, and my vehicle was repossessed twice in a 6 month period. As I tried to get re-established with work and a roof over my head, an extended period of struggle ensued. If it had not been for the generosity and compassion I experienced directly at community and faith based organizations such as the Franklin Community Center, I cannot imagine how I would have survived without their caring presence.

Shortly before I found myself in dire straits, I had written and photographed a series that appeared in two local newspapers during the Thanksgiving season in which I interviewed guests at SOS, visited local food pantries, and sources of clothing and household goods for those in need. I also videotaped and wrote about a homeless tent community in a local city that exists immediately alongside I-787 North, just past and in sight of an affluent rehabbed downtown shopping district. I have seen first hand that it exists adjacent to our blessed, comfortable communities throughout the region and we must choose to acknowledge the need. 

The theme that kept emerging and that I have experienced directly is that there but for grace go any one of us. I have personally encountered neighbors, managers and co-workers, and people from all demographics that never imagined they would have to approach the Franklin Community Center for food and basic necessities. The volunteers and Food Program Administrator Julie Slovic have been endlessly welcoming and even patient with the special requests of a largely vegetarian diet. I can honestly say at this point that my struggle has been an eye-opening, heart changing experience. I hope anyone reading this will contribute or offer to volunteer at the Franklin Community Center, because they are truly neighbors serving neighbors.

Francine D. Grinnell

Say No More Multimedia Services

fgrinnellg@gmail.com

Happy Thanksgiving

November 25th, 2015

Thankful (adjective):  grateful and appreciative

We found many different definitions of the word “thankful” thanks to our expansive dictionary otherwise known as the world wide web, however, the two simple words above we think are the best…grateful and appreciative.

We can all find many things to be grateful and appreciative for.  Sometimes what we think of is huge and glaringly obvious and other times they can be small and easily overlooked.  Either way everyone has something they can be thankful for.

Take a moment today, tomorrow, every day to look at what you can be thankful for – the list will grow the harder you look.  Happy Thanksgiving from all of us to all of you:)

Meet Suzanne…

November 9th, 2015

We are excited to have Suzanne Carpenter-Franck join our Project Lift team as the Program Coordinator for Caroline Street and Dorothy Nolan Elementary Schools.  Suzanne graduated from the State University of New York at Potsdam with a Bachelor of Arts in Speech Communications. She later graduated from The College of Saint Rose with a Master’s of Science in Education for School Counseling. She has worked in the Human Service field for the past ten years; working herself up at CAPTAIN Youth & Family Services as Lead Case Manager to Shelter Administrator. Suzanne is also an Alumni of Leadership Saratoga, Class of 2014 and is the Vice President of The Board of Trustees for the NYS Military Museum. Suzanne is an active member of the community who strives to donate her time and energy to making a difference.

Suzanne has shown herself to be an asset to the program already and we couldn’t be happier to have her on staff.  The experience and compassion she brings to our program is truly remarkable.

Suzanne

It’s Franklin Footnotes Newsletter Time

September 9th, 2015

We are so happy to bring you the latest edition of our Franklin Footnotes…click here to read more about what is going on behind the blue door!

Tomorrow is what??

July 30th, 2015

How the heck is it August 1st already…where did July go…we aren’t  even sure what happened to June!!!  Well, we better get on-board because August is coming no matter what.

What does August mean to Franklin…it means a very (very) busy food pantry, a much needed school supply collection, getting geared up for Project Lift AND our annual Project Lift University Fundraiser is gearing up!

Want to know how you can help?

Treasure your last day of July and look forward to what August will bring.

FCC and WhenToHelp

July 20th, 2015

Hello everyone, this is Patrick Taylor, the summer intern at Franklin Community Center.  I’m proud to announce that we have begun to use WhenToHelp to better coordinate our volunteers.  WhenToHelp is a volunteer management program that we are using in order to help streamline things on our end.  We are so grateful to have as many wonderful volunteers as we do, and this program helps us to make sure we can make the best use of all of their donated time.  We’ve already entered many of our volunteers into our new database with the program and many of you may have already received sign-in information.  With this program, volunteers will be able to view their schedules and shifts online, set preferences for when they would like to volunteer and  trade shifts with other volunteers.  We hope that this program will make volunteering with us even easier.