Community Outreach

Reaching out with the Outreach Team is fun and rewarding! We are dedicated to the kids and their families in the North Syracuse School District. Some things that we do are---monthly meals at CanTeen and in Mattydale, school supply collection and coat drives, sponsor families at Christmas, helping kids and their families as the need arises. We are so much fun that even husbands work on their 'honey do' lists. Join us for the fun too!

Christmas Cards Disposal

Don't you just cringe when you have to throw out those beautiful Christmas cards you received this year.  Well don't because the Community Outreach has a purpose for those cards.  They will use them to make homemade cards for Meals on Wheels recipients next year.  Just drop them in the bag in the hall outside of Fellowship Hall.  Thank you!

Community Outreach Annual Report




It’s been another busy year for our Community Outreach Committee with ongoing projects and a few new endeavors this year.


Mattydale Dinners

Thanks to the leadership of Cindy Manzi from our Church, and Peg Leonard from the Brewerton United Methodist Church, our Free Community Meals in Mattydale continue to be a success.  Held on the last Thursday of each month at the Path of Life Mission Center, our average attendance is 95 people aging from babies to senior citizens.  Some of their favorite meals were our Giannelli sausage sandwiches, baked ham with au graten potatoes, and our summer hot dog/hamburger cook-outs.


Thank you to the congregation for your donations of food and baked goods every month, and for those who have volunteered their time to make this possible.  We are always looking for more people to join our team.  In addition to the satisfaction of serving others, the fellowship and friendship within our group has been a special bonus!



During the school year, Lori Janisch and her group prepare and serve dinner at the Canteen Teen Center the 2nd Tuesday of each month.  The kids have enjoyed mac & cheese, sloppy joe’s, chili, and more.  With more and more one-parent households, varying schedules, and less family time, these home-cooked meals can be a real treat!

Thank you to Lori and her team for their service.  New volunteers are always needed.


Be the Church

Our annual Be the Church event is always a wonderful day of service and fellowship.

This year we again had over 100 people of all ages participate in projects at Church and out in the community.  One of our goals has been to help people think of ways to “Be the Church” all year long, and Sally Baker’s Love’s Laundry project has done just that!

This project serves others by assisting patrons at the Colonial Laundromat in Mattydale with carrying baskets, and providing detergent, dryer sheets and quarters.  Her volunteers have provided this service two additional times since BTC, once just before the beginning of school, and another time in early December.  Thank you!


School Supplies

Thanks again to our generous congregation, we were able to provide bags of school supplies to elementary through high school students in the CNS School District, plus youth from other districts who attended our August Mattydale dinner and giveaway.

As we know, these items can be expensive, and this has been a tremendous help, especially to families with several children.



Coat Giveaway

We were lucky to have a good supply of winter coats, hats and mittens this year due to people thinking ahead and buying items on sale at the end of last season.  We also had many generous donations of new and nearly new coats from members of our congregation. 


This year we had a “roving” coat giveaway, starting at our October Mattydale dinner where many kids, adults and senior citizens happily received warm clothing.  Then, items were packed up and taken to the Windsor Apartments on Bear Road, where more families were given the chance to “shop”.  Next, the coats, hats and mittens/gloves were moved to Casa de Dios, just in time for the snow and cold weather before Thanksgiving.  In the meantime, Kaz and Tari Otabara delivered a good supply of winter clothes/coats to Brown Memorial Church for our friends there.  Thank you to everyone who assisted with this project!


Little Free Library

Our Little Free Library at the Windsor Apartments on Bear Road has been very popular with residents there, as there is no library within walking distance in that area.  We have been lucky to receive donations of books for this project from Church members and local libraries.  The LFL is filled with books for children, youth, teens and adults every other week and people are invited to take a book, read it and bring it back, or keep it.  Thanks again to Lee Mount for designing and building our LFL.  It has now been registered and we are looking forward to a dedication ceremony in the near future.


Meals on Wheels Cards

Members of our Outreach Committee have continued making homemade Easter and Christmas cards for our friends who receive Meals on Wheels, since our last Be the Church Sunday.  We received several thank you phone calls and notes from recipients, and were told by one that this was the only Christmas card they received.  We are touched to hear that such a small gesture can mean so much!


Veterans’ Day Project

Prior to this year’s Veteran’s Day, we again collected candy bars and snack size bags to potato chips to be used as Bingo prizes at the VA Hospital.  These were distributed by our friends in the Ladies Auxiliary of the Mattydale VFW.  Thank you to all who donated items.


New this Year

One of our new endeavors this year has been to provide food bags to local children during the Easter and Christmas school vacations.  These children, who normally receive a free breakfast and lunch at school, might go hungry on these school vacation days.  Our food bags included items for 5-7 breakfasts and lunches to help them through this time.  In addition to Outreach Committee funds, this mission was made possible with help of food donations from the Optimist Club.


None of these projects would be possible without the donations and volunteers from our generous congregation, and the hard work of our Community Outreach Team.  Thank you to Pastor Olga and our members, Louise Dean, Cindy Manzi, Deb Seal, Shirley Jacobson, Pat Michael, Carol White, and a special thank you to Donnie Nugent who does all the “behind the scenes” work, making phone calls, emailing, and submitting information for weekly church bulletins and monthly newsletters.  Thank you all for your assistance!


Respectfully submitted,

Diane Ilacqua, Chair

Adopt A Family


Do you have the means to provide groceries and/or gifts to a local family in need this Christmas season?  Just tell us how big a family you can afford and we'll match you up, provide sizes and suggestions, help with wrapping if needed and arrange delivery.  Some of last year's requests were as simple as socks, underwear and pj's for the kids.  Maybe you have a club, scout group, family members or co-workers who would like to work together on this.  Please contact Diane Ilacqua through the church office to sign up.

Community Meals in Mattydale

In conjunction with the Path of Life Mission Center and the Brewerton United Methodist Church our CUMC Community Outreach Committee coordinates a monthly free community meal at the Salina Civic Center in Mattydale on the last Thursday of every month.  The number of people attending has gone from 40 to 80 with a record being set in August of 100+ people!  Donations of food and volunteers are always needed.  Please call Diane Ilacqua or Cindy Manzi through the church office for more information.

Canteen Teen Center


The Community Outreach Committee provides dinner for CNS students at the Canteen Teen Center on the 2nd Tuesday of each month.  Please contact Lori Janisch or Ann Torrey through the church office if you would like to donate food or help serve.

Building Ramps

Cicero UMC builds handicap access ramps for those who need one.  The ramps are designed to meet Americans with Disabilities Act requirements and there is no charge for labor.  Materials are provided at cost.

Anyone who needs a ramp is encouraged to contact Lee Mount, 315-668-7175 or the church office.  Plans and an estimate of cost will be provided based on a site visit.

Read more: Building Ramps