Community and PEACE, Inc. seek solutions to combat the Lead Crisis in Syracuse

Community and PEACE, Inc. seek solutions to combat the Lead Crisis in Syracuse

For the past 6 months, the Central New York Community Foundation has convened participatory budgeting sessions around the lead crisis in the city of Syracuse! At these events, city residents have learned more about the dangers of lead. They have also brainstormed and voted about potential solutions to increase lead screenings and testing. And this Spring, community members will be able to select how best to spend $150,000 to combat lead in our community.

On March 7 from 6:30 to 8:30 PM at Northside Learning Center (501 Park Street, Syracuse), the selection process begins. Community members will view proposal videos, ask questions, and vote upon the proposals.

Incorporating the community-driven solutions offered through the Participatory Budgeting process, PEACE, Inc., Families for Lead Freedom Now, and the Syracuse Community Center Collaborative will train and mobilize residents for community-based campaigns and events. From them, the partnership seeks to increase screenings and testing, public education and awareness, and accountability among policymakers. You can watch the partnership’s video proposal here:

To learn more about this important work and to register for the March 7 event, visit the Central New York Community Foundation website at

2022 Employee of the Year is Teddi Heffernan

2022 Employee of the Year is Teddi Heffernan

Teddi Heffernan has just marked her 32nd anniversary with PEACE, Inc.! For 20 years she was a Kitchen Manager and then Food Production Manager for the Head Start program, and for the past 12 years she has been the Food Production Manager at our kitchen on Pickard Drive in Mattydale, which serves both Head Start and the Senior Nutrition program. This already complex set of responsibilities has become even more complicated in recent years. While food production needs have continuously shifted, and while congregate meal sites for seniors have been making a comeback, Teddi has had to navigate a difficult supply chain to ensure that safe and healthy meals continue to be provided to everyone we have an opportunity to serve.

Thank you, Teddi, for everything you do, and congratulations on being chosen as our Employee of the Year for 2022 !

Phoo: 2022 Employee of the Year Teddi Heffernan, with (L to R) Food Services Director Randy LaManche and Executive Director Carolyn Brown

March 2023 – Employee of the Month: Sage Parkin

March 2023 – Employee of the Month: Sage Parkin

Sage Parkin, RN began working at our Sumner building just after we came out of the pandemic shut-down. At that time, her fresh perspective and 30 years of experience as a Registered Nurse, as well as her skills as a former instructor, were a huge benefit to her co-workers who needed to adjust to all of the new COVID-19 protocols. More recently, Sage has become a Medication Administration Trainer for our Head Start staff, to help us reach our goal of having at least one MAT-trained employee in every one of our classrooms. We also want to recognize her for all of the other ways she always helps out her colleagues, from covering breaks in classrooms to just being there to listen when someone needs support.

Thank you, Nurse Sage, for all you do for us, and congratulations on being named our Employee of the Month for March!

Photo: Employee of the Month Sage Parkin, RN with (L to R) Sumner Supervisor Jeannine Gilona and Executive Director Carolyn Brown.

KeyBank to Offer Free Tax Preparation Services in Syracuse on “Super Refund Saturday,” February 25th

KeyBank to Offer Free Tax Preparation Services in Syracuse on “Super Refund Saturday,” February 25th

KeyBank to partner with local agencies to help eligible families and individuals file for the Earned Income Tax Credit

(SYRACUSE) – February 16, 2023 – On Saturday February 25th, 2023, KeyBank will partner with PEACE, Inc. and the Beachump Branch Library to host its annual Super Refund Saturday event. As part of Key’s commitment to celebrate and honor Black History Month with community service projects and events, KeyBank employees will work alongside volunteers from various organizations to provide free tax preparation services to those who need it most, helping low- to moderate-income individuals and families determine their eligibility for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC).

This Super Refund Saturday event will be held from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Participants should arrive at the KeyBank branch located at 2209 South Salina Street, Syracuse, NY 13205. They will then proceed to the Beachump Branch Library, located across the street at 2111 South Salina Street – Syracuse, NY 13205.

All tax filers are welcome to attend the event and the individual does not have to be a KeyBank customer to participate.

“We are once again excited to work with PEACE, Inc. and the Beachump Branch Library to support our neighbors with free tax preparation services,” said Stephen Fournier, KeyBank Central New York Market President. ”Super Refund Saturday is a signature annual event that is central to KeyBank’s purpose of helping the communities we serve thrive.”

The Earned Income Tax Credit is a benefit for working people with low to moderate income. To qualify, workers and families must meet certain requirements and file a tax return, even if they do not owe any tax or are not required to file. EITC reduces the amount of tax owed and may provide a refund. (Source: IRS)

Each year, thousands of qualifying Americans do not claim the EITC on their federal income tax returns, meaning billions of dollars in much-needed refunds goes unclaimed. Super Refund Saturday is a cost-effective way for tax filers to navigate the potentially confusing tax preparation process and ensure they are getting their full return.

According to the IRS, to qualify for the EITC earned income must be less than:

    • $53,057 ($59,187 if married and filing jointly) with three or more qualifying children
    • $49,399 ($55,529 if married and filing jointly) with two or more qualifying children
    • $43,492 ($49,622 if married and filing jointly) with one or more qualifying children
    • $16,480 ($22,610 if married and filing jointly) with no qualifying children

In addition, income tax return filers need to meet these qualifications for free tax preparation:

    • Total household income less than $60,000
    • Investment income less than $3,500
    • Be a resident of Onondaga County
    • Have income from wages, self-employment, pension or government benefits
    • Do not own rental property
    • Have not declared bankruptcy
    • Have not received military pay
    • If self-employed, do not have employees or inventory, did not deduct your home as an expense and did not have a business loss

Filers should also bring these documents:

    • State-issued photo ID
    • Social Security card (for you, your spouse, and each child and/or dependent)
    • W-2 forms
    • 1099 forms (interest, earnings as an independent contractor)
    • Unemployment forms (if applicable)
    • Proof of childcare payments
    • Other IRS forms as appropriate
    • Last year’s tax return (if available)
    • Bank account and routing number for direct deposit (if applicable)

If filing jointly, please bring all applicable documents for you and your spouse. To file taxes electronically on a married-filing-joint tax return, both spouses must be present to sign the required forms.


KeyBank’s roots trace back nearly 200 years to Albany, New York. Headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, KeyCorp is one of the nation’s largest bank-based financial services companies, with assets of approximately $189.8 billion at December 31, 2022. Key provides deposit, lending, cash management, and investment services to individuals and businesses in 15 states under the name KeyBank National Association through a network of approximately 1,000 branches and approximately 1,300 ATMs. Key also provides a broad range of sophisticated corporate and investment banking products,
such as merger and acquisition advice, public and private debt and equity, syndications and derivatives to middle market companies in selected industries throughout the United States under the KeyBanc Capital Markets trade name. For more information, visit KeyBank | Banking, Credit Cards, Mortgages, and Loans

Matthew Pitts
Regional Communications Manager
716-270-4243 (work)
716-903-8468 (mobile)
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