Young Professionals Aid Community Initiatives in Jefferson, Lewis, and St. Lawrence Counties
WATERTOWN — The Northern New York Community Foundation’s LEAD Council will award $6,000 to three programs that make the holidays special for Jefferson, Lewis, and St. Lawrence County residents through its Holiday Giving Fund.
The advisory committee of young professionals established the LEAD Holiday Giving Fund at the Community Foundation in 2020 to help brighten the season for tri-county residents in need. Between generous gifts to the fund and a matching commitment from the Community Foundation, three nonprofits that manage holiday programs will each receive $2,000 support to strengthen their efforts. They include:
Christmas Crusade for Kids — Led by Tunes 92.5/104.5 FM Intrepid Broadcasting, Watertown, this initiative provides holiday gifts to children and families across Northern New York. The effort is a collaboration with the Community Action Planning Council of Jefferson County, Watertown Urban Mission, the Salvation Army Watertown Corps, Catholic Charities, and Toys for Tots.
Christmas Sharing Holiday Assistance — This program of the Lowville Food Pantry distributes gifts, toys, food boxes, and more to children, families, and seniors in need across Lewis County.
Potsdam Holiday Fund — This nonprofit provides annual support to St. Lawrence County individuals and families in need with gifts, food baskets, and winter clothing. Funding from this matching challenge will strengthen the organization’s voucher program this year.
“The LEAD Council’s work helps support our region broadly and has been a powerful way to extend community engagement and stewardship across the generations,” said Rande Richardson, Community Foundation executive director. “The members of the Council are deeply committed to the betterment of communities broadly across the North Country and each grant touches lives in meaningful ways in the true spirit of the season.”
Tim Sweeney, TUNES 92.5 & 104.5 FM vice president, said support from the LEAD Holiday Giving Fund is the “cherry on top” for the Christmas Crusade for Kids and will extend its giving to dozens more local families.
“North Country residents came through in a special way to support the 15th Annual ‘Christmas Crusade for Kids.’ The gracious generosity of so many will help bring joy to more than 1,000 local families,” Mr. Sweeney said. “We are grateful for the warm-hearted compassion of all who remembered their neighbors this time of year as well as the leadership of the Community Foundation and its LEAD Council. Together, we are NNY.”
As pandemic-related challenges evolve, LEAD members continue to prioritize additional support to help vulnerable individuals, children, and families through these well-established initiatives.
“The Holiday Giving Challenge has become a holiday staple for the LEAD Council. We were lucky to have another successful year of gifts from generous donors that allowed us to award a total of $6,000 to three very deserving organizations,” LEAD Council Chair Andrew Boulter said. “The holiday challenge is just one more way donors enable our support of vital community organizations during the season. Thank you to all who support LEAD and make these challenges a success.”
The Community Foundation’s LEAD Council is comprised of 18 young professionals who live and work in Northern New York. LEAD was created to engage and empower the next generation of community leaders in meaningful and strategic work in collaboration with the Northern New York Community Foundation.
The LEAD Council program and experience is made possible through the generosity of the Hyde-Stone Charitable Foundation of the Northern New York Community Foundation, Carthage Savings and Loan Association, Morgia Wealth Management, and donors to the Friends of the Foundation Annual Community Betterment Fund. Contact Max DelSignore, Community Foundation assistant director, 315-782-7110, or firstname.lastname@example.org, to learn more about how LEAD and its work.
About the Northern New York Community Foundation
Since 1929, the Northern New York Community Foundation has invested in improving and enriching the quality of life for all in communities across Jefferson, Lewis, and St. Lawrence counties.
Through partnerships with businesses and organizations, charitable foundations, and generous families and individual donors, the Community Foundation awards grants and scholarships from an endowment and collection of funds that benefit the region. Its commitment to donors helps individuals achieve their charitable objectives now and for generations to come by preserving and honoring legacies of community philanthropy while inspiring others.
The Community Foundation is a resource for local charitable organizations, donors, professional advisors and nonprofit organizations. It also works to bring people together at its permanent home in the Northern New York Philanthropy Center to discuss challenges our communities face and find creative solutions that strengthen the region and make it a great place to live, work, and play.