Young Professionals Boost Community Initiatives in Jefferson, Lewis, and St. Lawrence Counties
WATERTOWN — The Northern New York Community Foundation’s LEAD Council will award $6,738 through its Holiday Giving Fund to three programs that make the holidays special for Jefferson, Lewis, and St. Lawrence County residents.
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 $2,246 in 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.
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.
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.
A portion of the award to the Lowville Christmas Sharing Program will help the food pantry purchase traditional boxes of cereal for families in need, an item that had been in short supply. Council members purchased and distributed more than 200 boxes of cereal last weekend with US Foods also providing a cereal donation curated by LEAD members.
“The year-end holiday initiative has become one of LEAD’s most meaningful and tangible efforts,” said Max DelSignore, Community Foundation assistant director. “This matching opportunity has significant reach and the generosity from donors who participate is an important lift for children and families across
the North Country. The Community Foundation is grateful to have such devoted young professionals represent our mission across the region throughout the year.”
Tim Sweeney, TUNES 92.5/104.5 FM Intrepid Broadcasting vice president, said support from the LEAD Holiday Giving Fund is the “angel atop the tree” for the Christmas Crusade for Kids and will extend its giving to dozens more local families.
“We are grateful for the heartfelt compassion of all who helped their neighbors this holiday season as well as the leadership of the Community Foundation and its LEAD Council,” Mr. Sweeney said. “The generosity of so many will help bring joy to more than 1,000 families. North Country residents came through in a very special way to support the 16th Annual ‘Christmas Crusade for Kids.’”
As essential needs across the region evolve, LEAD members continue to prioritize additional support to help vulnerable individuals, children, and families through these well-established initiatives.
“On behalf of the LEAD Council, thank you to our communities and partners for another successful Holiday Giving Challenge,” Council Chair Anna Platz said. “We look forward to this event every year. It’s a unique opportunity to support Christmas Crusade for Kids, the Potsdam Holiday Fund, and the Lowville Christmas Sharing Program that make the holidays much more special for our neighbors in need. The Challenge is truly a complement to the meaningful work these organizations do each day.”
The Community Foundation’s LEAD Council is comprised of 13 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 email@example.com, 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.