Young Professionals Build Charitable Support for Community Initiatives in Three Counties
WATERTOWN — The LEAD Council of the Northern New York Community Foundation will award $6,000 to three holiday programs that impact residents of Jefferson, Lewis, and St. Lawrence counties through its Holiday Giving Fund.
The advisory committee of young professionals created the LEAD Holiday Giving Fund at the Community Foundation this fall to help brighten the season for tri-county residents in need. Between charitable gifts to the fund, and the Council’s match to the community, three nonprofits that manage holiday programs will each receive $2,000 in grant support to bolster their efforts. They include:
- Christmas Crusade for Kids — Led by TUNES 92.5 & 104.5 FM, Watertown, this initiative provides holiday gifts to children and families across Northern New York. More than 900 families received support last year. The effort is a collaboration with Community Action Planning Council of Jefferson County, Watertown Urban Mission, and the Salvation Army of Watertown. The LEAD Council’s contribution is being allocated to CAPC of Jefferson County.
- Christmas Sharing Holiday Assistance — This program of the Lowville Food Pantry distributes gifts, toys, food boxes and more to children, families, and senior citizens 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 bolster the organization’s voucher program this year.
“This was a special way to partner with donors to have an even greater immediate impact in all three counties in ways that are particularly meaningful at this time of year,” said Rande Richardson, Community Foundation executive director. “It is a perfect example of neighbors helping neighbors in the North Country tradition, with a multi-generational approach to giving.”
Tim Sweeney, TUNES 92.5 & 104.5 FM general manager, said support from donors to the LEAD Holiday Giving Fund would enable the “Christmas Crusade for Kids” to extend its giving to another 100 local families.
“The North Country came through in a big way during an extraordinarily challenging year for so many of our neighbors to support the 13th Annual ‘Christmas Crusade for Kids’, which will now bring joy to more than 900 local families,” Mr. Sweeney said. “None of this would happen without the warmth and generosity of many individuals and the leadership of the Community Foundation’s LEAD Council.”
Potsdam Holiday Fund Vice President Nancy Griffin said the LEAD Council’s grant award would go a long way to strengthen efforts in St. Lawrence County to help neighbors in need.
“The Potsdam Holiday Fund is very grateful to the LEAD Council and individual donors who have given so generously to the Holiday Giving Fund. There is always a great need for food and warm clothing in the North Country,” Mrs. Nancy Griffin said. “The need is even greater this year as businesses and individuals continue to face the challenge and impact of the pandemic. We thank the LEAD Council for helping us to help the many families in need during this very challenging time.”
With ongoing challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic, LEAD was compelled to proactively assist in this endeavor by providing additional support to help vulnerable individuals, children, and families through these well-established initiatives.
“We are grateful to all who gave in support of this effort to ensure tri-county adults and children have gifts, good meals, and winter clothing this holiday season,” said Jonathan Cole, LEAD member and mayor of the Village of Antwerp. “Parents should never have to choose between supporting their family and being able to provide food and Christmas gifts to their children.”
The Community Foundation’s LEAD Council is comprised of 27 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.
Council members also worked to collect more than 600 toy and winter clothing donations that were distributed across the tri-county area in time for the Christmas season.
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.