The Difference Your Gifts Make
Here, we ask you to take a 315-mile drive through the regions we serve as we present 10 examples of how your gifts improve quality of life in communities across Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence counties. From Lyons Falls to Lowville, Watertown to Deferiet, Clayton to Ogdensburg, Norwood to Potsdam and Canton, and Star Lake to Watertown, your gifts have a broad and lasting impact that is felt near and far. Because of you, we can support programs and organizations dedicated to arts and culture, recreation, history, education, libraries, food pantries, leadership and youth development. Thank you for the honor to make a profound difference in our communities with you.
Click on the legend box to learn how your gifts support essential needs for thousands of our neighbors.
Click on the photos shown on the map to learn how your gifts made a difference in each of the 10 featured communities.
Youth Engagement, Leadership Development, and Next-Generation Philanthropy
A series of Community Foundation programs encourage philanthropy in our future generations. From the earliest of ages, the Community Spirit Youth Giving Challenge gives middle school students a chance to award a grant to a local nonprofit organization. Also, because of you, 18 students from four different high schools — Sackets Harbor, South Jefferson, Watertown and Immaculate Heart Central — serve on the Foundation’s Youth Philanthropy Council, stewarding an annual grant program that awards $20,000 to a wide range of organizations. Your generosity also enables our LEAD Council, comprised of 22 young professionals who live and work in your communities, to take on some of the region’s biggest challenges like pathways out of poverty and access to child care. Your generous annual giving makes each of these important endeavors possible.
A Safer Place to Play
Donors enabled the Foundation to award a $5,000 grant to help build a new playground at Samuel Millich Park on Riverside Drive in the Village of Deferiet. The playground plays an important part in revitalizing the village and will serve families for many years to come.
Support for Music and Education
For the past three years, your gifts have enabled grants of $15,000 to help students of nearly every Jefferson County high school experience jazz through the Clayton Jazz Festival’s Jazz in the Classroom Program. More than 250 young talents have enjoyed the opportunity to learn from professional jazz musicians while also performing alongside them in concert at the Clayton Opera House.
A Walk Through History
In Ogdensburg, a $4,500 grant is helping to deepen the population’s understanding of local history through the use of digital technology that highlights the community’s past. The “Take a Walk Through History” project links smartphone users with a video or podcast by scanning signs next to historical attractions.
Feeding Children During School Breaks
A $1,000 Community Foundation Youth Philanthropy Council grant helped to fund the Community Lunch Program for Kids, providing healthy meals and snacks for nearly 200 children in the Norwood, Norfolk and Raymondville areas during their school breaks last year. The program was able to distribute 8,350 meals to more than 60 families.
Music & Memory
Your gifts enabled a $1,600 Community Foundation Youth Philanthropy Council grant to support the Music & Memory Program at Hospice and Palliative Care of St. Lawrence Valley in Potsdam. The initiative helps patients who live with a dementia-related illness, providing therapy as they listen to familiar and meaningful music. The award helped to purchase equipment, including iPods and music, and train staff and volunteers.
Preserving the Past
Your gifts made possible grants of $35,000 to the St. Lawrence County Historical Association — $10,000 to create a permanent Community Foundation endowment and a $25,000 matching grant for a campaign to help build that endowment. This will help provide an enduring resource to deliver an ongoing, reliable income, while helping to expand educational outreach activities, especially for children. It will also fund new exhibits and programming, sustain operating costs, and create greater awareness of the cultural treasures housed at Canton’s historic Silas Wright House Museum.
Access to Rural Health Care
Residents in rural southeastern St. Lawrence County can continue to access critical care without traveling at least 35 miles to the next closest hospital. Grants to the Wilderness Health Care Foundation/Clifton-Fine Hospital — $20,000 to support a capital improvement project and a $25,000 matching grant to build an endowment at the Community Foundation — will go a long way for this Star Lake organization serving the health care needs in their area.
Growing a Community Asset
Community Foundation gifts enabled a $3,500 grant to Lowville’s Double Play Sports Community Center to support planning for a future building project. This Lewis County nonprofit provides significant access to a range of recreation, wellness and related community programs that serve all ages.
Generous donors like you made possible $10,000 in grants to Lyons Falls Free Library — $5,000 to support a capital improvement project and a $5,000 matching grant to build community support for much-needed upgrades.
Supporting Essential Needs
This icon represents the location of a community food pantry or soup kitchen. In 2018, Community Foundation gifts enabled grants to strengthen programs and stock shelves in community food pantries, thrift stores and soup kitchens at 50 organizations across Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence counties, supporting essential needs for thousands of our neighbors.