Young Professionals Build Charitable Support for 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, and the Salvation Army Watertown Corps.
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.
In addition to grant support, LEAD members collected nearly 300 toys to donate and distribute across the tri-county region through CAPC, the Lowville Food Pantry’s Christmas Sharing Program, and the North Country Prenatal/Perinatal Council in Gouverneur.
“The LEAD Council makes an impact in a variety of ways all year, but especially during the holiday season, they have once again stepped forward to put charitable resources right to work in the tri-county area,” said Rande Richardson, Community Foundation executive director. “We know their work matters and will touch the lives of individuals and families to brighten the season for those for whom extra support is critical.”
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.
“North Country residents delivered in a meaningful way to support the 14th Annual ‘Christmas Crusade for Kids.’ The thoughtful generosity of so many will help bring joy to more than 1,000 local families,” Mr. Sweeney said. “We are grateful for the leadership of the LEAD Council and the warm-hearted compassion of many individuals who remembered their neighbors this time of year.”
As pandemic-related challenges continue to evolve, LEAD members prioritized additional support this year to help vulnerable individuals, children, and families through these well-established initiatives.
“This challenge has become a favorite among the LEAD Council and this year was no different. Our members collected nearly 300 toys to help brighten the holidays for children in the tri-county area,” said Erin Simser, LEAD Council chair. “We are grateful to help play an important role in supporting children and families across the region while creating warm Christmas memories for them.”
The Community Foundation’s LEAD Council is comprised of 24 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.