NNY Community Foundation board approves nearly $10,000 in additional community support fund grants to aid local organizations

WATERTOWN, NY — The Northern New York Community Foundation is pleased to announce nearly $10,000 in grant awards to support nonprofit organizations responding to the needs of thousands of north country residents impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Earlier this month, the Foundation’s Board of Directors approved the additional grants from the COVID-19 Community Support Fund, a resource that continues to grow thanks to the generosity of individual donors, families, and corporate and community partners who have generously contributed to extend the effort.

The Community Foundation established the support fund in March with an initial $50,000 in funding to rapidly address challenges across the region as the effects of the global health pandemic deepened. The fund has helped partner agencies and other nonprofit organizations in Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence counties
that work to support essential needs for thousands of our neighbors.

In late March, the Foundation announced initial grant awards totaling $30,000 to strengthen resources for essential needs identified by food pantries, soup kitchens, and school-based backpack programs not presently supported by government funding. Two recent grants awarded from the fund will support first responders, health care workers and retirement community residents.

A $1,000 grant to Gouverneur Central School will be used to help purchase supplies and materials to continue the production of personal protective equipment. Since its local manufacturing effort began, the school has made and distributed 1,175 face shields for adult care facilities and rehab centers, nursing homes, hospitals, rescue squads and home health care aides. Demand for face shields is growing with multiple orders each day.

A portion of the grant funding for this award comes from the A. Eleanor Jackson Fund of the Community Foundation, which is designated to support programs, projects and initiatives that impact the Gouverneur community.

A $600 grant to Ives Hill Retirement Community, Watertown, will help purchase two adult tricycles to provide opportunities for residents to safely exercise while practicing social distancing. The equipment will benefit the well-being of residents during quarantine restrictions.

“Our approach is examining short- and long-term needs in our communities — whether essential or other — and realizing nonprofits will evolve in service and operations in the months ahead,” said Rande Richardson, Community Foundation executive director. “Thanks to the many donors who are helping us in this critical
effort, we will be best positioned to provide impactful charitable support in the most responsive and responsible manner both now and in the future and when other sources of support are not available.”

Additional grants totaling $8,125 to help strengthen food supplies in the region were also awarded. The grant funding during this time of increased demand is essential for food pantries and non-government funded school pantry programs to help those organizations serve additional local residents in need.

The Community Foundation matched grants to the Alexandria Bay Community Food Pantry, the Alexandria Bay United Methodist Church (UMC) Blessings Box, the Redwood Food Pantry, and the Reformed Church of the Thousand Isles through a partnership with the Foundation for Community Betterment — Alexandria Bay Chapter.

Organizations receiving grant awards to build critical food supplies include:
– ACR Health Pantry, Watertown
– Alexandria Bay Community Food Pantry
– Alexandria Bay United Methodist Church (UMC) Blessings Box
– Antwerp Food Pantry
– New Beginnings Food Pantry and Outreach, Madrid
– Ogdensburg City School District Snack Pack Program
– Parishville-Hopkinton Central School Backpack Program
– Redwood Food Pantry
– Reformed Church of the Thousand Isles
– St. John’s Episcopal Church Pantry, Ogdensburg
– Star Lake Area Community Food Pantry
– Tri-Town Food Pantry, North Lawrence
– USO Fort Drum

Nonprofit organizations serving residents in Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence counties that wish to apply for funding from the Community Support Fund should contact Kraig Everard, Community Foundation director of stewardship and programs at 315-782-7110, or kraig@nnycf.org.

In the coming months, the Community Foundation will continue to support emerging needs that surface as a result of the pandemic.

The Community Foundation is responding to funding requests rapidly. This effort helps our region in a manner that complements other steps being undertaken across the nonprofit and government sectors, and it is symbolic of the types of public/private partnerships that will be required moving forward.

Corporate and community partners include the Renzi Foodservice Charitable Foundation, Morgia Wealth Management, Benefit Services Group, the Food Bank of Central New York, RBC Wealth Management, Brookfield Renewable, OBI Land Trust, and the Watertown Evening Rotary Charitable Fund.

Those who wish to join the effort to expand the reach may make gifts to the Northern New York Community Foundation COVID-19 Community Support Fund, 131 Washington St., Watertown, NY 13601, or through a secure online gift at www.nnycf.org. Complete information about the COVID-19 Community Support Fund is available online at www.nnycf.org/home/covid19.

More than 350 community foundations in all 50 states, plus the District of Columbia, have created relief funds to support those affected by COVID-19 — directing critical relief to local nonprofits to help people in their respective communities impacted by the pandemic. To date, these efforts have already mobilized essen- tial support to help those in need in every corner of the country.