NNYCF announces $50,000 support fund for essential needs

WATERTOWN, NY — The Northern New York Community Foundation joins the region and the rest of the world in working to meet unprecedented challenges during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. With care for the residents of Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence counties in mind, the Foundation is taking measures that continue to best serve our community, donors, and other partners.

The Foundation’s Board of Directors has approved a Community Support Fund to help partner agencies and other nonprofit organizations in Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence counties that work to support essential needs for thousands of our neighbors. Currently, that effort will be directed at basic needs.

“At times like this, more than ever, the flexibility of a community foundation to support the region it serves and allocate resources that have been entrusted to them is critical. In the weeks and months ahead, we want to stand ready to do what we can to address those increased needs,” said Rande Richardson.

Community Foundation executive director. “As the situation evolves, it is right to look for ways to be proactive and thoughtful in supporting nonprofits in the tri-county area, particularly those assisting residents impacted most by current conditions.”

Given the Community Foundation’s long-standing annual support of food pantries, soup kitchens and school backpack programs across the tri-county region, the Community Foundation will make up to a total of $50,000 in funding available that can be rapidly deployed to help buffer the impact that may be seen in the coming weeks and months.

The Foundation announces the availability of micro grants for food pantries, soup kitchens and non-governmental funded school pantry programs. In the early stages, our intent is to help many organizations at modest levels rather than a few larger grants.

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.

The Community Foundation is prepared to respond 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.

“We also realize that this will take a collective effort and many partnerships to effectively address the needs of our region. We are hopeful this provides some meaningful relief early in the most responsible way.” Mr. Richardson said.

Some individuals and businesses have already made gifts to support this program. Those who wish to join the effort to expand the reach may make gifts to the Northern New York Community Foundation Community Support Fund, 131 Washington St., Watertown, NY 13601, or through a secure online gift at www.nnycf.org.