WATERTOWN — The Youth Philanthropy Council of the Northern New York Community Foundation recently awarded $19,530 in grants to eight north country nonprofit organizations that will support a wide range of community programs and projects.
Each year, the Council reviews requests from tri-county agencies to fund projects or initiatives that positively impact the quality of life in Jefferson, Lewis or St. Lawrence counties. In addition to researching and recommending grants, Council members visit several nonprofit organizations, learn about grantee stewardship, community investment and leadership, and nonprofit sustainability.
"As interest in this program continues to grow, this remains not only an investment in local organizations, but also an investment in the young adults who will eventually inherit our community," said Rande Richardson, Community Foundation executive director, in a statement. "They learn lessons in leadership that will help position them to make a meaningful difference in the years to come. It is one of the most important things we can do."
The Council received 40 funding proposals — its largest number to date — during the 2019-2020 program year. Eight agencies presented requests to the Council. Youth Council members delivered grant recommendations to the Community Foundation Board of Directors during its July quarterly meeting and the Board unanimously approved the full slate of grant recommendations.
The grants approved are as follows:
Volunteer Transportation Center — $5,000 to help with mileage reimbursement for 10,000 volunteer driver miles. Volunteer drivers provide transportation to those with no other means to medical and dental appointments so they may receive life-supporting treatments such as chemotherapy or renal dialysis and to go grocery shopping.
Sackets Harbor Fire Company — $3,500 to help the Sackets Harbor, Black River, and Town of Watertown volunteer fire departments partner to purchase a forcible entry training prop. Equipment is expected to last 30 years and the grant will fund about 30 percent of its cost with the remainder equally divided between participating departments.
ACR Health — $2,780 to purchase technology that allows field staff to access electronic records, increase efficiencies, and better connect with clients. The equipment will also allow for new office hours when ACR Health's Canton hub reopens. Items include a portable scanner, signature pad, two laptop computers, docking stations, monitors, and carrying cases.
39 Serenity Place — $2,700 to help the Massena-based substance abuse recovery center host a community education series including presentations about scientific research, available interventions, life skills, and discussions with recovering addicts.
Indian River Lakes Conservancy — $2,500 to help purchase supplies, program and promotional materials, T-shirts, and event signage to support the Conservancy's children's nature camp program at its Baker Woods Preserve in the town of Diana, Lewis County. The camp will benefit children from the Carthage and Fort Drum areas, as well as other communities in Jefferson and Lewis counties.
Power Play Sports Foundation — $1,250 to aid in the development of its "Leveling the Playing Field — Putting Athletes on the Power Play" project, which provides athletic equipment and awards needs-based scholarships that cover program fees for selected candidates throughout the tri-county region. A "Pay it Forward" component also exists to educate and engage recipients in philanthropy.
Community Lunch Program for Kids, Norwood — $1,000 to support its "BACK2School 2020" program that will provide socks, sneakers, underwear and school supplies to children in need. Approximately 225 children will receive $100 in critical supplies.
Trisomy 21 Foundation of NNY — $800 to help fund development of educational packets that are distributed to families who have given birth to or adopted a child with Down syndrome through hospitals and pediatrician's offices. Outreach materials also contain infant therapy items such as texture mitts, foot rattles, a photo frame or album, an infant book and more. The grant will fund 25 packets and materials.
The Council's grant program is made possible through support from Watertown Savings Bank, Renzi Foodservice Charitable Foundation, RBC Wealth Management, and gifts made to the Friends of the Foundation Annual Community Betterment Fund. Since it was chartered in 2010, the Community Foundation's Youth Philanthropy Council has nearly 100 grants totaling $165,870 in support to nonprofit organizations that serve tri-county residents, and nearly 130 students from six different north country high schools have served as Council members.
This year's Council began with 19 representatives from Watertown High School, Immaculate Heart Central High School, Sackets Harbor High School and South Jefferson High School. Each council member is in his or her sophomore, junior, or senior class.
Representatives from each school district are:
Immaculate Heart Central School: Samantha Farone, senior; Tadd Ledoux, junior.
Sackets Harbor Central School: Madison Derouin, senior, Council vice chair
South Jefferson Central School: Katherine Banazek, sophomore; Hailyn Buker, sophomore; Blake Edgar, junior; Maxwell Gray, junior; Logan Hess, junior; Romi LaClair, sophomore; and Sidney Wheeler III, sophomore, Council treasurer/secretary.
Watertown High School: Ella Arnott, sophomore; Lucas Barney, junior; Anmolika Bolla, sophomore; Isabelle Boyce, junior, Council communications chair; Katherine DeLaGarza, senior, Council chair; Philip Marra III, junior; and Dakota Sloat, junior.
The Council reconvenes at the start of the new school year in September with members from Immaculate Heart Central, South Jefferson and Watertown high schools. It will accept 2021 funding proposals in the fall. Information about how to apply will be announced at that time.
Article sourced from NNY360.