WATERTOWN, NY — The Youth Philanthropy Council (YPC) of the Northern New York Community Foundation recently awarded more than $16,000 in grants to nine area non-profit organizations in support of specific community programs and projects. Each year, the YPC reviews funding requests from agencies in the tri-county area with projects or initiatives that positively impact the quality of life in Jefferson, Lewis or St. Lawrence counties. In addition to researching and recommending grants, the YPC also discusses a variety of topics, including nonprofit sustainability, donor stewardship, community investment and leadership.
The youth council received and reviewed 20 grant requests during the program year and shared their recommendations to the Board of Directors of the Community Foundation. The Foundation has coordinated the program for seven years with councils awarding just over 80 grants to charitable organizations totaling $125,740 in the tri-county area. Youth Philanthropy Council is made possible through the generosity of Watertown Savings Bank, Renzi Foodservice Charitable Foundation, RBC Wealth Management, and annual donors to the Friends of the Community Foundation Community Betterment Fund.
“This is one of the most important programs Community Foundation donors make possible each year. In addition to the good work the grants accomplish, this program has such potential for long-term impact on our young adults and our region. We hope this program inspires future generations to remain engaged, involved and supportive of the communities where they live. The program has been in existence long enough now, that we are already seeing alumni coming back and serving our community,” said Rande S. Richardson, Community Foundation director.
The following Youth Philanthropy Council grants were approved:
Jefferson County SPCA – $5,000: This funding will help replace outdated surgical equipment that will enhance surgical operations for animals at the shelter.
Thousand Islands Emergency Rescue Service – $2,040: This grant will provide support for the organization’s Junior EMS program through 2019. The program gives high school students experiential learning opportunities in the EMS field.
Guitars for Vets – $2,000: This grant will be used to purchase new guitars for graduates of this organization’s Watertown-based chapter. The 10-week program is designed to share the healing power of music with veterans struggling with physical injuries, PTSD and other emotional distress.
Massena Meals on Wheels – $1,800: This grant will be used to upgrade and update kitchen equipment and the entrance to its facility. These updates will improve efficiency for an organization serving approximately 100 home-bound clients each day.
Resolution Center of Jefferson and Lewis Counties, Inc. – $1,600: Funding from this grant will be to purchase new furniture, decor, and supplies to enhance the organization’s conflict resolution rooms.
Move Along, Inc. – $1,500: Grant support will assist with the pilot launch of an adaptive cycling program and other recreational opportunities in Watertown for area residents with disabilities.
The Community Lunch Program for Kids, Norwood – $1,000: This lunch program provides meals to children in need residing in the Norwood, Norfolk and Raymondville communities. The grant will be allocated to support distributions to help feed children during the summer months and outside of regular school days.
Frederic Remington Art Museum – $1,000: This funding will be used to purchase easels and art supplies to expand their hands-on art studio that will allow people of all ages to experience the joy of creating art.
Community Action Planning Council – $1,000: The organization is starting a pilot program to assist parents in need with initial childcare costs. Up-front expenses would be provided for up to fifty families through this program. Grant funding will be directed toward the launch of this program.
This year’s council consists of students from Watertown High School, Immaculate Heart Central School (IHC), and Sackets Harbor Central School. Council representatives are:
Grayden Brunet, Sackets Harbor
Alicia Cloe, Sackets Harbor
Dominic Duah, IHC
Kehinde Fasehun, Watertown
Madeline Gist, Watertown
Caroline McPherson, IHC
Marialena Mouaikel, IHC
Rozanna Pasowicz, Watertown
Hannah Pitcher, Sackets Harbor
Lauryn Quinn, IHC
Ryder Simser, Watertown
The YPC will convene again beginning at the start of the new school year. Additional members from the three schools will join the Council. The following year, a new school in the area will be added.
The Northern New York Community Foundation makes grants to support the work of non-profit organizations and provides scholarships to individuals in Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence Counties. The Foundation has been built and added to from gifts (both while living and through their legacy plans) by individuals and organizations committed to meeting the changing needs of Northern New York, as well as supporting specific charitable interests and passions.