WATERTOWN — The LEAD Council of the Northern New York Community Foundation announced support for three 2020 holiday programs that impact Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence counties residents.

The advisory committee of young professionals has created the LEAD Holiday Giving Fund at the Community Foundation and is introducing a $5,000 matching challenge to build charitable support.

LEAD will match each contribution made to the holiday fund, dollar-for-dollar, up to $5,000. The challenge is open now and runs through December. Total gifts received and matched by LEAD will be evenly distributed to the following community initiatives and nonprofit partner organizations:

Christmas Crusade for Kids — Led by Tunes 92.5 FM/Intrepid Broadcasting, Watertown, this initiative provides holiday gifts to children and families across Northern New York. More than 900 families received support last year. The effort is a collaboration with Community Action Planning Council of Jefferson County, Watertown Urban Mission, and the Salvation Army.

Christmas Sharing Holiday Assistance — This program of the Lowville Food Pantry distributes gifts, toys, food boxes and more to children, families and senior citizens 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 bolster the organization’s voucher program this year.

With ongoing challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic, LEAD was compelled to proactively assist in this endeavor by providing additional support to help vulnerable individuals, children and families through these well-established initiatives.

“This year, more than ever, these projects need our support to ensure tri-county adults and children have gifts, good meals, and winter clothing this holiday season,” said Jonathan Cole, LEAD member and mayor of the Village of Antwerp. “With the pandemic, we are seeing high rates of unemployment in our own backyard. No parent should ever have to choose between providing for their families and being able to provide food and Christmas gifts to their children. Gifts to the LEAD Holiday Giving Fund help support three local initiatives that positively impact the lives of thousands of children and families.”

To support LEAD’s effort, make gifts to: Northern New York Community Foundation, 131 Washington Street, Watertown, New York 13601, or online at nnycf.org. Please designate your thoughtful gift to the LEAD Holiday Fund.

The Community Foundation’s LEAD Council is comprised of 27 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 max@nnycf.org, to learn more about LEAD and its work.

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Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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