POTSDAM — Christmas may be months away, but the Potsdam Holiday Fund is using the time now to build up its endowment fund, allowing the program to continue to grow.
The permanent fund, which is managed by the Northern New York Community Foundation, continues to generate interest income for the program.
And, as an added boost, in 2023 the Northern New York Community Foundation will match all new gifts to the Potsdam Holiday Fund Endowment up to $10,000, effectively doubling the donations.
“We are very grateful to the Northern New York Community Foundation for their continued support of our program,” Potsdam Holiday Fund President Traci Giffin said. “Their generosity and that of our donors will enable us to continue to help families in need well into the future. This will help us build a larger endowment that will provide ongoing support for the program.”
The Potsdam Holiday Fund Endowment was established with the Northern New York Community Foundation in 2015.
Potsdam Holiday Fund Board members Nancy and Michael Griffin serve as the co-chairs of the endowment campaign. Mr. and Mrs. Griffin were both founding board members of the Potsdam Holiday Fund Inc. when it was incorporated in 2003. Mrs. Griffin was a co-founder of the fund in 1989.
It is a “forever” fund that provides long-term perpetual support, allowing the Potsdam Holiday Fund to continue making a difference in the lives of area families for years to come.
The endowment principal is invested, providing the Potsdam Holiday Fund with interest income each year that is available to spend on unexpected expenses.
If it’s not needed that year, the money can be reinvested in the fund’s principal to grow the endowment.
The Potsdam Holiday Fund, Inc. is an all-volunteer non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that provides new gifts, warm clothing and food to families and senior citizens in need in Potsdam, Madrid, Hopkinton, Nicholville, Brasher Falls, Chase Mills, Fort Jackson, West Stockholm and Winthrop during the December holiday season.
Nearly all of its annual funding is raised through a direct-mail solicitation in October. They are also the primary beneficiary of the Hobble Gobble Prediction Run-Walk and Dr. Jim’s Chemistry Magic Show. Also, local businesses like Lavigne’s IGA of Potsdam sell “Holiday Happiness” tags to support the fund.
Many local businesses also set up “Giving Trees” with tags labeled for children ages 1 to 17. People pick off tags, buy a gift, and put it back under the tree.
In addition, they receive many toys from the Toys for Tots program in St. Lawrence County, and they sometimes buy new gifts or gift cards as needed, especially for older children.
They also provide each family with a voucher for warm clothing for the children and food for the family, and as well as food vouchers to local senior citizens in need.
The fund’s “cost to raise a dollar” is roughly 4 cents, which means that 96 cents of every dollar it raises goes to help those in need.
It has no paid staff or permanent office. Each December it uses the basement of a church in Potsdam to distribute gifts and vouchers to families in need.
To contribute to the endowment, donors can go to potsdamholidayfund.org/endowment to give online or print out a donation form. Or they can mail a check with “Endowment Fund” in the subject line to Potsdam Holiday Fund, P.O. Box 827, Potsdam, N.Y. 13676.
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