WATERTOWN — The Youth Philanthropy Council of the Northern New York Community Foundation recently awarded $17,200 in grants to six north country nonprofit organizations that will support a range of community programs and projects.
Each year, the council reviews requests from tri-county nonprofits 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. The Council received 23 funding proposals during the 2020-2021 program year with eight agencies invited to present requests to the full council.
“We continue to see this as one of the most meaningful investments our donors make in the people and places of the region,” said Rande Richardson, Community Foundation executive director, in a statement. “The grants themselves are impactful, but the work done by the Council throughout the year develops leadership skills that last a lifetime.”
The following Youth Philanthropy Council grants were approved:
Save The River — $5,000 to help execute a “Trash River Cleanup” initiative to remove and dispose of trash near the St. Lawrence River and along the mainland and U.S. islands. Up to 250 volunteers are expected to deploy in support of the cleanup effort. This matching grant will allow for associated materials and expanded reach along the St. Lawrence River.
North Star Food Hub — $3,500 to support cooking and nutrition classes in partnership with Cornell Cooperative Extension. The grant award will help provide fresh local produce for up to 325 individuals for 20 weeks after they participate in educational workshops.
Orchestra of Northern New York — $3,458 to partner with Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute to make its Link Up program available for free to students in grades 3 through 5 at all tri-county schools. The year-long project will conclude with a concert in which students will sing and play with the orchestra. Grant support will help compensate professional musicians. This grant award was supplemented with an additional award of $1,542 from the Herring College Fund of the Community Foundation for a total project grant of $5,000.
Adams Free Library — $2,000 to help purchase materials to strengthen library programs while developing new initiatives to expand services for youth and teen residents and transform the library into a bigger focal point for the community, facilitating educational and STEM activities in a fun and friendly atmosphere.
North Country Children’s Museum — $1,800 to help develop a new flight lab interactive exhibit that will allow children to design and test their flying creations using wind power while exploring concepts in engineering, creativity, innovation, collaboration, and critical thinking. Grant funding will help purchase exhibit materials.
Cape Vincent Community Food Pantry — $1,442 to aid in the purchase of critical food and related supplies, including pet food, for those who need essential support. The grant will help buy pet food and six grocery carts to accommodate larger families.
This year’s Council began with 15 representatives from Watertown, Immaculate Heart and South Jefferson high schools. Each council member is in his or her junior or senior class.
The Council reconvenes at the start of the new school year in September with members from Immaculate Heart Central, General Brown, South Jefferson, and Watertown high schools. It will accept 2022 funding proposals in the fall and information about how to apply will be announced at that time.
“It was a long and challenging process but through thoughtful discussion and analysis, the Council selected six nonprofits that benefit our community in their own unique ways,” said Council Co-Chair Blake Edgar, a second-year member and 2021 South Jefferson High School graduate, in a statement. “As a Council, we have grown in immeasurable ways. We have not only learned to be aware of the need in our community but have also learned about the goodness of those in the North Country who look to serve the needs of others. It was truly an honor and privilege to serve on the Youth Philanthropy Council and support these nonprofits that continue to have an amazing impact on our community every day.”