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A recent initiative demonstrated the benefit of tapping into the spirit of local charity to confront specific challenges in our community.

The Jefferson-Lewis Board of Realtors partnered with the Northern New York Community Foundation in Watertown to raise about $12,000 for food pantries and school backpack programs in both Jefferson and Lewis counties. Members of the Board of Realtors were challenged to donate to this effort, and the NNYCF committed to matching what was raised up to $5,000. Several real estate agents raised $6,000 in just a few weeks.

“Realtors do more than work with clients and customers to achieve their goals,” Jefferson-Lewis Board of Realtors President Britt Abbey said in a news release, according to a story published Aug. 28 by the Watertown Daily Times. “Realtors are community builders, and they are more than twice as likely as the general public to donate time and resources in the communities they serve. When we launched this challenge, we knew our members would respond well. The fact that we achieved our goal in only four weeks is evidence of the level of caring for community among our Realtor members.”

Those in Jefferson County benefiting from this program are the Alexandria Bay Food Pantry Cape Vincent Food Pantry, Carthage Central School Backpack Program, General Brown Backpack Program, Redwood Food Pantry, Rohde Center in Adams, Sackets Harbor Central School Backpack Program, Salvation Army of Watertown South Jeff Backpack Program and VEM Food Pantry in Carthage. Recipients in Lewis County are the Beaver River Central School Backpack Program, Copenhagen Food Pantry, Croghan Food Pantry, Harrisville Food Pantry, Lowville Food Pantry, New Bremen Food Pantry and Port Leyden Food Pantry.

“We are grateful to the Jefferson-Lewis Board of Realtors and its members for creating a unique and targeted challenge to help several communities,” NNYCF Assistant Director Max M. DelSignore said in a news release, the article reported. “This effort augments the vital work being done by these pantries and schools. It is another clear demonstration of community philanthropy serving as a meaningful force in a time of great need.”

We commend the NNYCF and Jefferson-Lewis Board of Realtors for their philanthropic work. They are terrific role models when it comes to civic engagement. Many families have been adversely affected financially by the novel coronavirus pandemic, and these organizations truly stepped forward to help them out.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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