With another winter in the rear-view mirror, north country residents are looking forward to the warmth of the coming months.
But those who oversee the Potsdam Holiday Fund don’t have the luxury of ignoring the huge end-of-year season. They’re now reminding residents that the group’s endowment needs donations on a continual basis — even if we don’t want to think about the cold and snow.
Founded in 1989, the Potsdam Holiday Fund has for years “distributed many gifts and new winter garments each year to more than 400 needy children from Potsdam and the surrounding communities. In addition, we have provided food vouchers annually to their families and more than 120 senior citizens in need,” according to information on the group’s website. The fund serves people from Brasher Falls, Chase Mills, Fort Jackson, Hopkinton, Madrid, Nicholville, Potsdam, West Stockholm and Winthrop.
“Every December holiday season is tough for hundreds of families in our community. With your help, the Potsdam Holiday Fund will be there for them as it has been for families in need for [more than] 30 years. Each year, hundreds of families have been able to give their children new gifts along with warm winter boots and jackets and enjoy a hearty holiday meal together thanks to the Potsdam Holiday Fund,” according to the website. “Last year, 2022, the Potsdam Holiday Fund helped 400 children from 160 families that included 260 adults. In addition, 120 senior citizens in need received food through our program. Thus, a total of 780 individuals were helped by the Potsdam Holiday Fund last year. We are excited that our program will once again be in-person this year for Santa’s Workshop, which will distribute gifts and give vouchers for warm winter clothing to families who qualify for assistance. For the food portion of our program, we will give out vouchers that can be redeemed by several local stores. Won’t you join the many generous donors whose contributions make this program possible? We hope that you will choose to give to the Potsdam Holiday Fund this year so that we can continue to help our neighbors in need during the holiday season.”
In 2015, the endowment for the Potsdam Holiday Fund was established at the Northern New York Community Foundation based in Watertown. This generates income for the program through the interest earned by the endowment.
This year, the Northern New York Community Foundation will match all new donations to the Potsdam Holiday Fund Endowment up to $10,000. This increases the value of each contribution.
“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, an article published April 25 by the Watertown Daily Times reported. “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.”
This is another wonderful example of how a modest organization has a huge impact on the lives of members of our communities.
“Nearly all of [the Potsdam Holiday Fund’s] annual funding is raised through a direct-mail solicitation in October,” according to the story. “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.”
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