As the north country emerges from New York on PAUSE, one thing that never slowed down was the way the individuals, businesses and nonprofit and governmental organizations mobilized in response to the needs of the people of the region.
Many workers remained on the frontlines so that we were safe and our essentials were there. Not a day goes by without acts of kindness, small and large, known and unknown, as neighbors help neighbors.
We know this is far from over. The needs will continue. As friends, we stand ready. It is who we are.
When history writes the local story of this global crisis, there will be a multitude of examples of philanthropy in its purest form: love of humanity. As challenging as this time has been, the impact has been softened because of the caring and giving spirt that has been the heritage and tradition of the north country for generations.
Many have stepped forward willingly, most without being asked, to lend a hand. It has been powerful to see gifts of all sizes to the Northern New York Community Foundation’s COVID-19 Community Support Fund.
Because of this unique partnership, each gift was effectively doubled and every contribution went twice as far, maximizing the reach and impact of critical needs grants in nearly every corner of Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence counties. I am continually humbled and filled with gratitude.
I was born, raised and educated here. I am bringing up my sons here. As time passes, the collective example we have demonstrated will be retold by our children. It adds another chapter to our history and heritage.
There are many reasons why we choose to spend our lives here. In the end, how we treat others is the most accurate reflection of who we are. Going through these challenging times in a community surrounded by those whose core values are consistent with mine affirms my belief and pride that there is no place I would rather be.
The writer is executive director of the Northern New York Community Foundation.