By ELI ANDERSON TIMES STAFF WRITER FRIDAY, JUNE 12, 2015
The United Way of Northern New York has approved $437,511 in grants to aid nonprofit organizations in the tri-county region. Funding was announced Thursday evening at the United Way’s Leadership Reception, held at the home of Edward J. and Tracy H. Valentine, Watertown.
CEO Robert D. Gorman said the main goal of the grant program is to ensure nonprofits have the resources they need to help the working poor get back on their feet. “It’s a hand up, not a handout,” he said.
This year, a total of 42 nonprofits received grant money from the United Way, 34 of which received increases from last year. Eight applicants were given 100 percent of the amount they requested, including the Watertown/Carthage Family Y; Credo Community Center, Watertown; Watertown Urban Mission; Family Counseling Service of Northern New York, Watertown, Ogdensburg Boys and Girls Club and the St. Lawrence Valley Renewal House, Canton.
The Watertown/Carthage Family Y was awarded $59,000. CEO Peter W. Schmitt said the grant will help to make programs offered at the Y accessible to all members of the community. “It keeps our doors open to everyone,” he said. “We’re very pleased with the continuing support of the United Way.”
Ilene J. Burke, executive director of the St. Lawrence Valley Renewal House, also was pleased her organization received $8,000, the amount for which it applied. “We are very excited to once again receive funding from the United Way of Northern New York, in support of the crucial services Renewal House provides in St. Lawrence County,” she said in an email to the Times.
Renewal House provides services for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault in St. Lawrence County. Ms. Burke said advocates travel across the county to provide services and attend trainings.
“This year, the total amount of funding will be allocated to assist Renewal House with these travel costs,” she said.
Literacy of Northern New York received a $24,000 grant this year. With offices in Watertown, Lowville and Potsdam, the organization provides services to adults who need help with reading, writing or English as a second language.
“We’ve been lucky to get annual United Way funding,” Executive Director M. Cecilia Brock said. “It supports our basic reading, writing and ESL programs.”
Mrs. Brock said United Way grants are particularly useful because they provide needed funds at the beginning of every month.
“It’s a reliable funding source,” she said.
Mr. Gorman said grant funds increased $81,511 from last year. He said generous donations from dozens of employee campaigns played a big part in this year’s success.
“We receive many individual and corporate gifts, but payroll deduction continues to generate most of the money we raise,” he said in a news release. “When businesses, schools and hospitals run United Way campaigns, we see dramatic increases in what we are able to do for the working poor of the region.”
This year, New York Air Brake led the region for employee contributions to the United Way, donating $58,714. Employees from various departments of Samaritan Health Systems were not far behind, contributing $57,983.
The first round of grants, which are distributed monthly, will begin Aug. 1.
A list of nonprofit organizations receiving grants from the United Way of Northern New York, followed by the amount awarded:
• Watertown/Carthage Family Y, $59,000
• Salvation Army Watertown, $33,000
• Volunteer Transportation Center, $28,000
• Credo Community Center, $25,000
• Literacy of Northern New York, $24,000
• Children’s Home of Jefferson County/SoZo Teen Center, $21,000
• Watertown Urban Mission, $21,000
• Meals on Wheels, $18,511
• Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), $15,500
• Family Counseling Service of Northern New York, $15,000
• Catholic Charities, $14,000
• American Red Cross, $13,700
• Pivot Prevention and Health Services, $7,000
• Habitat for Humanity, $7,000
• Victims Assistance Center of Jefferson County, $6,000
• ACR Health, $5,000
• Wilna-Champion Transportation, $5,000
• Jefferson County Youth Court, $4,500
• New Day Children’s Center, $3,000
• Girl Scouts, $3,000
• Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired of Jefferson County, $3,000
• Salvation Army Empire State, $2,000
• Cornell Cooperative Extension of Jefferson County, $2,000
• Lewis County Opportunities, $9,800
• Mountain View Prevention Services, $9,000
• Volunteer Transportation Center, $6,700
• Double Play Sports Community Center, $2,000
• American Red Cross, $2,000
• Hand in Hand Early Childhood Center, $1,500
• Salvation Army Empire State, $1,000
St. Lawrence County
• Salvation Army Massena, $12,000
• Catholic Charities, $11,500
• St. Lawrence County Community Development Program, $10,900
• St. Lawrence Valley Renewal House, $8,000
• ACR Health, $5,900
• American Red Cross, $5,500
• Ogdensburg Boys and Girls Club, $5,500
• Salvation Army Ogdensburg, $3,500
• Volunteer Transportation Center, $3,000
• Girl Scouts, $2,200
• Salvation Army Empire State, $1,500
• St. Lawrence Senior Citizens, $500