As 2015 draws to a close, I wanted to give your readers/listeners an update on what was accomplished by the United Way of Northern New York in St. Lawrence County in the last 12 months.

In February we brought the national 2-1-1 phone referral number to St. Lawrence County. Like 9-1-1 for emergency calls, 2-1-1 is a referral number for callers seeking help with food, housing, health care, etc. Users can also go to to view services available in the region.

In June we announced grants totaling $70,000 to St. Lawrence County nonprofits, an increase of 32 percent from the year before.

In September, we brought nationally recognized environmental speaker Bob Deans to Clarkson University to speak on how national politics is affecting the debate on climate change.

Also in September, we recognized UPS in Potsdam with the Macsherry Community Spirit Award for its year-round support of the United Way. We also held a United Way-sponsored food drive and provided food to pantries in Star Lake and Gouverneur.

In October, we announced the creation of the United Way-Boys and Girls Club Endowment, which will eventually produce funds for the clubs in Ogdensburg and Massena.

In November, we held an estate planning and guardianship seminar for families with children who are disabled. The session was live-streamed from the Jefferson-Lewis BOCES to the St. Lawrence BOCES in Canton so that providers and parents could attend. We are planning a second session in April for Gouverneur and Massena.

This month we secured a $3,750 grant from Cargill Inc., which has a plant in Gouverneur, and gave it to Lights on the River. The money will provide food to pantries throughout St. Lawrence County.

In 2016 we hope to include St. Lawrence school districts in our campaign. The St. Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce will be partnering with us to assist school districts in distributing campaign information and collect donations.

For more information on our impact in St. Lawrence County, please contact Massena Mayor Tim Currier, Sr. Donna Franklin at Catholic Charities, Ilene Burke at Renewal House, Norma Cary at St. Lawrence CDP and Tom Luckie at the Ogdensburg Boys and Girls Club.

You can read this article here on the Daily Courier-Oberserver.

2015 was an active year for the United Way of Northern New York
15 December 2015