featuring an expose of past and present donors
|Food Bank of Central New
York donates materials for new community garden
With a grant provided by the Food Bank of Central New York,
the New Bremen Food Pantry started a community garden at its Crystal View
location in late spring. The garden grant supplied everything
necessary to create an 8’ x 4’ raised bed garden. By girding off sections,
the garden will provide the New Bremen Food Pantry with fresh cucumbers,
radishes, lettuce, summer and winter squash, tomatoes, bell peppers,
zucchini, carrots, and beets. The garden will be managed by food
pantry volunteers, with the added hope it will be a great way to teach
gardening basis and inspire consumers to eat well.
a partner agency of the
Way of Northern New York.
|United Way supports
critical transportation needs for working families in Lewis County
For the second consecutive year, Opportunities
received an award from the United Way of Northern New York to provide help
to low-income families facing the barrier of unreliable transportation to
maintain their employment. Specifically, the award provides
vehicle repairs, insurance assistance, and other forms of transportation
assistance to qualifying individuals facing transportation barriers to get
to and from work. In 2011, this barrier was removed for seventeen (17)
individuals from throughout Lewis County. With increased funding
provided by the United Way, we anticipate serving approximately thirty-five
(35) individuals in the months ahead.
Shaun Shaw and Ian Widrick are pictured with food items received through a
food drive project they coordinated as part of their Home and Careers
class at Beaver River Central School.
collect food to help struggling families
A big thanks goes out to Shaun Shaw and Ian
Widrick, students at Beaver River Central School, who collected hundreds of
items of food through a recent volunteer project in their Home and
Careers class. As part of the class curriculum, each student was
required to perform some sort of volunteer activity within their community.
Shaun and Ian thought big -- by helping to hold a food drive that would help
struggling families needing a "hand-up" in these tough times. The boys
advertised their project by putting up banners and signs throughout the
school, and also advertised their project in the school announcements to
recruit other students for project. In all, 387 food items were
received, which were then
donated by Shaun and Ian to the
Lewis County Food Pantry Network. Thanks again boys, and
to all the other students and donors who contributed to this worthy cause!
Stewart's Shops supports Beds For Kids
Our agency extends our sincere thanks and appreciation to Stewarts
Shops, who awarded our agency $800 to purchase beds for children for
families who cannot afford this basic necessity. The demand for good
quality usable beds is one of the most sought-after items by low-income
families during these difficult economic times. The donation from
Stewart's Shops was made through the Stewart's Holiday Match Program, in
which 5% of corporate profits is donated to charity.
Children from Hand In Center Early Childhood Center present donated
foodstuffs to Beverly Howlett (top right), Family Services Manager at
help with food
The children at Hand In Hard Early
Childhood Center in Lowville recently held their annual Food Drive to help
Lewis County Food Pantry in their area. In addition to making this a
family project, the children in the preschool and pre-Kindergarten
rooms focused on "sharing " and used the food drive as an example of
"giving" to help others in need during the holidays and throughout the
year. The donated food will be distributed by Opportunities to
families in need during the holiday season. Our hats are off to the
kids, their families, teachers and aides for their worthy efforts!
USA Warrant Officers Association Thousand Islands Chapter
President CW2 Carter (left) presents a donation to Scott Mathys, CEO of
Lewis County Opportunities. The donation will be used to support
services to low-income families within Lewis County.
|Local Warrant Officer
Association presents donation
November 15, 2011
During November, the Thousand Islands Chapter of the USA Warrant Officers
Association (USAWOA) presented a donation of $350 to Lewis County
Opportunities. The Chapter has been committed to serving the local community
for years. This year they set up a booth at Mountain Fest and sold funnel
cakes to raise money for charitable organizations.
The donation to Opportunities comes at a
great time when many people are hurting from sustained economic stresses.
The agency is grateful to be a recipient of the Chapter's diligent efforts,
and the donation will be used to provide services under the Agency's Action
Angels program. This program provides emergency services to low-income
families who may not qualify under government programs, or who have an
emergency need which current agency funding does not cover.
It should be noted the Chapter reaches out to other charitable
organizations as well; even from beyond our national borders. Despite being
on deployment, the group coordinated a fund raising 5K event at Kandahar
Airfield in Afghanistan. CW2 Robert Sullivan coordinated that effort, with
CW2 Dan Labue providing stateside assistance.
Opportunities would like to thank the Chapter for their generosity and
driven dedication to improving the lives of families in Lewis and Jefferson
Drew Baker, Copenhagen, receives a “Certificate of
Appreciation” from Scott Mathys, CEO of Opportunities.
|Youth volunteers time to
Our agency wishes to thank Drew Baker, Copenhagen, who spent her
summer in the service of others by contributing 207 hours as a summer
volunteer at Opportunities. She helped with a variety of programs including
the Food Pantry, the Opportunity Knocks Thrift Store, and general office
duties. Drew is the daughter or Roxanne Putman, who works in the Family
Services department at Opportunities. Thank you Drew! Your help
was extremely appreciated!
For more information about
volunteerism opportunities, click here.
Pat Strife, North Country Goes Green representative, presents
a donation of $1,000 to Scott Mathys, CEO of Opportunities. The
donation supported services provided by Opportunities' Action Angel Program.
Goes Green supports Opportunities' Action Angel Program
June 28, 2011
Opportunities wishes to thank North Country Goes Green for
their generous donation in supporting our agency's Action Angel Program.
The program provides emergency services to low-income families who may not
qualify under government programs, or who have an emergency need which
current agency funding does not cover.
North Country Goes Green principally raises funds through
the annual North Country Goes Green Irish Festival, which has been held for
over 25 years. Net proceeds from the festival are distributed to local
community organizations who provide services for individuals and families in
need. Funds are also used to provide scholarship aid to local
Bethany Yost, Frontier Communication Corporation
General Manager, presents a donation to support the annual Christmas Sharing
Initiative to Jolynne Brinkley, who has assisted with the annual initiative
It's never too early in the
year to start thinking about Christmas
Sharing, the annual initiative that provides food, clothing, and gifts
to families in need throughout Lewis County. In fact, planning for the
next season's program starts in January, barely after the decorations have
been packed away! Opportunities extends its thanks to Frontier
Communications for their generous donation which will be used for 2011
Christmas Sharing efforts. (For a listing of donors from the most
recent season and to learn how you can help with either a donation or
volunteer time, click here.)
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house feel like home
Lewis County Opportunities offers many services. Some of our
more personal programs are located within the Domestic Violence Department.
One such program is the operation of a safe house for victims and their
children who are attempting to leave an abusive situation. In 2010, the
department was able to enhance the safety, comfort, and recreational options
for families using the facility. This was made possible through heartfelt
contributions from Northern New York Community Foundation and Otis
Modifications to the building included various safety
features, structural improvements, creation of a picnic and play area, and
installation of a water filtration system. The alterations targeted at
children provided the largest transformation; helping to turn this temporary
house into a home. For older children there was the addition of a wood
playground placed upon a pea gravel base; complete with slide and rock
climbing wall. A sand box and toddler seating compliment the yard area for
smaller children. Overall, the various upgrades to the house help provide a
private setting for a family attempting to cope with an extremely difficult
life transition. Often such a life change can come at a heavy cost to the
family. It is our hope that we can continue to provide a warm temporary home
as part of an individual healing plan.
We graciously thank both Otis Technology and Northern New
York Community Foundation for their underwriting support. Without them,
these improvements would never have been possible.
Members of the Thousand Islands Chapter of the USA Warrant
Officers Association present to Scott Mathys, CEO of Opportunities, a $350
donation to support emergency food needs to families throughout Lewis
County. Pictured from left to right: David Copeland, John Hardy, Tracy
Taylor, Scott Mathys, Mike Mackey, and Robert Casebolt.
|Local Warrant Officer
Association donates to local food pantry
On December 9th,
the Thousand Islands Chapter of the USA Warrant Officers Association (USAWOA)
presented a check for $350 to Lewis County Opportunities to support food
needs to families in need throughout Lewis County. The local economy has
caused steady growth of Lewis County residents relying upon their local food
pantries to make ends meet. USAWOA wanted to help the community and raised
money selling funnel cakes; collecting almost $3,000. Mindful of the various
needs within the north country, the USAWOA also distributed funds to the
Children’s Home of Jefferson County, and the Community Action Planning
Council. The group also created a scholarship for a college-bound student.
Opportunities would like to thank the Thousand Islands Chapter of the USAWOA
for their generosity and commitment to our community.
Penelope McCafferty, AmeriCU Financial Center Manager
(Lowville branch) and Tina Lanier, Senior Member Relations Advisor, present
a $500 donation to Scott Mathys, CEO of Opportunities to benefit the food
|AmeriCU makes a splash to
benefit food pantry
On September 24, 2010, AmeriCU Credit Union presented a
check for $500 to Opportunities to benefit our Food Pantry. The funds were
raised during the Cream Cheese Festival as attendees of the festival made a
donation to be able to “dunk” AmeriCU employee Tina Lanier (pictured at
middle left) into a dunking tank sponsored by AmeriCU. Opportunities
would like to thank AmeriCU for their generosity.
Frontier Communication Corporation employees Bethany Yost,
General Manager, and Barb Thomas, Account Executive, present a sampling of
donated school supplies to Shauna Farney, Family Services Worker at
|Frontier employees launch
school supply drive to benefit children in need
Through a partnership between the Frontier Communications North District
Community Action Team and the Independent Telecommunications Pioneer
Association, a back-to-school drive was held throughout the month of
August. Frontier employees in Gloversville and Johnstown donated book bags,
paper, notebooks, folders, markers, crayons, glue and various other
back-to-school items. In addition, both groups worked to sponsor an employee
hot dog roast, which raised $240 to purchase additional school supplies.
According to Yost, “Frontier has been a part of our community for a very
long time, and giving back to our community is important to us. Our
employees live in the communities we serve and we like to support the causes
that are important to them. We are proud to contribute to Opportunities’
efforts.” The donated supplies were distributed through each school district
in Lewis County to families who cannot afford to purchase school supplies
for their children. Opportunities expresses its gratitude to the
employees of Frontier for their generosity.
Bethany Yost, Northwest New York General Manager for Frontier
Communications, presents a donation for $900 to Scott Mathys, Opportunities'
Chief Executive Officer.
|The high cost of staying
The economy seems to have everyone feeling the heat; or lack of heat as the
case may be. Paying for utilities late in the winter season can be difficult
if not impossible for many families in Lewis County. Unlike prior years,
most programs that help with heat costs have been fully exhausted. Frontier
Communications decided to provide some extra support by donating $900 for
families needing utility assistance. Lewis County Opportunities would like
to publicly thank Frontier Communications for their compassionate efforts to
help us make a difference in the quality of life for our county residents.
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