Saturday, July 24, 2021

Spirit of Generosity: Offering a Hand of Hope

brant lake food pantryEvery day,  there are local individuals and families working hard to make ends meet. With limited or low-income, they are often forced to make difficult decisions — unexpected expenses, such as fixing a vehicle to get to and from work, can mean deciding between paying for rent, food, or even medical care. Across the Adirondack region, grassroots organizations like North Country Ministry are stepping up to make these decisions a little easier.

Founded in North Creek in 1992 by a group of Catholic nuns and priests, North Country Ministry offers a range of assistance to people in need regardless of their faith, at facilities in North Creek, Warrensburg, and Brant Lake.

Throughout the pandemic, North Country Ministry worked tirelessly to live up to its motto — “offering a hand of hope” — every day. Over the course of one year, this incredible organization provided nearly $100,000 in economic aid to alleviate pandemic-related hardship for people in need — people like Bob Marr, who told our team that access to food assistance programs, like those offered at North Country Ministry’s Brant Lake food pantry, makes a “big difference,” especially when other expenses pile up.

Nearly 16% of the population in the southern Adirondack region served by the ministry lives in poverty. With a staff of just seven and a broad, rural geographic service area, North Country Ministry relies on a dedicated volunteer board and the generosity of individuals and organizations to make sure they reach everyone in need. Their work extends beyond food assistance, too — they provide everything from furniture and clothing to firewood and even counseling assistance for people in crisis.

The ministry also showcases its generosity by helping organizations like ours understand community needs and challenges, giving us a vital boots-on-the-ground perspective. Real-time feedback and data helps the Foundation leverage our grants to do the most good.

Adirondack Foundation is proud to support the ministry’s work through Generous Acts as well as other fund partners, including the Community Fund for the Gore Mountain Region. North Country Ministry embodies the spirit of generosity every day by making sure our neighbors can meet their basic needs — we tip our hats to them.

North Country Ministry’s Brant Lake food pantry. Photo by Erika Bailey, provided by Adirondack Foundation.

All summer long, Adirondack Foundation is celebrating the Spirit of Generosity by highlighting stories about the generous people, organizations, and collaborations that enrich the lives of people in the Adirondacks. Every Saturday, Adirondack Almanack will share an essay by Cali Brooks, President and CEO, about some of the people and programs that Adirondack Foundation invests in and partners with to enhance the lives of people in the Adirondacks through philanthropy.  Readers can win the opportunity to direct a grant to an organization that aligns with the Foundation’s Generous Acts program. To enter, simply create a social media post that captures what generosity means to you and tag Adirondack Foundation’s accounts.

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Cali Brooks

Cali Brooks is president & CEO of Adirondack Foundation. After working with nonprofit organizations in Southeast Asia, Central America, and the United States, Cali returned home to the Adirondacks and worked for the HKH Foundation where she conducted a survey to assess the economic, social, cultural, and environmental strengths of the Adirondack region. She then joined the Public Affairs office of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and co-founded the Wildlife Conservation Society's Adirondack Communities and Conservation Program. She and her family live in and love the Adirondacks.




2 Responses

  1. LakeReader says:

    So encouraging to see those who have the means & the ability help others. Civilization at its best!

    • Boreas says:

      Agree! Simple altruism DEFINES civilization. Some people live in poverty much of their lives. But with many others, a simple helping hand at the right time can sometimes help them avoid a lifetime in poverty. Organizations such as this (or even concerned friends and neighbors) can literally be a lifesaver when you consider the consequences of deep depression.

      But on a separate note, our modern definition of financial poverty is way outdated. Many more people are living in actual poverty than the state/feds acknowledge. And even more slip underwater every day. So much for the “Great Society” that was a formative force in my youth. The strength of an economy or society should not be based on the daily increase in the number of billionaires who contribute very little to it. But it won’t last…

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