Earlier this winter, as the Blue Mountain Center (a social justice oriented conference center and artist residency in Blue Mountain Lake) began considering the possibility of cancelling its spring/summer programming due to the COVID-19 pandemic, staff began to think about how to best re-orient to serve the local Adirondack community.
As the severity of the crisis became clear, the creation of Hamilton Helps, a partnership between BMC, Hamilton County services, community leaders and residents, was set into motion. Beginning with seniors and residents in need, the project seeks to ensure first and foremost that Hamilton County residents have access to food. The project has now grown, and Sawyer Cresap (originally hired to join the BMC staff as an innkeeper/cook) has adopted the position of community coordinator.
Sawyer (pictured here) spends much of her time working with local organizations like the Indian Lake Community Development Corporation and Hamilton County Community Action, plugging into projects from all over the region — everything from applying for funding to support local food security initiatives, to arranging for a loaned chest freezer to be moved from Eagle Nest to the Indian Lake Theater (where it now sits packed with food for use by a local food pantry,) to collaborating with local mask making efforts and news outlets to ensure that residents are updated about available services and support.