One Opportunity After Another

In the earliest days of COVID-19, James Mullen would sit in his office at the Norwich Family YMCA and hear near-silence. Like all “non-essential” organizations in New York at that time, the Y had halted its programs in mid-March and shut its doors.  One service stayed open, though. “We offered child care for emergency and Read more

Black Business Owners Get a Double Boost

Black entrepreneurship was a major theme in the 2021 grant cycle of the Community Foundation’s Racial Justice and Equity Fund. Support Black Business 607 (SBB607) received $10,000 from the fund, primarily to help it sponsor events that promote and empower Black-owned businesses. Another $10,000 grant will help the Southern Tier High Technology Incubator (STHTI) offer Read more

21st Century Animal Care

The world of animal rescue has made big strides in the past ten years. “An incredible amount of research and information has come out about animal shelters and ways we can better care for animals,” said Stacie Haynes, executive director at the Susquehanna SPCA.  Putting some of that knowledge to work, in 2021 the Susquehanna Read more

Camp Reinvents Itself for Pandemic Times

Boy standing outside holding a fish he caught

Once they heard that New York State would allow overnight summer camping in 2021, staff at 4-H Camp Shankitunk in Delhi started thinking about Swiss cheese. The cheese was a metaphor for steps the camp would take to protect campers and staff from COVID-19, said Corrine Tompkins, 4-H camp director at Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) Read more

Housing as a Matter of Justice

For people of modest or moderate means, it’s often hard to find safe, healthy, affordable housing. One group trying to right that wrong is the Southern Door Community Land Trust (SDCLT), a nonprofit organization devoted to housing justice and community engagement. Formed in 2019 as the Broome County Land Trust, SDCLT changed its name in Read more

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion

Looking inward and outward in 2020, the Community Foundation expanded its work to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), both in our practices and in the region we serve.  Those efforts build on work we started more than two years ago, when we conducted a preliminary assessment of our Board and staff and updated language Read more

Help Her Run

In 2020, women held 26 percent of the seats in the U.S. Senate and 23.2 percent of seats in the House. Across the nation, 29.3 percent of state legislators were women, according to the Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers University.  Those numbers are better than they used to be. (In 1981, just 12.1 percent Read more

Our Space, Reborn

The first message came at 1 in the morning: “Jen, it’s all gone.” Next thing Jennifer O’Brien knew, her phone was blowing up with texts. The news was heartbreaking. Our Space Park, a playground in Binghamton’s Recreation Park, designed as an accessible place of joy for people of all ages and abilities, had burned to Read more

Restart the Arts

While other nonprofits struggled to provide essential services during the pandemic, many arts organizations—theaters, museums, orchestras, dance schools, galleries, and more—simply had to close. That shutdown spurred a financial emergency.  In Broome County, for example, arts organizations lost about $1 million in revenues and missed fundraising opportunities, said Nancy Barno Reynolds, executive director of the Read more

New Tools for Schools

School districts invent new ways to serve their students and the broader community. The services that schools provide these days go way beyond the traditional “three Rs”. They also reach deep into our communities. One example is the Whitney Point Central School District’s Early Eagles initiative, a pre-literacy program for families of infants and toddlers.  Read more

Safe on the Farm

Photo of professional test fitting breathing mask.

Mini-grants help agricultural businesses root out conditions that cause sickness and injury. A few years ago, experts at the New York Center for Agricultural Medicine and Health (NYCAMH) identified a flaw in their efforts to keep people who work on farms healthy and safe. NYCAMH would send a specialist to walk through a farm and Read more

Good Food

Several recent grants support programs based on a simple principle: no one should go hungry. Too many people lack reliable access to nutritious food. Luckily, many community groups are working hard to meet this essential need.  Take the Unatego Central School District’s backpack program, which gives students in need healthy food to take home. The Read more

To the Rescue

Grant helps rural ambulance service attract more first responders with advanced skills. With a staff of just 18, the Hancock Ambulance Service stands ready to save lives every day, around the clock, across 164 square miles of Delaware County plus a sliver of Pennsylvania. This extremely rural region is many miles from the nearest trauma Read more

Great Music, Close Up and Personal

Photos shows performer, Greg Greenway, on stage and the audience applauding.

A small town can play a big role in a region’s cultural life. That’s surely true of Norwich, Oxford and Oneonta, each of which hosts a musical series or venue that draws fans from miles around. Recent grants from the Community Foundation have helped small, volunteer-powered organizations in these places enrich the local arts scene Read more

Tackling Rural Housing Issues

Otsego Rural Housing Assistance (ORHA) helps homeowners of modest means stay in their homes and keep those dwellings comfortable and safe. Although Otsego County is small—with only about 60,000 people—the need for housing assistance there seems almost limitless, says Timothy Peters, executive director of ORHA, in Cooperstown.  Beyond Cooperstown and Oneonta, Otsego is largely an Read more