PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. – The United Way of the Adirondack region kicked off its annual fundraising campaign as people in the North Country see a rising need for healthcare and other services, and less income to pay for it.
Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, 45 percent of New York families were one emergency away from financial ruin.
“There are tremendous needs across the region. People in need, families in need, children in need, largely exacerbated by the pandemic,” said John Bernardi, President and CEO of United Way of the Adirondacks.
Bernardi said United Way is trying to raise enough money this fall to help at least 80,000 of those individuals get connected with key services they need but can’t afford.
A network of over 40 North Country nonprofits also benefit from the fundraiser, and it’s a big help when federal funding isn’t what they’d hoped.
“Unfortunately, our finances get tied up in the political world, so the money doesn’t always go where it necessarily needs to be, and to me that’s sad,” said the fundraiser’s co-chair James Monty. “That money should be going where it’s needed regardless of what political side is pushing the agenda.”
Amy Kretser is the Executive Director of the North Country Association for the Visually Impaired, and said community donations to fundraisers like the United Way’s annual campaign are a lifeline.
“If your mission is strong and it’s important and relevant, the people in this community know it, they believe in you and they find a way to help you do the work that you do,” Krester said.
The annual fundraiser also helps bring nonprofits together, even those that don’t have much overlap in the services they provide.
“The nonprofit network comes together and the community comes together around nonprofits. It is very true, it’s campaigns like the United Way campaign that give an avenue for them to give, but it also rallies, we rally with each other.”
To learn more about the fundraising campaign, visit the United Way website.