Release date: 11/20/2019
Your Community, Your Foundation
Though you may not know your local community foundation, you’ve likely felt our impact. That’s because for 50 years Community Foundations of the Hudson Valley has invested in the community across a range of urgent and emerging needs.
To introduce ourselves, Community Foundations of the Hudson Valley (CFHV) is a public grantmaking organization that partners with individuals, organizations and local government to support innovative solutions to the pressing needs of today and tomorrow. By collaborating with generous and dedicated people we work to improve lives locally.
One area of particular focus and interest for CFHV is nourishing our neighbors. Through the Farm Fresh Food Initiative, Community Foundations of the Hudson Valley has invested $2.5 million into our region’s food system. Through grants that support farmers and feeding programs, this initiative connects fresh, healthy, local bounty with those that need.
Like the hundreds of other community foundations across the country, we are uniquely situated to make a difference in the place that we call home. From November 12 to 18, we celebrate Community Foundation Week to share and reflect on the stories of impact over the last year. In light of this occasion, here is just one example of the connections we foster, and how they tangibly make a difference to people in our community.
It was a hot summer day, not long ago. Mary Ellison was working at Ascension Holy Trinity in Highland (the group also has a church in West Park) when a call for help came in. She was connected with a young husband and father, who had recently experienced significant challenges.
“He told me that after a work injury, he relied on disability,” Mary said. “The family was staying in emergency housing at a nearby motel. His wife had started a retail job around that time, and just the day before our call, her purse was stolen from her employee locker.”
“Everything was gone,” he told Mary, “credit cards, a little cash, and our [SNAP] benefits card. We have nothing.”
When he arrived at the pantry, he was greeted as all guests are – with open minds, hearts and compassion. Food was displayed on tables, and fresh, local produce was available in coolers to maintain freshness.
“As we selected food appropriate for his family’s tastes, he shared that it was his wife’s birthday. While it broke my heart to learn of their struggles at that moment, I took heart that none of us have to go it alone. There is a larger network of support making things possible.
“Thanks to the Community Foundations, we provided fruits and vegetables. Thanks to a volunteer group in Dutchess, we offered a gift for his wife – a brand-new purse filled with self-care items. Thanks to another food donor, we had a fitting angel food cake for the family to gather around and celebrate his wife’s birthday. All of this was at-hand that day because of the compassion and generosity of our community.”