Generosity fuels a strong future

Monday, Dec. 18, 2023

The Adirondack region is remarkable. The resiliency of our communities coupled with our collective generosity makes no obstacle insurmountable, no matter how daunting it appears to be.

Over the last 12 months, Adirondack Foundation has worked closely with community leaders, volunteers and philanthropists to improve the lives of our neighbors. In some cases, that work meant responding to pressing, immediate needs — providing grants for flood recovery in the central Adirondacks or for food security programs across the region. In other instances, our work required us to go beyond grantmaking to identify strategies for addressing generational challenges like affordable housing, educational attainment and mending the social safety net.

As a community foundation, we work to build philanthropic resources for the long haul while also striving to meet the needs of our communities today. We will always be there to respond when families need food or a village needs to pick up the pieces after a natural disaster, but we also want to be proactive by imagining a future where we no longer need to provide grants in emergency situations, because we've fulfilled our promise of building healthier, stronger and more equitable communities.

If this work sounds challenging, that's because it is — but not nearly as challenging as it would be if our region wasn't home to some of the most creative, passionate and generous people around.

Think of the community that you call home. Think about what your community would look like without that spirit of generosity — no volunteer fire department, no library, no theater group, no senior center. Without generosity, we lose what makes a community a community — we lose the fabric that holds us together. Those organizations depend on two things: generous donors to keep the doors open, and generous volunteers to hold them open.

As 2023 comes to a close, we want to celebrate the people who make our region so special and encourage you to continue stepping up, however that looks for you — donating, volunteering, sharing your ideas. Building a strong future for the Adirondacks takes all of us.

Joe Steiniger is chair of Adirondack Foundation’s Board of Trustees. He lives in Schroon Lake.