by Dave Warner

This year, Think Local is rolling out a new initiative in which businesses in Little Falls have selected a not-for-profit to support. At each of those business locations, they have placed canisters for your donations and are displaying posters about the organization that they are supporting.

According to Think Local’s Jessica Kelly, “We haven’t really had a big event in November. We’ve tossed around different ideas in the past.”

Instead of actually asking the business partners to donate the money themselves, they thought that it would be a good idea to allow them to collect for the not-for-profits. “Our community is a much richer and stronger place due to the many not-for-profits that we have,” she said.

There are a variety of not-for-profits in the City that provide services that would otherwise not be met without these organizations. “They’ll be collecting these donations throughout the month of November,” said Kelly.

Each participating business has a poster explaining what is going on and the not-for-profit that they are supporting. They’ve also placed a jar at their cash registers for donations.

Kelly said, “This happens at lots of box stores where you go to check out and they ask you if you’d like to support the American Cancer Society, or a food pantry. We thought, why not use that same model within our own local community for those organizations that might not have that kind of visibility?”

“We allowed the businesses to pick the not-for-profit that they would like to support and collect for. There are a number of different categories, like ones that help animals…HALO, Herkimer County Humane Society, Pause for All Paws, and others. Then we have the Little Falls Food Pantry and the Little Falls Personal Care Pantry and businesses that are supporting them throughout the month,” she stated.

There are also scholarship funds and some of the other better-known not-for-profits that are involved as well. For instance, the Greater Little Falls Community Chest, “which supports the community in a variety of ways,” said Kelly.

There are forty-one businesses that are participating in this month’s effort, which Kelly said is great. “Many of them are contributing in some way throughout the month as well, either through a match or giving something for free on Third Thursday if you donate on that day.”

In Kelly’s mind “The businesses are the cheerleaders for these not-for-profits this month.”

The effort will support approximately fourteen different non-for-profits in the area. “There are just so many great not-for-profits in our community that are doing great work. There are so many organizations that could just not exist here without this kind of support,” Kelly stated.

She said, “The essence of this is that we all know that Little Falls is a stronger place because of these not-for-profits and we love to support these kinds of initiatives because it’s part of building a strong community.”

Kelly really hopes that this campaign will resonate with the community and that they’ll be able to drive dollars to the organizations that need it with the month-long campaign.