WATERTOWN — A Northern New York Community Foundation partnership has helped provide winter clothing for nearly 165 children at two Lewis County schools.
The collaboration with the Dyson Foundation called “Operation Snowstorm” supplies students at Lowville Academy and Central School and Beaver River Central School with coats, hats, scarves, mittens, boots and other necessary winter garments.
This winter, a $11,500 grant was split evenly between the two schools, which helped to warm 99 Lowville Academy students and 64 Beaver River students.
“We should always strive to create the best conditions for our children to succeed and thrive free from worry about the basics,” Community Foundation Executive Director Rande Richardson said. “This program helps address an ongoing need and gives an unexpected boost to families in Lewis County that lasts throughout the winter months.”
The Community Foundation works with staff at both schools to identify those students with the greatest need. Vouchers are provided to qualifying students and winter clothing items are purchased at the Lowville Farmers Co-Op, which has generously provided a discount to Operation Snowstorm shoppers.
Operation Snowstorm is in its 13th year at Lowville Academy and the eighth year that Beaver River has participated in the initiative. The program helps nearly 200 Lewis County students each year. Since the partnership began in 2007, more than $100,000 has been provided to support the effort to provide winter attire to those who need it most.
“It has been a great privilege to partner with the Community Foundation to provide much-needed winter clothing for many of the most vulnerable members of our school community,” Lowville Academy and Central School Superintendent Rebecca Dunckel-King said. “When temperatures plummet and winter is upon us, we are grateful to know that our children have the clothing they need to protect them from the elements. We are truly grateful to be part of a project that has such an immediate and positive impact on those involved.”
Last month, Beaver River staff worked with the school’s Big Brothers/Big Sisters program to host a day of shopping for students in need of winter attire. Students were paired with mentor students and a bus took them to the Co-Op where they selected winter clothing for the season.
“The generosity of the Community Foundation to provide money for our students winter clothing is greatly appreciated. This allowed us to provide winter attire to approximately 9 percent of our student body,” Beaver River Central School Superintendent said Todd Green said.