2020 SISC Local Grant Awards

2020 SISC Local Grant Awards

In Our Community

Grants are awarded to Saratoga County-based organizations working in a variety of ways to improve the quality of life for women and children in the region. The total amount of grants in 2020 is $$28,682  to 21 organizations.

The organizations included In 2020 are Ballston Area Community Center, Camp Abilities, Camp Little Notch, CAPTAIN Community Human Services, Children's Museum at Saratoga, C.R.E.A.T.E. Community Studios, Fast Break Fund, Franklin Community Center, Girl Scouts of Northeastern NY, Inc., League of Women Voters of Saratoga County, Mother Susan Anderson Shelter, National Museum of Dance, Rebuilding Together Saratoga County, Saratoga Automobile Museum, Saratoga Center for the Family, Saratoga Hospital Foundation, Saratoga Immigration Center, Saratoga Springs Recreation Department, Saratoga Regional YMCA, Saratoga Senior Center, Shelters of Saratoga, and To Life!, Inc.More details about these organizations and how they will use their grants are provided below.

In addition, we also support Wellspring with Project Hope and Power program, a financial literacy program which has been shown to be successful in empowering women and increasing their ability to reach their goals. Our $5,000 grant provided to Wellspring in 2019 will enable them to continue to their important work resulting in the improvement of the lives of so many women and girls from our community. 

Ballston Area Community Center ($1,800) 

BAAC On The Go is a travel program for youths 10-16 years old. Camp runs from Monday thru Friday for 8 Weeks.  Children have the opportunity to travel all around New York, Vermont and Mass. To visit and experience Museums, Adirondack Beaches, outdoor adventure sports, theme parks and NY State Fair, to name a few experiences.  Beyond the new experiences and interests, the BAAC staff promotes positive peer relations, healthy ways to resolve conflicts and express feelings and how to be an effective team member.

The normal weekly rate of $225 a child is difficult for low-income families, especially single mothers. These families cannot afford to send their children to camp.  And these children would benefit so much from this experience. The camp could affect their social, emotional and educational growth in many ways. 

Camp Abilities (1,000) 

Camp Abilities Saratoga (CAS) A Service Project of the Saratoga Springs Lions Club is a one-week residual sports camp for youngsters between the ages of 10-16. Campers will be exposed to and become familiar with sports development activities such as tandem biking, beep baseball, track and field, and other sports while at the same time achieving new levels of physical confidence.


The campers will spend their week in an environment that nurtures our belief that they can do anything to which they set their minds. Campers will stay in dorms at Skidmore College supervised by counselors while making new, lasting friendships.

These experiences are an essential foundation for campers to develop the self- confidence, self-esteem, and physical well-being necessary to take control of their own quality of life and use their talents to actively contribute and participate in their sports and community activities

Camp Little Notch ($500)

Since 1939, Camp Little Notch (CLN) has provided life-changing summer camp programs and experiences for girls. We work hard to fundraise camp scholarships so that our programs are available to every camper, regardless of their ability to pay for camp. Our Counselor-In-Training (CIT) Program is designed to offer young ladies ages 16-17 to prepare for positions as camp counselors. The 4-week CIT Program is an intensive, hands-on training experience.

This year, we reduced the CIT cost from $2720 to $980 because we believe this program is crucial for career development. Our goal is to make it affordable. We have 6 young ladies already registered to participate. 4 of them are from Saratoga County and the other 2 are from Washington County. We are asking for a donation of $2,000 to help offset some of the cost associated.

CAPTAIN Community Human Services ($1,500) 

Last year the Youth Shelter provided emergency housing to t atotal of 92 youth, of which 50 were young women in crisis. Average of 15. Captains provided a total of 1,040 bed nights the young women with an average length of stay of 21 days. Many of the girls who come to the Youth Shelter have high levels of family conflict, domestic violence or sexual abuse and are struggling with serious emotional issues. Some of these girls are victims of human trafficking. Funding is crucial to support these young women to have the services needed to improve their well-being and discharge them to a safe, and positive housing situation

C.R.E.A.T.E. Community Studios ($1,500) 

C.R.E.A.T.E. Community Studies is a non-profit community art studio with a mission to provide access to the healing qualities of art -makings to all members of our community. We operate two studios, one in Saratoga and one in Schenectady.


We specialize in working with those in recovery, special needs, low income/at-risk and those with mental health concerns. We also collaborate with human service agencies to provide customized groups and activities on-site or in our studios.


We plan is to provide six workshops with Project Lift, Franklin Community Center’s program for underserved children. one workshop at each after-school program at six elementary schools This is a follow up on our work from this past year. The project will be creating masks that support and express work that the children in Project Lift have been doing on positive self-concept and self-esteem. The curriculum has been developed in collaboration with Project Lift and fits on the ongoing skill-building they build into their current program.

 Additional funds will support our expressive arts workshop for Saratoga Springs teens through our ongoing “Teen Open Studio,” which has doubled its capacity over the last year. Underserved teens are wanting additional outlets for creative expression. The majority of the students participating have been teen girls and the project has helped in building self-esteem and emotional supports, while also strengthening bonds between the participants.

Fast Break Fund ($750) 

The Fast Break Fund was established in 1999 to provide summer camp to local underprivileged youth.   Recreational programs also support children with special needs.  Serves children in Saratoga, Schenectady, Albany, Rensselaer and surrounding counties. Children between the ages of 5 – 17 are served through scholarship program.

Franklin Community Center ($1,500) 

Project Lift- The program works directly with the individual, their family and their community to deliver a consistent, cohesive message Project Lift programming benefits enrollees with effective and efficient strategies designed to increase skills, knowledge and positive activity.  While providing a safe environment to at risk youth to learn and have fun after school, Project Lift also provides items for female students such as clothing. hygiene products, school supplies. and summer camp scholarships. 

Girl Scouts of Northeastern NY, Inc. ($1,000)

The Blessings Box is a 24/7 mini food pantry that addresses the need for immediate access to food for families in rural areas of Saratoga County. In 2019 four Blessing Boxes were completed and non-perishable food items were collected for the boxes. One of the boxes was destroyed in a hit and run motor vehicle accident.  The box was rebuilt. However, the box needs to be replaced because it is no longer weatherproof or secure. 

 1. Request to build a new larger Blessing Box to be installed with solar lighting and solar powered ventilation system to keep the contents in the box from overheating during the warm weather.

2. Request to purchase insect repellant herbs and flowers mulch and other supplies to plant around the base of each Blessing box.

•3. Request to have a garden plant at Pitney Meadows to grow vegetables that would be donated to the Franklin Community Center food pantry. 

4. Request grant to restock the boxes with seldom donated food items: Tuna, canned or pouch meat, peanut butter and other protein rich foods to purchase items that are needed seasonally.  The funds would be used to restock the supply of Stewart’s milk and egg cards so those items will be available to people using the Boxes. 


League of Women Voters of Saratoga County ($1,395)


Making Waves was developed by LWV member Patricia Nugent. She Is the author of the play “The Stone that Started the Ripple” and editor of the book “Before They were our Mothers”.   Participants will journey from Seneca Falls, NY in 1848 to Washington DC in 2016, via literature, documentaries, campaign artifacts, music and performances.  The program will run in partnership with Saratoga Arts at Saratoga Arts center. It would run for six consecutive Thursday evenings from 6:30PM – 9M beginning September 3, 2020 at the Dee Sarno Theatre in the Saratoga Arts Center.  Saratoga Spring Public Library would partner by featuring displays in the library that correlate with the program under discussion.


Instructor: $525 (15 registration fee hours of instruction @ discounted rate of $35/hr.)

Technology Assistant: $270 (15 hrs @ $18/hr)

Re-enactors/Performers $300 (2 @ $150)

Theater Rental $300 (6 evenings set up and breakdown)


Materials and refreshments to be covered by $10 Registration Fee.

Mother Susan Anderson Shelter ($3,213.82) The Mother Anderson Emergency Shelter has been supporting homeless women and children for 30 years. Works with the NYS Department of Social Services as a tier I facility.  Governed by the NYS Fair Housing Act as well as Equal Housing Opportunity policies and procedures.

The request is to purchase new beds, mattresses and resident supplies.  This is an immediate request for the new beds so the shelter would pass inspection.

10 New Beds & Removal of old $1,604.00

10 New Mattresses:  $1,250.00

Towels and hand cloths:  $178.85.

Mattress Covers:   $179.99

National Museum of Dance ($325)

The Ageless Dancer Series is an outreach program for women ages 50+ at the National Museum of Dance from July to December 2020.  The classes will take place in the museum’s main entrance exhibition place, Art in the Foyer: The Ageless Dancer.  20 inspirational and motivational photographs of senior dancers experiencing the joy of movement is the backdrop for the senior dance classes.

The dance classes are designed to incorporate learning modalities appropriate for the older student.  Also included will be instruction in the wise care of muscles, joints and tendons for life-long movement. The program will invite guest “ageless dancers” of regional fame, once a month to express and share their own wisdom and insights gained through their many years of experience. 

Rebuilding Together Saratoga County ($1,500) 

Rebuilding Together Saratoga County’s mission is “Repairing, homes, revitalizing communities, rebuilding lives.   They provide critical home repair and accessibility modification services for low-income Saratoga County homeowners, including families with children, older adults, individuals living with disabilities and veterans.  These services are provided at no cost to homeowners and focus on ensuring they can live independently in a safe and health home.  They also rehabilitate properties that house qualifying nonprofit organizations serving their community.

Saratoga Automobile Museum ($1.000)

The exhibit, Wheels, Women & Independence: 1920-1929, will explore how strong, independent women used the automobile and other technological innovations as a means of protest and progress. The exhibit will focus on the continued efforts of women towards equal rights after the ratification of the 19th Amendment and the role of the automobile and other technological innovations in their efforts towards equal rights.  With the 100th Anniversary of the official certification of the ratification of the 19 Amendment taking place on August 18, 2020, we have an opportunity to elevate the stories of the women who have been overlooked by historians and other scholars.  The anniversary of the 19th Amendment provides an opportunity to engage women and girls in exploring the intersections between women’s history and the history of the automobile and technology in general. In recent years there has been a push to engage more young girls in STEM-related activities.  We will be working with local schools and libraries to bring pop-up exhibits to interact with young girls.

Saratoga Center for the Family ($1,500) 

•Heel to Heal” is a 10-week group counseling/run/walk-based therapy program for teen-age girls. The weekly meetings include one-hour of group counseling and

one-hour of run/walk training.The ultimate goal is to run a 5K race together during the last week of the programThe program looks to serve 10-15 girls per session. Facilitators include licensed therapist, a nutrition and fitness coach, and mentors from the community who help motivate the girls and track their progress. Progress after the race is tracked with surveys administered at the onset and conclusion of the program, measuring depression and self-esteem, to evaluate the overall program results and to derive feedback from participants. 

Phone calls, emails and contact in person are all used to evaluate the girl’s progress.  Such as, current frequency of exercise and any continued fitness gains since the 5K. 

Saratoga Hospital Foundation ($1,000)

Kweilyn Taylor Survivor Retreat. Is a day of respite and support for cancer patients and survivors.  This one-day program is no cost to participants and runs from 9 until 5PM and is held at Wiawaka on September 20, 2020,  Past sessions have included yoga, meditation, reiki, massage, nutrition, and various therapeutic crafts conducted by local instructors, vendors and certified counselor/therapists.  The retreat has grown from 45 attendees in 2017 to 68 in 2019 and up to 100 are expected in 2020. Participants are almost exclusively women and predominately originate from Saratoga County, with attendees also from Washington, Warren, Albany and Rensselaer counties.  Participations is first come, first served and is not restricted to Saratoga Hospital Patients.  The retreat is a community initiative, instructors, vendors and volunteers donate time and service.  Dinner is provided.  Costs of the retreat are offset by a raffle, t-shirt, bracelet sales and cash and in-kind donations. 

Saratoga immigration Coalition ($1,600)

Saratoga Immigration Coalition DACA/First Generation Scholarships - part of the DACA/First Generation Education Support Program - is seeking funding to offer financial support to female immigrant students, residing in Saratoga County, who wish to continue their education in either a secondary 2 or 4 year institution or vocational setting. Students must apply for SIC scholarships through written application, supplying financial statements from their family and respective educational institutions as well as high school and college transcripts.  Scholarships are generally awarded in $800 increments per semester and are paid directly to the institution of learning.

Recipients may continue to receive the award as long as they maintain a 2.5 GPA, enroll in a minimum number of credit hours and are in good financial standing.


Saratoga Regional YMCA ($500) 

For over 25 years the SRYMCA has provided a day camp experience for children ages 6 to 15. Camp TOGA runs for 9 one-week sessions, serving campers entering 1st grade through 10th grade. Campers participate in games, sports, archery, projects, team building, nature activities, trips, swimming and more.

While Camp TOGA does provide necessary programming for working parents, it is much more than a summer activity for kids. It is a place for values, learning, skill building, self-confidence and fulfilling dreams. It is a place where campers practice social and emotional skills.

Saratoga Senior Center ($2,500) 

Saratoga Senior Center provides serves to approximately 1,500 women each year. We provide expansive special programing and needs-based scholarships to allow women to participate and benefit from our program and services. Our wide range of programming includes free activities and subsidized classes such as exercise, art, educational and entering experiences, trips, meals, and much more. Our Senior Support Services, Community Connections volunteer match program and our transportation program bring isolated seniors to the center and provide them access to our programs.

Our trips are an excellent and provide non-threatening opportunities for women to meet other women, become acclimated with our center and provide affordable opportunities for women to visit places that they could not otherwise afford to take.

Shelters of Saratoga ($3,000) 

For the last several years, Shelters of Saratoga (SOS) has been a very fortunate recipient of funding from Soroptomist International of Saratoga County in support of its Women’s Emergency Fund. Unmet needs incurred by the homeless women served by SOS have been fulfilled with this generous assistance.

SOS is requesting a total of $3,000 to replenish its Women's Emergency Fund. The needs of the women who are homeless and seeking assistance through our various programs are often basic in nature. They can range from everyday items such as hygiene products, underwear, bras, boots, warm clothing and backpacks to assistance paying for shelter rents. If granted, we will be able to meet the basic daily needs of the women staying in our shelters.

To Life! ($1,000) 

To Life! Provides comprehensive and personalized breast cancer support services as well as a robust education program regarding women’s health issues, focusing specifically on educating our community about breast cancer detection, treatments and related health matters. Beat the Odds – Each year this program addresses the latest information in breast cancer research, diagnosis, treatment, and survivorship. Featuring 3 expert speakers from the medical and wellness fields. Women receive valuable and relevant information at no cost.  This event will bring in an average of 150-200 participants.  Last year the event was held at the Saratoga Springs City Center for 142 people.  Program Budget: $10,200.