Written by Susan Smith and Bill Munro
posted on December 13, 2013 07:31
Take a grant from the Northern New York Community Foundation and one from the Delaney Bay Foundation on Grindstone Island. Add a fund-raising auction sponsored by the Coyote Moon Winery. Then, put together an old-fashioned, fund-raising campaign to write letters and ask for gifts, and the River community comes through with flying colors.
In September a new building located on a one-acre parcel of land opened on Route 12 a short distance west of the Thousand Islands International Bridge. It brings together ACTS, the Alexandria Community Thrift Store & Food Pantry.
It was started in 2006 by a group of citizens who were convinced that they could help the less fortunate, North Country residents. The Thrift Shop was first located in a rented building opposite The Bait Store, on Route 12. The Food Pantry was located in the Reform Church of the 1000 Isles on Church Street in Alexandria Bay.
Dorothy Ann Cosman, aka "Dody,” and her husband, Brad, credit the organization’s lawyer, Brad Slye with helping to set up ACTS, as a registered non-profit 501c3 organization and he encouraged the group to look for a permanent location.
Doty says, “We knew our mission was a good one as the need for more space was so evident and moving the food bank together with the thrift shop would certainly be more advantageous for our clients. We only rented the small building, but soon out-grew its capacity. In 2007 we added a 14’ X 40’ shed, which gave us a place to sort items and take in more donations. But what we really needed was a winterized building which would allow us to bring in the Food Pantry.”
Thanks to Dody, and her fund-raising committee, the board of directors, and Brad, as the volunteer contractor-in-charge; what we now have is a finished building 100’ X 50’, filled to the brim with donated items:
- All workers are volunteers with men and women hailing from all over the Thousand Islands region. There is even a Canadian who comes over 3 days a week.
- 10% of all income is held in an account designated for emergency situations that arise. Funds are available to individuals, organizations, and church leaders when they advise of pressing needs or emergencies: Families with fire loss, Victims of domestic abuse, Loss of housing or food…” Unfortunately, the list is endless.
- One year they gave $2,000 to the Back Pack Program at Alexandria Central School, which puts food in students backpacks to help get them through the weekend; in 2011 ACTS gave almost $15,000 to local organizations and individuals.
Yes, the Thrift Shop has moved.
We encourage our readers to remember it is there when they have items to donate and we wish these hard-working volunteers continued success…
|Address: 42601 State, Rt. 12 (West of the Bridge). Phone: 686-3008. Please call for winter hours.
[Click photograph to enlarge and use your arrow keys to move from one slide to the next. Meet just a few of the volunteers who help their clients. L to R: Dody Cosman, Lee Morris, Jane Bryant, Jan Joyce. Back row L to R: David Morris, Jen Davis, Jean Cross, Clarissa Chester, Edy Kempney, Karon Warren, Char Ranny]
By Susan W. Smith with photographs by Bill Munro