For this year’s Giving Tuesday Guide, we wanted to shine the light on groups we don’t talk about often enough, who serve people in Beacon or the Hudson Valley at large. If you have ideas of who we should highlight next year, submit them in the comments below. If you’re reading this article after Giving Tuesday, you can of course donate any day of the year!
EDITORIAL NOTE: The descriptions of the Missions and What They Do have been taken from each organization’s own website (with the exception of ARF), to best describe how they serve:
The Ramps at Memorial Park aka A Beacon Skatepark
MISSION: After years without a place to ride in Beacon, a small group of dedicated volunteers have partnered with the City of Beacon Parks and Recreation department to bring a skatepark back to Beacon. They are fundraising to turn the dream into a reality and build the park together with the community.
HOW THEY DO IT: With visions, builders, grit, and a lot of lumber. You can see in-progress pictures here at their Instagram.
Animal Rescue Foundation (ARF)
WHAT THEY DO: Animal Rescue Foundation (ARF) provides shelter and caregiving to kitties, puppies, and adult cats and dogs. ARF tries to match the right animal with the right forever homes. You can see the dogs here, and the cats here.
HOW THEY DO IT: In addition to their daily caregiving to animals in their shelter, ARF partners with Pilots n Paws to be a shelter to animals who need it. Pilots n Paws is an organization that was founded by two pilots who were passionate about rescuing shelter animals in need. Pilots and plane owners volunteer their time, planes, and gas to transport animals from point A to point B. Shelters/rescues/fosters who want to save animals that would otherwise be euthanized and that not do well on a ground transport, and/or would otherwise have to travel long distances, will post a transport request with ARF.
WHAT THEY DO: The Highlands Current is a local newspaper that has included Beacon in its regular coverage. They send a reporter, Jeff Simms, to most City Council meetings, as well as other city board meetings.
MISSION: The Highlands Current’s mission is to be a fair and trusted source of information for their Hudson Highlands communities, and to provide a lively forum for wide-ranging views.
HOW THEY DO IT: Through both their website, HighlandsCurrent.org, and their print edition, The Highlands Current, they seek to reflect the rich variety of interests, concerns and experiences of their readers and to communicate their stories in the most up-to-date manner possible. They will report without bias or favor for any particular agenda or partisan political point of view.
P.S.: I, Katie, have a monthly column here!
WHAT THEY DO: SHRED focuses on instilling confidence among youth by using snowboarding to increase kids’ belief that they can and will succeed at whatever it is they put their mind to.
MISSION: Currently based in the Hudson Valley and Catskill regions of New York, SHRED Foundation works to introduce the youth in local rural and urban areas to snowboarding, and to open their eyes to the opportunities and growth it provides. By harnessing the unifying power of snow/skate culture, SHRED works to inspire youth to follow an alternative path and to engage their drive and creativity to follow it. The majority of the kids that participate in the winter program have never stepped foot on a board. By teaching them something as simple as turning a piece of wood down a hill covered in snow, they walk away with so much more than a newfound passion for snowboarding.
HOW THEY DO IT: SHRED partners with local stakeholders (organizations, schools, local recreation departments, snow/skate companies, reps, shops, mountains, and brands) and values the importance of teaching its youth the core aspects of the culture, which include individuality, creativity, progression, entrepreneurial drive and community.
MISSION: The Art Effect is committed to advancing young people’s journey from learning to leadership by engaging them in transformative practices in the arts and media that build future careers and foster personal development.
WHAT THEY DO: The Art Effect was born on January 1, 2018, as a result of the merger of Spark Media Project and Mill Street Loft, two impactful arts nonprofits based in Poughkeepsie, NY. With this merger, The Art Effect became a single, powerful arts education and youth development agency serving youth across the Hudson Valley.
Spark Media Project was founded in 1994 (originally named Children’s Media Project) by Maria Marewski. Spark Media Project, a media art, technology, and education organization, served young people, artists, schools and organizations in the Hudson Valley, with a focus on using media as a tool for creative expression, critical thinking, and skills development.
Mill Street Loft was founded in 1984 by Carole Wolf. Mill Street Loft delivered arts-based programming that has transformed the lives of thousands of residents and their families. Through visual arts courses, camps, and outreach programs, Mill Street Loft was committed to supporting personal growth, fostering self-expression, and enhancing human services through the arts in order to rebuild a shared sense of community.
HOW THEY DO IT: The Art Effect hosts events, classes, portfolio development, festivals, and an apprenticeship program