Prior to selecting recipients each year, the Community Works Committee encourages college employees and students to nominate worthy agencies located in the Hudson Valley.
Alternatives To Violence Project—New York Chapter
Alternatives to Violence Project is an association of community, school and prison-based groups offering experiential workshops in personal growth, community development and creative conflict management. Founded in prison and developed from the real-life experiences of prisoners, AVP encourages every person’s innate power to positively transform first themselves and then the world we live in. Through their local chapter, AVP brings together diverse groups of people in the Mid-Hudson region to build Dr. King’s nonviolent “beloved community”, creating a more peaceful and equitable world.
Brielle Grace Breast Cancer Foundation
The Brielle Grace Cancer Foundation, a small local charity, serves those diagnosed with breast cancer by providing financial support for breast cancer patients’ medical bills, funds mammograms for early breast cancer detection and donates to New York research facilities. The Foundation provides services to local recipients through fundraising events, donations and grants. The Foundation’s mission is to save lives and was founded by Dawn Fortis, a two-time cancer survivor. She has a vision to save one life at a time and to help create a breast cancer free world.
Community Matters 2
CM2’s mission is to initiate communal growth by organizing events and establishing programs with local organizations for residents and youth with common goals that sparks community engagement. Started in 2018, CM2 believes in order for a community to thrive, people must work together and be the change or improvement they are asking for. Community Matters 2 has connected local Poughkeepsie organizations through food drives, park clean ups, open gyms and clinics as well as through community celebrations of local businesses and community groups.
Crisis Services—Family Services
Family Services provides 24/7 support to Hudson Valley residents who are victims of violence and other crimes. Family Services offers support through three multidisciplinary and victim-centered Crisis Service programs that empower survivors and their families: Universal Response to Domestic Violence (URDV), Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) and Center for Victim Safety and Support (CVSS). They are recognized leaders in the community’s response to domestic violence and sexual assault, helping victims understand they are not alone, their safety is a priority, and they have options. Their person-centered approach supports survivors’ rights, dignity, healing and self-determination.
Dutchess County Pride Center
Dutchess County Pride Center is a safe place for members of the LGBTQ+ community in Dutchess County, including LGBTQ+ youth, young adults and their families, and allies to feel comfortable and free to express themselves. Their goal is to support, educate and advocate for the LGBTQ+ community, including LGBTQ+ youth and their families, through outreach, support groups and social events.
Dutchess Outreach Emergency Relief
Dutchess Outreach offers a range of vital services for those in need while working to uncover a deeper understanding of the social ills our community faces in order to create innovative, locally-minded solutions to achieve a healthier, more vibrant and sustainable community.
The Emergency Relief Program works on a daily basis with families and individuals who are facing various emergencies in their lives. From not being able to afford vital medication in order to remain healthy to facing imminent danger of utility shut-off, Dutchess Outreach provides relief in the way of one-time grants of financial assistance on a case by case basis.
Exodus Transitional Community
With a firm belief in human resilience, Exodus Transitional Community delivers innovative programming tailored to adults and youth affected by the justice system, and advocates for a society in which all can achieve social, economic, and spiritual well-being. In their 20+ years of work and advocacy, they have proudly supported more than 10,000 people affected by the criminal justice system, advocating for their rights, collaborating with them on skill-building, and placing these resilient, hard-working, talented individuals in jobs all over New York State. Exodus works locally through offices in both Poughkeepsie and Newburgh.
Family of Woodstock
Family of Woodstock, Inc. is a multi-program human service agency providing emergency and crisis services throughout Ulster County. Founded in 1970, they run one of the oldest continuously operating 24-hour-a-day emergency switchboards in the country, which is county-wide and toll free, as well as operating numerous walk-in centers and emergency shelters in Woodstock, New Paltz, Ellenville and Kingston. They provide a broad network of individuals, paid and volunteer, whose mission is to provide confidential and fully accessible crisis intervention, information, prevention, and support services to address the needs of individuals and families in crisis throughout Ulster County. In addition to assisting individuals, Family of Woodstock continually seeks to improve the quality of life in their community by addressing gaps in services and by advocating for more comprehensive, effective, culturally appropriate and humane responses to people’s needs.
Poughkeepsie Community WiFi Project—Nubian Directions II
Nubian Directions II Inc. continues to move forward to provide free Wi-Fi access to “unconnected” City of Poughkeepsie residents through a local WiFi mesh network that is community owned and supported. This WiFi mesh network will aid in closing the socio-economic digital divide while building a technology inclusive community in this critical time. Local city residents and Poughkeepsie City School District students currently can access free WiFi/internet access already installed in a variety of locations throughout the city of Poughkeepsie and the expansion of this project will increase that access across the city.
Poughkeepsie Youth Theatre
Poughkeepsie Youth Theatre (PYT) Is a weekly, free after school program for young people ages 13-18 where participants play drama games, improvise scenes, learn to act on stage and create and perform original theatre. Reflecting on their world and what matters to them, participants engage in story-circles, create scenes, improvise them, and determine what has most meaning in devising their play. Operated by Family Services and supported by theatre professionals alongside Vassar College and Dutchess Community College drama students, participants rehearse and refine their work in preparation for a performance each spring where the PYT showcase their skills in a play that they have built together.