Adirondack Gifts that Do Good

Loon photograph by Flickr user lisadonoghue via Creative Commons

When Heifer International hit on the idea of providing chickens, goats, sheep and ducks to hungry families all over the world the nonprofit scored a home run. The idea of sponsoring animals and worthwhile social projects as holiday gifts has spread even to the Adirondacks.

Through the Biodiversity Research Institute, based in Maine, a contribution of $75 underwrites loon research in 27 states, including important mercury studies in the Adirondack Park. Donors receive a certificate describing a specific loon on a local waterway, along with posters, color photos and a book about BRI’s work with this iconic wilderness bird. Read more about the organization’s Adirondack work in “Loonscape,” from the October 2013 issue of Adirondack Life.

The North Country SPCA gives animal lovers the chance to help others adopt pets from the state-of-the-art shelter in Elizabethtown. A contribution of $60 sponsors a grownup cat and $75 supports a kitten; adult dogs are $100 and puppies $125. The donations pay for shots, neutering, vet exams and food so that animals in need can find good homes at little or no cost. Sponsored pets are noted on the NCSPCA website.

Friends, families and total strangers can sponsor a child attending the summer camps run by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation at Lake Colby, near Saranac Lake, and Pack Forest, near Warrensburg. A week of outdoor fun—canoeing, fishing, nature study, swimming and hiking—is $350, open to ages 11 to 13. The campership program is administered by the nonprofit Natural Heritage Trust, and tax-deductible donations can be for any amount.

Beyond charismatic megafauna, fluffy kitties and happy campers, regional groups offer sponsorships that have lasting impacts on the waters and woods. It’s hard to imagine that $25 could pay for a ton of anything, but the Adirondack Council offers Clean Air Certificates that will retire a ton of acid-rain-causing pollutants from upwind power plants. The contribution earns a personalized document that can be framed.

At Old Forge’s View arts center, Square Foot Sponsors support construction costs of the beautiful facility for $375. In honor of this gift donors receive a gold-tone pin in the shape of a foot. A contribution of $250 buys a personalized plank in View’s boardwalk, and proceeds support exhibitions and programs in the Kashiwa Eco Gallery.

North Country Public Radio provides day sponsors the chance to honor a friend, favorite place or special event for $365. The giver’s 10-second message is announced five times during prime listening hours on a selected weekday.


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