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11/18/11 - Sen. Schumer recognizes contribution of Trust and other community foundations

United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510

Statement of Senator Charles E. Schumer Recognizing Contributions of Community Foundations

Thursday November 17, 2011

Mr. President, I rise today in honor of National Community Foundations Week. This week we recognized the millions of Americans who have joined together to make their communities a better place through donations of their time and resources. The generosity and willingness of individuals to work together for the common good has been a hallmark of the American character since our nation’s founding.

Every day volunteer organizations across the country make substantial contributions to our nation’s well-being in countless areas—from education and the arts to economic development and environmental protection. Many of these associations are community foundations—local charitable organizations formed to provide financial support to valuable programs across their communities. Last year alone community foundations gave approximately $4 billion to various local nonprofit activities.

Led by private citizens, community foundations provide effective support to communities across the United States, often supplementing both public and private programs to provide their friends and neighbors with the maximum level of support necessary to build strong and vibrant communities. With 700 community foundations across the nation, they are one of the fastest-growing forms of philanthropy in the United States.

One such community foundation, which exemplifies the virtues of charity and giving back, is the New York Community Trust. Established in 1924, the New York Community Trust is one of the oldest and largest community foundations in the nation—providing $141 million in grants to community organizations in 2010 alone. The Trust currently invests in various programs to build a better New York—such as helping to re-employ New Yorkers through the New York Alliance for careers in Health Care (NYACH), a project that assesses gaps in the labor market and provides workforce training to both assist individuals in getting in demand jobs and simultaneously alleviate the skills gap in the health care industry. Through its commitment to the Juvenile Justice Advocacy and Action Project, the New York Community Trust is also dedicated to finding alternatives to prison for non-violent, delinquent youth. The Trust’s grants are also cleaning up the Harlem River, removing tens of thousands of pounds of debris from Swindlers Cove and transforming it into a five-acre park with a children’s garden and a boathouse.

Mr. President, I urge my colleagues to join me in recognizing this week of November 12 through November 18th, 2011 as National Community Foundation Week so we may continue to honor the important work that charity and private citizens play in making our nation a better place.


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