Nisky NOW launches online holiday fundraising campaign

NISKAYUNA – A Niskayuna organization committed to feeding schoolchildren in need has launched its first holiday fundraising trip.

Nisky NOW (Nutrition on Weekends) is collecting donations until 31 December to fund its annual activities.

Volunteer group provides weekly meal deliveries to Niskayuna K-12 students whose families are facing financial hardship.

Niskayuna Town Board Member Jessica Brennan, who also serves as Nisky NOW president, said the organization had raised $8,200 through the campaign as of December 20.

“Our goal is to reach $10,000 and we want to raise funds to fund the program as much as possible throughout the year,” he said.

If donors want to dedicate their gifts to their family or friends, they can post on a community wall on the group’s donation page.

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“It’s a way to see everyone in the community come together and see who people donate in their honor,” Brennan said. “So we’re trying to make it a community building event.”

Brennan noted that the online fundraising effort was launched as a way to reach the community after the pandemic’s complex efforts to organize in-person community events.

“With COVID and different things happening, it has become increasingly difficult to hold large fundraisers,” he said. “People would get sick or people would have full hands. It seemed like there had to be another way to use it.

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Residents can donate to the driver by texting niskynow to 801801 or visiting https://donorbox.org/niskynow.

“We’ve almost reached our goal and we’re trying to make one last move,” Brennan said. “The town is a community partner and of course the school district and PTOs. So we’re trying to raise awareness in any way people might want to participate.”

Launched in 2014, the organization aims to provide meals on weekends to all food-insecure Niskayuna students.

“We don’t want any barriers to feeding students,” Brennan said. “Families can let someone at their school know right away that they need help, and we can open the pantry and deliver that day or night. We try to help our neighbors, especially because of food prices.”

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To complete the fundraising initiative, the group has also placed a box for the soup collection at Niskayuna Town Hall, which will collect donations by the end of the year.

“We hope this can be successful and we can do it again next year,” Brennan said of the online fundraising effort. “Even if you want to go and donate $1 and see some of the different comments people make, I think it’s really fun. It was really special.”

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