Saratoga Gives Back: ‘saratoga living’ Partners With Local Charitable Organizations For Our ‘Giving Gift Guide’

In last year’s Holiday Issue, saratoga living ran its first-ever Luxury Gift Guide, featuring over-the-top private chef dinners, hundred-thousand-dollar “must-have” accessories and, yes, a vacation in outer space. This year, we decided to switch gears in the spirit of the holidays (even though I’d still totally be down with someone buying me that $168,000 heliskiing trip to Alaska), and present our first-annual Giving Gift Guide, which highlights a dozen charities and nonprofit organizations in the Capital Region we’d like you to consider making a charitable donation to this season. saratoga living even sweetened the deal: If you make a donation to the following charities before February 1, and mention “saratoga living” you’ll receive a special bonus, whether it’s some branded swag, a dedicated “thank you” post on their social media or, my personal favorite, the opportunity to name a rescue pet at the Mohawk Hudson Humane Society. So, as you flip through the following pages, consider helping out a cause you might’ve not considered giving to in the past. After all, it is the holiday season. Let’s make it a happy one for as many people (and animals) as we can.


American Cancer Society
American Cancer Society’s wig room. (Francesco D’Amico)

American Cancer Society Of The Capital Region

About The Charity The American Cancer Society (ACS), a nationwide health organization dedicated to eliminating cancer, has been funding breakthrough research and providing free lodging near treatment sites, free rides and a 24-hour helpline to cancer patients and survivors since its establishment in 1913. The local affiliate, American Cancer Society of the Capital Region, contributes to the national effort by way of monumental fundraising events and campaigns held throughout the year. This year, the Capital Region’s “Real Men Wear Pink” team, consisting of 26 local community leaders, business owners and volunteers, led the nation in donations, with more than $370,000 raised in the month of October, National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Ways To Donate:

Donate here or over the phone by calling Lizzie Hunter at (518) 220-6929 and mentioning “saratoga living.”

saratoga living Bonus:

Donate $100 or more and have a bouquet of daffodils delivered to a local cancer patient on your behalf and your name printed as a “saratoga living Gift Of Hope” donor in ACS’ printed Gala Of Hope program.

American Cancer Society By The Numbers:

  • 4.9: Billions of dollars invested in cancer research via ACS since 1946
  • 915: Thousands of cancer screenings provided to underserved communities by ACS since 2011
  • 1.3: Millions of calls answered by ACS of the Capital Region’s 24/7 helpline last year
  • 2600: Members who benefited from support at ACS’ HopeClub of the Capital Region last year
  • 340: Thousands of rides given to and from cancer treatment by ACS of the Capital Region last year
  • 501: Thousands of nights of free or reduced-price lodging for cancer patients traveling for treatment provided by ACS of the Capital Region last year
Joy Us
A scene from Joy US Foundation’s Stronger Than Cancer Day. (Francesco D’Amico)

Joy US Foundation

About The Charity Founded in February 2018, Joy US is a Saratoga Springs-based organization that provides cancer patients and survivors (and their friends and family members) access to outdoor experiences, including hiking, kayaking, fishing and organic gardening. Founder Janet Abrahamson’s vision for the foundation is to “restore joy and serenity in the lives of cancer survivors,” and to connect people affected by cancer by way of relaxed outdoor activities. Abrahamson hopes to develop a property in the Adirondacks that will be able to offer extended stays to cancer survivors and their families without financial burden.

Ways To Donate: 

Donate here or type “saratoga living in the “write a note” field when donating via PayPal here.

saratoga living Bonus

Donate $50 and receive a Joy US water bottle. Donate $100 and receive a Joy US drawstring backpack. Donate $250 or more and receive a Joy US water bottle, drawstring backpack and can koozie.

Joy US Foundation By The Numbers:

  • 50: Outdoor excursions Joy US has held in just a year and a half of the foundation’s existence
  • 50: Cost, in dollars, for Joy US to take a family of four on a guided full moon hike with other families impacted by a cancer diagnosis
  • 100: Cost, in dollars, for Joy US to provide a family of four with a night of snow tubing, a pizza party and s’mores by the fire with other families impacted by a cancer diagnosis
  • 250: Cost, in dollars, for Joy US to provide a family of four with an overnight stay in the Adirondacks, kayaking and hiking.
Mohawk Hudson Humane Society
Kip chews on a toy at Mohawk Hudson Humane Society’s animal care center in Menands. (Francesco D’Amico)

Mohawk Hudson Humane Society

About The Charity Mohawk Hudson Humane Society (MHHS), the oldest and largest animal protection organization in the Capital Region, has been serving Albany, Rensselaer and the surrounding counties for more than 130 years. With two facilities—an animal care center in Menands and a spay/neuter clinic in Saratoga Springs, in addition to the support of a large team of volunteers and charitable donations—the humane society is able to touch the lives of more than 7000 animals each year. It provides shelter and care for stray, abused and unwanted animals; low-cost spay/neuter and wellness services; vaccinations; dog training; a pet food pantry; and humane education programming.

Ways To Donate:

Donate here and type “saratoga living,” along with the name you’d like to give a pet, in the “comments for MHHS staff” field.

saratoga living Bonus:

Donate $100 or more and you will get to name a cat or dog at the Mohawk Hudson Humane Society and will receive a photograph of the pet you named.

Mohawk Hudson Humane Society By The Numbers:

  • 7000: Animals served by MHHS each year
  • 3138: Pets adopted into loving families by MHHS in 2018
  • 1049: Animals cared for in foster homes through MHHS in 2018
  • 24,628: Hours dedicated by MHHS volunteers in 2018
  • 3059: Low-cost surgeries provided to animals by MHHS in 2018
  • 45,895: Meals provided through MHHS’ pet foot pantry
Old Friends At Cabin Creek
Old Friends At Cabin Creek is the only Thoroughbred retirement farm located in Saratoga County. (Francesco D’Amico)

Old Friends At Cabin Creek

About The Charity Old Friends At Cabin Creek, the New York division of Old Friends—a Thoroughbred retirement facility headquartered in Georgetown, KY, and founded in 2003—has worked to provide a safe and loving home for retired race horses since it opened its doors in 2009. It’s the only retirement farm of its kind located in Saratoga County (Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation is based in the Spa City, but doesn’t operate a farm there), and also serves as a place for the public to meet real race horses at free open houses every Saturday afternoon throughout the winter. Old Friends At Cabin Creek is staffed completely by volunteers and run entirely on donations, so the foundation relies heavily on the support of the city that owes its success to many of the horses Old Friends cares for.

Ways To Donate:

Donate via PayPal here and type “saratoga living” in the “write a note field” or by enclosing a note that says “saratoga living” when donating by mail to: 483 Sand Hill Road, Greenfield Center, NY 12833.

saratoga living Bonus:

Donate $50 or more and receive a four-pack of Old Friends At Cabin Creek thank you cards.

Old Friends At Cabin Creek By The Numbers:

  • 15: Cost, in dollars, to care for a horse at Old Friends At Cabin Creek for one day
  • 100: Percentage of Old Friends At Cabin Creek staff members that are volunteers
  • 15: Thoroughbreds currently residing at Old Friends At Cabin Creek
  • 8,881,711: Total earnings, in dollars, of the 15 Thoroughbreds that live at Old Friends At Cabin Creek
Saratoga Bridges
Saratoga Bridges’ Creative Endeavors Art Center gives individuals a place to hone their creativity. (Francesco D’Amico)

Saratoga Bridges

About The Charity In 1956, a group of parents joined together to found Saratoga County ARC, a “rightful place in society” for their children living with disabilities. In 2006, the foundation was renamed Saratoga Bridges, and it’s now the third largest nonprofit human services agency in Saratoga County. Since then, the organization has been providing high-quality services—including in-home support, employment opportunities, rides to and from employment and programs, residential alternatives, clinical services and day programs—to hundreds of individuals with developmental disabilities and their families. The Saratoga Bridges mission is to enrich, elevate, enhance and empower people’s lives in communities where they’re valued for their abilities and contributions.

Ways To Donate:

Donate here and type saratoga living in the “company” field or over the phone by calling (518) 587-0723 and mentioning saratoga living.

saratoga living bonus:

Donate $49 or less and receive a Saratoga Bridges baseball hat. Donate $50-$149 and receive a Saratoga Bridges Yeti water bottle. Donate $150 or more and receive a Saratoga Bridges quarter-zip sweatshirt.

Saratoga Bridges By The Numbers:

  • 830: Individuals currently served by Saratoga Bridges
  • 450: Individuals transported to and from programs by Saratoga Bridges daily
  • 307: Families currently receiving support services from Saratoga Bridges
  • 115: People working in the community through Saratoga Bridges’ supported employee program, Alpha Career Options
Saratoga PLAN
Saratoga PLAN’s Glowegee Creek Trail, set to open to the public in spring 2020. (Francesco D’Amico)

Saratoga PLAN

About The Charity Saratoga PLAN, which stands for “Preserving Land And Nature,” was formed in 2003 when two grassroots volunteer operations—Saratoga Springs Open Space Project and the Land Trust of the Saratoga Region—combined to create one efficient and sustainable land conservation organization to serve the Saratoga region. More than a decade-and-a-half later, PLAN works tirelessly to preserve the rural character, natural habitats and scenic beauty of Saratoga County, so that future generations can continue to enjoy this beautiful place.

Ways To Donate:

Donate online here and type saratoga livingin the “notes for donation” field; over the phone by calling (518) 587-5554 and mentioning saratoga living;” or by enclosing a note that says saratoga living when donating by mail to 112 Spring Street, Room 202, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866.

saratoga living bonus: 

Donate $50 or more and receive a packet of native, sun-loving seeds.

Saratoga PLAN By The Numbers:

  • 6: PLAN employees
  • 250: Student interns and volunteers that help out at PLAN
  • 4985: Acres of conserved land managed by PLAN
  • 22: Miles of trails maintained by PLAN
  • 10: Nature preserves owned by PLAN
  • 7000: Acres conserved by PLAN to date
Saratoga Senior Center
A rug hooking class at Saratoga Senior Center. (Francesco D’Amico)

Saratoga Senior Center

About The Charity The Saratoga Senior Center, a nonprofit, nonresidential community center in Downtown Saratoga Springs, offers Saratoga County people aged 50 or older a variety of free and subsidized social, recreational, wellness, educational, arts and cultural programming, year-round. Additionally, it offers seniors supports services such as advocacy and referrals, support groups, transportation and food services. Established in 1955, the center’s mission is to empower seniors to achieve and maintain personal independence and individual well-being. 

Ways To Donate:

Click via PayPal here and type saratoga living in the “add special instructions to the seller” field (you can also indicate if you would prefer not to be mentioned on social media or in the newsletter in this field) or over the phone by calling (518) 584-1621 and mentioning saratoga living.”

saratoga living bonus: 

The first ten people who donate $50 or more will receive a hand-crafted piece of art created by members in Saratoga Senior Center art classes. Donate any amount of money and receive a shout out in Saratoga Senior Center’s newsletter and on its social media.

Saratoga Senior Center By The Numbers:

  • 2000: Seniors served annually by the Saratoga Senior Center
  • 150: Average daily attendance at the Saratoga Senior Center
  • 50: Different programs offered each month by the Saratoga Senior Center
  • 15,000: Volunteer hours donated per year on average
Code Blue Saratoga
Code Blue Saratoga’s new temporary homeless shelter on Adelphi Street. (Francesco D’Amico)

Code Blue Saratoga

About The Charity Shelters of Saratoga’s Code Blue Saratoga provides homeless individuals with safe shelter, services and strategies to get out of their situation. Code Blue Saratoga’s new temporary, seasonal hub, open from November 15-April 1, is located on Adelphi Street. In previous years, new St. Peter’s Church and the Salvation Army have also hosted the shelter. Code Blue is funded in part by The Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance and in part by donations from the community.

Ways To Donate:

Donate online here and type saratoga living in the “comment” field.

saratoga living bonus:

Donate $50 or more and receive a Shelters Of Saratoga #inclusivity bracelet.

Code Blue Saratoga By The Numbers

  • 261: People served by Code Blue Saratoga in the 2018-19 season
  • 158: Nights Code Blue Saratoga was open during the 2018-19 season
  • 79: Percentage of people served by Code Blue Saratoga during the 2018-19 season that were male
  • 1070: Shifts worked by Code Blue Saratoga volunteers in the 2017-18 season
Maggie Fronk, executive director of Wellspring, at work in her office. (Francesco D’Amico)


About The Charity In 1982, a group of concerned community members formed the Task Force Against Domestic Violence, which, along with 20 volunteers, offered support, transportation, clothing and financial assistance to women and children fleeing domestic abuse. The organization grew into Wellspring, a domestic violence and sexual assault services resource that offers a slew of services, including crisis intervention and counseling, advocacy and case management, emergency shelter for victims of domestic violence, long-term housing assistance and financial support.

Ways To Donate:

Donate via PayPal here and type saratoga living in the “write a note” field. (You can also indicate if you’d prefer not to be mentioned on social media in this field.)

saratoga living bonus:

Donate $50 or more and receive a stick-on phone card holder and shout out on Wellspring’s Facebook page.

Wellspring By The Numbers:

  • 1500: New client calls answered by Wellspring in 2018
  • 18,885: Nights of safe sleep provided by Wellspring in 2018
  • 850: Survivors of abuse served by Wellspring in 2018
  • 250: Thousands of dollars spent by Wellspring in 2018 on rent subsidies for its New View Housing Program
  • 350: Miles of cab rides to family court, job interviews and services provided by Wellspring to clients each month
  • 6500: People served by Wellspring’s education and awareness activities in 2018
Veterans & Community Housing Coalition
A veteran at Veterans & Community Housing Coalition’s fourth annual Veterans Ball at the Hall of Springs. (Francesco D’Amico)

Veterans & Community Housing Coalition

About The Charity On any given day in the US, more than 50,000 veterans are homeless—600 of whom reside in the Capital Region. Incorporated in 1983, Veterans & Community Housing Coalition (VCHC) aims to help homeless veterans obtain and maintain permanent housing, financial stability and health care. Located in Ballston Spa, VCHC offers a variety of housing programs for veterans, low-income families and other individuals experiencing homelessness.

Ways To Donate:

Donate via PayPal here and type saratoga livingin the “write a note” field (you can also indicate if you would prefer not to be mentioned on social media in this field); over the phone by calling (518) 885-0091 and mentioning saratoga living; or by enclosing a note that says saratoga living when donating by mail to 20 Prospect St., Bldg. 2, Suite 313, Ballston Spa, NY 12020.

saratoga living bonus:

Donate $50 or more and receive a VCHC pen and a shout out on VCHC’s social media pages.

Veterans & Community Housing Coalition By The Numbers:

  • 600: Homeless veterans in the Capital Region
  • 250: Veterans assisted by VCHC in 2018
  • 300: Low-income and disabled Saratoga County families assisted by VCHC in 2018
Habitat for Humanity ReStore
Habitat for Humanity’s Southern Adirondack ReStore, located in Fort Edward. (Francesco D’Amico)

Habitat For Humanity Northern Saratoga, Warren and Washington Counties

Habitat For Humanity International is a nonprofit organization that works to provide affordable housing for the less fortunate through the help of volunteers and donations. The local arm, Habitat For Humanity Northern Saratoga, Warren and Washington Counties is chiefly run by volunteers, as is its ReStore, which accepts donations and sells home improvement items to the public for a fraction of their retail price. Proceeds of every sale at the Southern Adirondack ReStore, which is located in Fort Edward, go towards the work of Habitat For Humanity.

Ways To Donate:

Donate via PayPal here and type saratoga living into the “Would you like to direct your donation?” field.

saratoga living bonus:

Donate $100 or more and receive a $25 gift card to Habitat for Humanity’s Southern Adirondack ReStore.

Habitat For Humanity By The Numbers:

  • 350: Thousands of homes built by Habitat for Humanity International to date
  • 1.75: Millions of people who have been provided shelter by Habitat for Humanity International to date
  • 30: Homes built by Habitat for Humanity of Northern Saratoga, Warren and Washington Counties to date
Saratoga Hospital
Saratoga Hospital’s Alfred Z. Solomon Emergency Center. (Francesco D’Amico)

Saratoga Hospital Foundation

About The Charity As the philanthropic arm of Saratoga Hospital, Saratoga Hospital Foundation secures, manages and distributes gifts to support the mission of the hospital. Recently, donations to the foundation have helped bring to fruition projects such as the Saratoga Community Health Center, which provides health services to community members, regardless of their insurance status and ability to pay; and the Nursing Scholarship Program, which invests in some of the best area nurses.

Ways To Donate:

Donate here by choosing “Designation: Other” and typing saratoga livinginto the “other” field; donate over the phone by calling (518) 583-8340 and mentioning saratoga living, or mention saratoga living when donating in person at 211 Church St., Saratoga Springs, NY 12866.

saratoga living bonus:

Donate $100 or more and receive Saratoga Hospital’s 2019 Collector’s Ornament, which this year honors Marylou Whitney. See the ornament here.

Saratoga Hospital Foundation By The Numbers:

  • 501,301: Amount raised, in dollars, at the 2019 Saratoga Hospital Gala
  • 15: Millions of dollars in Saratoga Hospital’s endowment fund
  • 24: Years Saratoga Hospital has been creating its collectible holiday ornaments
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