By Fina Badolato
Despite challenging times, local donors have once again opened their hearts and wallets to the Times Herald-Record’s People for People Fund.

Donations for the campaign period of November and December 2021, plus January 2022, totaled $83,076.28, according to Marsi Clark, the Fund’s executive director, down from $114,522.45 for the same period in 2020 and 2021.

In 2021, the Fund distributed grants of $75,000 assisting 52 households directly, plus many more, with grants of $10,000 to local initiatives for food insecurities and $20,000 for child care/summer camp scholarships.
Government programs that provided extended unemployment benefits and supplements, as well as rent, utility and water/sewer assistance in 2020-21 were a boost to many low-to-moderate income level families, Clark added. With governmental assistance available, the Fund did not receive requests for rent and related assistance.

“We did not see many COVID-related applications, as there were many government programs assisting with additional funds,” Clark said. “But we have had applications for those with injuries and illnesses not COVID-related, such as car accidents, repairs, deductibles, complications after surgery or diagnosis of cancer or other diseases, and the treatment plan that follows.”

Such unexpected financial emergencies undermined the stability of hard-working, normally self-supporting folks in the Hudson Valley and Catskills, and that’s where the People for People Fund has helped, for more than 35 years, with a one-time grant to qualified applicants in Orange, Ulster and Sullivan counties in NY, and parts of Pike County, Pa. The expectation is that recipients will go back to being self-supporting afterward.

“Life goes on beyond COVID,” Clark said. “Bad things happen every day to others around us. There is always someone who has it tougher than you.”

If you missed the opportunity to donate to the 2021 People for People Fund campaign, no worries – it’s never too late to help this worthy cause. Donations are welcome all year round.

About the Fund
The Record’s People for People Fund is supported through voluntary donations from community and religious groups, businesses and mostly individuals, with dedicated volunteers working tirelessly with recipients each step of the way. To learn more about contributing, volunteering or applying for help from The Record’s People for People Fund, call 845-343-1663. Donations by check can be mailed to People for People Fund, c/o First Federal Savings of Middletown, P.O. Box 2023, Middletown, NY 10940. Donations by credit card can be made via The Community Foundation of Orange and Sullivan NY at, by searching for Record’s People for People Fund.