Fina Badolato for the Times Herald-Record

To say that 2020 was a year like no other in recent memory would be an understatement.

The COVID-19 pandemic’s grip on the world – and in particular, our Hudson Valley and Catskills – caused us to rethink and reshape the way we live our lives.

Social distancing and wearing masks became the new norm. How we work, pursue an education, worship, shop, celebrate holidays, contact family, friends and co-workers, and just about every facet of our day-to-day existence operate under a different set of rules now.

But thankfully, some things haven’t changed at their core. Despite the challenging times, local donors have once again opened their hearts and wallets to support the Times Herald-Record’s People for People Fund, with $117,715 raised in the 2020 campaign, according to Marsi Clark, the fund’s executive director.

Ninety-three applicants/households were assisted in 2020 by the fund, with grants totaling $66,720. When the People for People office was temporarily closed during part of the pandemic and unable to make individual grants, the fund’s board also distributed $15,000 for assistance with PPE for local frontline healthcare workers. Additionally, $10,000 was distributed by the Fund to several local agencies for their food initiatives in Orange and Sullivan counties.

“To support the efforts to feed the poor and vulnerable in our community, we recognized the tremendous demands for food placed on these organizations by the COVID-19 outbreak and contributed to their humanitarian services,” said Nolly Climes, People for People’s board president.

In comparison, the 2019 fundraising campaign – which didn’t face pandemic obstacles – raised $117,995.61, plus $10,000 in estates, bequests and stock donations.

Yet, even with the harsh hurdles thrown in the path of the People for People Fund’s 2020 campaign, loyal donors dug deep into their pockets and continued to help their neighbors-in-need, during these most dire times.

Did you miss the opportunity to donate to the 2020 campaign? No worries. It’s never too late to help this worthy cause. Donations are welcome all year round – and although the People for People Fund is publicized chiefly during November and December each year, its work never stops.

“Our donors really do care about their neighbors,” added Clark.

About the fund

The People for People Fund offers a one-time grant to steadily employed local people who have normally been self-supporting until an unexpected financial emergency arises. The fund’s assistance should significantly resolve the problem and help the individual resume financial stability. Since 1985, the fund has helped thousands of local people. To learn more about contributing, volunteering or applying for help, call 343-1663 or visit Donations can also be made via the Community Foundation of Orange and Sullivan NY at: