The mission of the United Way of Northern New York is to measurably improve the lives of all residents of Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence Counties through leadership, training and funding.


Thanks to You… We Are Changing the Dynamic In 2019, the United Way of Northern New York (UWNNY) went through an exciting transformation to focus on creating and sustaining an increased quality of life for all residents of the North Country. UWNNY’s revolution includes not only a change in mission statement, but three foundational pillars.

UWNNY is reaching out to every town and village in the North Country to understand the unique challenges that each one faces. UWNNY will multiply our impact by strategically investing resources to complement and align with other agencies’ efforts.

UWNNY will open the North Country Center of Nonprofit Excellence in January 2020. The mission of the center is to create and sustain a professional nonprofit community, which maximizes limited resources to most effectively and efficiently serve the region, through seminars, training sessions and workshops.

At the historical heart of UWNNY’s mission, we will provide critical funding at the right time, at the right place, to the right organizations to generate the greatest positive impact.

Jamie CoxJamie Cox, CEO

Board Officers
Walter Hammond, Chair, Laurie Gleason, Vice Chair, Patrick Signor, Past Chair, Jan Mosher, Treasurer, Michael Woods, Mbr at Large
Board Members
Jeff Barnard, Courtney Battista Bish, Cathy Brodeur, Natalie Burnham, John Johnson, Jan Macaulay, Sabrina Madden, Shawn Mead, Dan Menapace, Keith Perry, Alicia Ruperd, Dan Sweeney, Leann West



“He who rejects change is the architect of decay. The only human institution which rejects progress is
the cemetery.”

Harold Wilson, British Prime Minister, 1967
Thanks to visionaries throughout the North Country, the United Way of Northern New York is dramatically changing the approach to solve some of the enduring challenges of the region. We cannot solve the dilemmas alone – it truly takes a whole community to study the various problems, prioritize them, and put together the right coalition of organizations to act and put an end to the predicament. For many years, we have passionately applied vital Band-Aids to the wounds of hunger, poverty, homelessness, domestic violence, substance abuse and more. While Band-Aids are a critical first step to addressing the wound, it is only through a smart, focused effort that we can radically move the needle in the community and truly become healthy.

Case in Point: There are a myriad of reasons why a family might encounter food insecurity and abject hunger. Regardless of the origin, we have allowed hunger and food insecurity to be a persistent difficulty across the entire region for years. Compassionate hearts and incredible organizations have created backpack programs, hot lunch programs and food pantries to aid those in need. But despite our best efforts, we, the community-at-large, have failed to substantially move the needle from PROBLEM toward NOT A PROBLEM.

It’s time to change the dynamic! The solution is not as complicated as sending humans to Mars; rather it is opening our minds to innovation and creativity to provide more than just a Band-Aid fix. We are wedded to history and habit patterns. Your United Way of Northern New York is at the heart of changing the approach to the problems in our communities… we’re advocating, bringing the use of best practices, training our nonprofits throughout the region to more effectively and efficiently tackle the challenges, and leading the charge. We are committed to deliver the right results.

Thank you for your support of the United Way of Northern New York! We cannot do this without you! I hope that you share our excitement to create much needed community change, which makes life in the North Country better for everyone.

Wishing you and your family a wonderful Christmas and holiday season.

Jamie Cox
(315) 788-5631


The United Way of Northern New York distributed $985,446 of critical funding to 43 nonprofit organizations throughout Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence Counties. The programs supported included poverty reduction, hunger eradication, assistance for victims of domestic violence, rural transportation, Meals on Wheels, substance abuse prevention and rehabilitation, mental health, disaster training, educational and positive youth programs and activities, and homelessness.

In 2020, your investment will have even a greater impact through the North Country Center of Nonprofit Excellence, which will train and educate our nonprofit organizations to function more effectively and efficiently as businesses. With community collaboration and targeted funding, the end resultant will be that each invested dollar will have a greater impact to our community.


At the heart of the United Way of Northern New York is Tobi Darrah, who’s been with the organization since 1991. A native of Watertown, Tobi has worked for several nonprofit agencies during her career. With an associate degree in Data Processing from SUNY Canton, Tobi and her husband, Lyle, raised twin daughters, Christina and Chelsea. During her free time, Tobi enjoys spending time with her precious grandchildren, Nicolas and Claire, being outdoors, walking and spending time with family and friends.

(L-R) Christina, Lyle, Tobi and Chelsea


Jefferson County Spotlight

Credo Community Center

Credo Community Center has been in the business of providing outpatient and residential addiction support services (substance use and mental health) for over 45 years to individuals, groups, and families. To date in 2019 Credo has provided services to 1,277 unique individuals with an overall increase of 106 for the same time period in 2018.

Lewis County Spotlight

Lewis County Opportunities

On an annual basis, Lewis County Opportunities utilizes nearly 50 partners, 160 community volunteers contributing 14,000 hours of service, and a dedicated workforce of 32 employees and 12 Board members to promote daily living stability to over 2,820 families in Lewis and Jefferson Counties. Lewis County Opportunities’ programs include food, transitional housing, transportation assistance, financial aid, victim services and weatherization.

St. Lawrence County Spotlight

St. Lawrence Valley Renewal House for Victims of Family Violence

The mission of St. Lawrence Valley Renewal House is to respond immediately to the needs of victims of domestic violence and sexual assault in St. Lawrence County through services which empower victims and increase community awareness. In the past year, Renewal House provided services to 1,026 victims and survivors and conducted 407 presentations throughout the county to 10,474 individuals.

UWNNY Partner List

  • ACR Health
  • American Red Cross
  • Association of Blind and Visually Impaired of NNY
  • Cape Vincent Food Pantry
  • Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Ogdensurg
  • CHJC
  • Church and Community Center of Canton
  • Community Action Planing Council
  • Cornell Cooperative Extension Association
  • Credo Community Center for The Treatment of Addictions, Inc.
  • Disabled Person Action Organization
  • Family Counseling Service
  • Garden Share
  • Girl Scouts of NYPenn
  • Hand in Hand Early Childhood Center
  • Lewis County Opportunities
  • Literacy of Northern New York
  • Lowville Food Pantry
  • Massena Police Athletic League
  • Massena Health Association in Jefferson County
  • Mountain View Prevention
  • New Day Children’s Center
  • North Country Family Health Center
  • North Country Prenatal Perinatal Council
  • Northern Regional Center for Independent Living
  • Ogdensburg Boys & Girls Club
  • Ogdensburg Salvation Army
  • Pivot
  • Resoulution Center of Jefferson and Lewis Counties, Inc.
  • Rohde Center
  • Salvation Army Empire (Cape Vincent Food Pantry)
  • Salvation Army Empire (Clifton – Fine Area)
  • Salvation Army Watertown
  • St. Lawrence Community Development Program
  • St. Lawrence Valley Renewal House for Victims of Family Violence
  • The Arc, Jefferson – St. Lawrence
  • The Arc, Oneida Lewis Chapter
  • Thousand Islands Habitat for Humanity
  • Transitional Living Services of NNY
  • Victims Assistance Center of Jefferson County
  • Volunteer Transportation center
  • Watertown Family YMCA
  • Watertown Urban Mission
  • Wilna-Champion Transporation Association


Nonprofit organizations throughout the United States and New York are facing greater financial challenges due to the dynamics of the economy and tax codes, reduced local, state and federal government funding, and generational changes in philanthropic giving. At the same time, a significantly greater burden of responsibility is being put on the charitable community to address human-service problems, such as poverty, hunger and food insecurity, homelessness, substance abuse rehabilitation and education, senior care, and programs for foster and at-risk youth.

At a macro-level, the nonprofit community is not as effective and efficient as for-profit industries due to lack of resources for professional training and quality of pay. While the charitable community is filled with people of great passion to help others, most nonprofit companies are not innovatively maximizing resources to provide the highest quality programs at the least cost due to financial and operational constraints. Nonprofit organizations desperately want and need training; however, as individual organizations, they cannot afford the costs.

The creation of the North Country Center of Nonprofit Excellence (NCCNE) fulfills a clear capability gap throughout the region and adds significant value to improving the performance of all nonprofits. The mission of the NCCNE is to create a professional nonprofit community in Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence Counties that maximizes limited resources to most effectively and efficiently serve the community through the education and utilization of best practices, collaboration, and specialized training.

  • Training Workshops and Seminars. This is the foundation of the NCCNE, which provides critical training and education to all nonprofit agencies throughout Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence Counties. In 2020, nineteen training seminars and workshops have been scheduled, to include leadership and management, grant writing, board member bootcamps, governance, strategic planning, annual operating plans, governance, and more.
  • Subscription Online Resources. All nonprofit organizations in the area will be able to take advantage of the NCCNE’s subscriptions to various online research tools for grant writing. The subscriptions typically cost thousands of dollars each year; but when made available through the NCCNE, our nonprofits will be able to access these tools for free.
  • Grants. This program element identifies the financial needs of funded partner agencies and allows the NCCNE to supplement the United Way Annual Campaign fund or to award special grants for urgent needs. Defined Solution Set + Targeted Funding = Effectiveness.
  • Collaboration and Networking. The NCCNE facilitates collaboration and partnerships, and fosters the cross-pollination of ideas and best practices from county to county and village to village.



UWNNY’S Over the Edge event is THE MOST EXCITING FUNDRAISER in the North Country! Each volunteer participant from St. Lawrence, Lewis and Jefferson Counties raise $1,000+ in pledges to charity in order to experience the rush and thrill of rappelling down Watertown’s Mid-Town Towers… 155 feet of sheer excitement (or terror if you’re me!)!!! Sign up now at