“Children will not remember you for the material things you provide but for the feeling that you cherished them.”

Richard L. Evans

One place in the Capital Region that I wish I lived closer to is the Healthy Living Market & Cafe (3065 Route 50, Saratoga Springs). I used to go to the cafe during my yearly trip to Vermont and was super excited when I heard the market was coming to the area so I make my way up there as often as I can for events they’re having. On Wednesday, I was invited to a Festival Summer Night of wine tasting, food pairing, do-gooding and community building.

Aside from the delicious food and delicious wine, I was happy to learn that the Healthy Living Market & Cafe does various spotlights on local charities and gives shoppers the opportunity to Project Liftlearn about the charity as well as give as they’re cashing out their food. This event in particular was to teach us about the Franklin Community Center (10 Franklin Street, Saratoga Springs) and more specifically Project Lift.

Franklin Community Center is a non-profit human service agency that has provided services for 30 years. They serve more than 6,000 people annually promoting healthy lifestyles and positive changes, saying their philosophy is: “send people out the door with whatever they came in looking for.” We can all admit that things get tough sometimes and some people may not be able to survive on their own, thankfully the Franklin Community Center is there to provide services like: safe and affordable housing (17 efficiency apartments for single, low-income individuals, plus two larger apartments over our distribution center); a food pantry; free clothing and furniture distribution; advocacy and referral information; holiday assistance; teenage pregnant and parenting information (M.O.M.) and an after school youth prevention program called Project Lift.

Project Lift is a free after-school prevention program serving youth in grades 1-5 that places emphasis on positive youth development, raising self-esteem, and the development of decision-making and communication skills. My Mom was a single Mom soProject Lift-2 I’m very familiar with the big part these after-school programs have on children, especially grades 1-5. I made some of my best friends in those programs and got the best help from teachers when I was doing my homework until my Mom came to get me. This program not only offers a safe place for children to do but holiday assistance, school supplies, advocacy, food pantry, and more for those families enrolled in the program.

For more information or to make a donation to the program, visit the Franklin Community Center website. It was great to network a bit, drink wine and try to win a raffle at the Healthy Living Market, but my favorite part was their focus on this great program for Saratoga Springs School District students.

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