Giving Thanks; Fill Your Heart and Mind with Gratitude

With Thanksgiving and the holiday season upon us, now is the time for each of us to pause and  consider the many things that we are thankful for in our lives. While we have been torn from loved ones  for months, faced work and health challenges directly and through others, and lost people we love and  care deeply for: there are always ways to look for goodness, thanks, gratitude and hope in our lives.   

Unequivocally, 2020 has been a challenging year for everyone in the United States, and throughout the  world. While life is always fraught with challenges, this year COVID, and the global pandemic brought  each of us changes in how we live, communicate, work and think. Yet with everything we have lived  through, the sun has risen and set each day, offering hope. We have learned a great deal about ourselves  these past months. While none of us has ever lived through a pandemic before, they have challenged the  world throughout history.  

Though changed, and seeing our lives altered, we have adjusted, we have become vigilant in working to  live our lives responsibly, and socially distant. Masks have now become the new accessory item in our  daily wardrobe, something that at the beginning of 2020, we would not have thought remotely  imaginable. 

There are some things we are always in control of in our lives, and one of these is your attitude. Have an  attitude of gratitude and an attitude that is worth catching. We do have choices in life and having an  attitude of gratitude is one of them. Sometimes people become bogged down with negativity. The more  negative you feel and are, and the more you surround yourself with negative thoughts and people, the  further and deeper your negativity becomes.  

Gratitude is the quality of being thankful, a feeling of appreciation for what we have, whether tangible or  intangible. It is acknowledging what’s good in our lives and being thankful for the things we have. As you  express thanks and gratitude, you may feel lighter, more at peace, and happier. Gratitude has a direct  correlation to happiness and joy. Practicing and verbally expressing gratitude leads to more joy without a  lot of effort. It’s easy to be happy when you’re grateful.  

Here is something easy, and yet very effective that you can incorporate into your daily life. Each  morning verbally express even if just to yourself, 3 things that you are grateful for. They can be small or  large, they are your choice. Starting your day in this manner begins your day with a positive mindset,  which is the other thing that you are completely in control of. At the end of your day as you get into bed,  reflect on 3 things that you were thankful for during the day. Again they can be small or large, they are  yours and for you only. As you reflect and express them to yourself, you will find that this small act at the  end of your day has tremendous impact, in that it relaxes your mind, clears your head and sets you up for  a more restful sleep.

This year at your Thanksgiving table, add gratitude. Here are a few ideas. 

1. Have each person verbally express one thing they are grateful and thankful for.

2. During your cocktail time before dinner, have everyone write down something they are thankful  for and have them fold their response and put them in a basket. When everyone is seated you can  pass the basket. Each guest unfolds a response and reads it. This way everyone can remain  anonymous, should they wish. 

3. Going in a circle around the table going clockwise, have each person express a sentence of  gratitude about the person on their left and go around the table.  

Each of these is simple, cost nothing and yet can add greater dimension and meaning to your  Thanksgiving dinner. They can easily be adapted if you are zooming in family or friends. You can easily  incorporate them as new Thanksgiving holiday traditions. 

Bottom line, life is never easy all the time, the road is not straight and the weather is never perfect. It is  what challenges us that makes us stronger, builds our character and helps us to truly appreciate and  treasure the many gifts in our lives. Finding the positive during troubling challenging times and everyday  helps us to weather the storms and have deeper thanks, appreciation and gratitude for everything that is  part of our life and who we are. 

Celebrate this Thanksgiving and holiday season with an open mind and grateful heart. Let goodness and  kindness prevail. Each day we wake up is a gift to be celebrated, treasured and appreciated in our hearts.

The Food Pantries for the Capital District Needs Volunteers!

 The Food Pantries for the Capital District invites you to support them and their 65 member pantries in the Capital Region!

Each year volunteers generously provide tens of thousands of hours of volunteer support to The Food Pantries for the Capital District and their member pantries.  “Volunteers are an invaluable asset to our organization,” said the Community Engagement Manager, Kathy Marco.


Individuals, families, community organizations, and businesses can help in many ways, such as; hosting a food drive at their organization or neighborhood, supporting the Food Pantries staff in the community with the Food Connect Mobile Pantry program, assist at the Food Pantries office with in-person or remote projects, or volunteer at one of the member pantries. 

Due to COVID-19, they make sure to be COVID compliant and follow state guidelines, including social distancing, sanitizing, face coverings, and proper quarantine procedures. If a person thinks they have been exposed or feel like they may have symptoms, the Food Pantries asks that you wait until you have been symptom-free for over 24 hours or after a period of self-quarantine. 

They also advise volunteers to bring their own masks, gloves, and other forms of PPE as each pantry may not provide them. 

If you would like more information about volunteering or would like to host a food drive, please visit there website at thefoodpantries.org or call us at 518-458-1167.

5 Things Essential for Professional Zoom Etiquette

From the desk of Karen Lombardo, Owner Put Another Way, LLC.

As someone who has worked remotely for decades, conference calls, and what we used to call “bridge calls” have always been a part of my professional life. Since March, professionals, families, and students have been thrown into the virtual reality of Zoom, GoToMeeting, or whatever other platforms you engage in.


When I worked for the law firm in Manhattan, we were ‘gently’ schooled on web meeting etiquette. Video conferencing back then was slow and expensive. Time was valuable, so behavior and etiquette were understood and non-negotiable.


Is there such a thing as Zoom Etiquette?

Zoom Meeting Pictures | Download Free Images on Unsplash


I was recently asked about this very topic. I chair several committees and community groups, and in the absence of in-person interactions, we now live online.

Zoom meetings appear to be here to stay.


For some reason, the comfort of being remote seems to have affected the meeting’s dynamic in ways other than the obvious. My hat comes off to the parents of school-age and young children who balance work and home life with unbelievable grace and patience. I had to laugh one afternoon when my client’s 2-year old streaked by in all his glory. I have not laughed that hard since March!


Five things to bear in mind when on a zoom meeting:


Emily Post would be proud of us for taking the time to bear witness to the things we have all done at one point or another, and that perhaps will be counted as lessons learned.


We can see you! Yes, we can. That means that all the silly commercials and memes about appropriate dress code, online eating habits, and background ‘artwork’ are based on reality. Prepare for a Zoom call as if you were going to a meeting. Get dressed, pour a fresh cup of coffee, and take a moment to look behind you and see what others are seeing.


Use the video shut off only when necessary. When participating in large webinars or meetings, most attendees turn off the video, and all attendees turn off the audio. That is appropriate for that setting. Small groups usually ask the attendees to mute but not turn off the camera. Please be mindful of the entire meeting group. Turning your camera on and off is distracting in small meetings. It may send an unintentional message to the person speaking that you are not paying attention.


No, you cannot multi-task. In nearly four decades of my professional life, I have attended more meetings than I care to remember. People were on time, for the most part, and came prepared. In today’s virtual meeting environment, people are looking at their cell phones, muting and talking to other people, or checking email. The brain cannot multi-task. Your full attention belongs to the person speaking.


R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Simple. Engage with the speaker and give them the respect they deserve. It will be returned to you tenfold.


Be present. This new way is not easy nor preferred. We all long to go back to chatting after a seminar or heading out for coffee to work on a project together. But this is what we’ve got, and we need to be mindful and present from the moment you click “join the meeting.” Let’s try and remember that the people on the Zoom meeting with you are happy to see you, want to engage with you, and so often struggle themselves. When your peers are speaking, be present for them. Listen, engage, and ask questions.


Thank you. Thank you to all the people who give up their time for Zoom meetings. Thank you to the parents who so delicately balance their work and family life. Thank you to the Capital Region Chamber for working so hard to engage the members and keep some semblance of normalcy through Women’s Business Council events, BRG meetings, Business After Hours, Network by 9, Award programs, YPN, and Consulting Alliance, to name a few. Your commitment to our Chamber community deserves our full attention and time. I, for one, am happy to be a part of it.

Karen Lombardo is the founder of Put Another Way LLC. Karen has been creating websites and relevant content for businesses for over a decade. The company culture is relaxed, our office mate is an old Pug named Izzy, and our philosophy is to listen first, create later.

Member Spotlight: Kathleen Rutishauser and Denise Flihan, Daughter for Hire

In March 2020 when the world paused so too did Daughter for Hire.  They were worried about their clients getting sick, and they were worried about their employees getting sick because their business is focused on forging a unique family-like relationship between their employees and clients, and just like many families- they needed to stop seeing each other to keep each other safe.   They shut down for three weeks only, continuing to see only those clients who have no one else and depend on Daughter for Hire for necessary home care.  They furloughed their employees, took no pay for themselves, and started to plan on how to move forward keeping everyone safe and healthy.  Slowly but surely they started going in the right direction and seeing clients again.  Kathleen said, “They knew what they did was the right thing to do.” 

Daughter for Hire, co-owned by best friends Kathleen Rutishauser and Denise Flihan, looks for people who are compassionate, patient, and kind and have a strong desire to help people.  They only hire people that they would want to look after their own mother and they look for someone who is compatible with an individual client.  They feel it is imperative that the caregiver is a fit.  A person who wants to work for the organization can work anywhere from 3 to 40 hours a week and the position consists of light housework, meals, driving to Dr.’s appointments, and help with medication. Kathleen mentioned that their employee needs to be very aware of what is going on in the client’s life and look for signs that the client is happy and healthy.  

When you have 30 minutes of free time, how do you pass the time?

If I have 30 minutes I read. I am constantly at my library. The kind of books I read has changed during the pandemic. I used to read mystery and suspense and lately, I am reading author Susan Wiggs.  Her books make me happy and make me feel balanced.  It is an escape.

What do you love most about what you do?

I love that we solve problems.  People need help to age in place and we have a group of sixty talented caregivers who can identify people’s needs and who care.  No one wants to go to a group living facility and by doing just a little bit, we make it possible to keep them from doing that.

What would you most like to tell yourself at age 13?

“Everything is going to be o.k.”  I used to sweat everything and was so concerned about things at different times in my life when I was younger.  

What have you gained from being a member of the Women’s Business Council?

The connections I have made.  I have met some really wonderful women and every time I have gone to the luncheons, I have met so many great women, and actually a couple of men, that I have sat with.  I love the topics and I love the purpose.

What is the best advice you have ever received?

This will sound strange because I did not take it but someone told me way back when to pay attention to the things you really love in life and build your career around that so you end up enjoying and being interested in what you are doing.  I wanted to be a Psych major and my dad talked me into being a business major thinking it would be more marketable.  After, I worked in banking for many years and had a successful career. I then went through a lay-off in 2012, and at that point, I was really lucky, I called my husband, went home and we went for a bike ride.  He said, “What would you do if you could do anything you wanted to do?” and that’s when I started this business. The business background was a wonderful foundation but I had always wanted to do something where I helped somebody other than myself. The days, then weeks, and then months flew by and in the beginning, it was just me helping seniors but I got so busy, I had to start bringing other people on.  I was so happy with my work life because I get to do what I want to do, I just wish I had taken the advice a little earlier.

Daughter for Hire is always looking for those individuals who think they might be a fit; someone who is compassionate and kind and wants to make a difference in a senior’s life. Please reach out to Kathleen Rustishauser if you think you are that person.

https://www.daughter-for-hire.com/

Ideas for a spook-tacular (and safe) Halloween!

Halloween is right around the corner, and people are getting extra creative this year to make sure their celebrations are safe. We polled some WBC members to find out what they’re planning to keep the day fun and festive for all.

Here’s what they had to say…

Definitely carving pumpkins and watching scary movies. For trick or treating, our plan this year is to dress up our son and take him out for a walk in the neighborhood. He’s too young to have any candy, so we will just be waving to any kids we see and going to a few houses where we’ll wear masks and stay far enough away from the door but close enough to say hi!

Jennifer Cassidy, Sponsorship Coordinator & Development Associate at CDPHP

I just found this cute photo of a candy chute! Maybe I’ll put something like this up. I have lots of kids in my neighborhood, so I might get a few trick or treaters. I want everyone to be able to enjoy treats in whatever way feels safe for them.

Hannah Stenzel, Financial Advisor at Godfrey Financial Associates, Inc.

I love trick-or-treaters so I hope we can come up with a safe way to give out candy! A neighbor recommended setting up a table at the end of the driveway with candy spread out so kids can take a piece or two without touching any others. I think we’ll try it and hope for the best!

Kimmy Venter, Director of Communications at Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Capital Region

Besides ideas for safe trick-or-treating, we heard from lots of people who are planning on watching Halloween movies, making Halloween treats, and stocking up on Halloween candy to enjoy with their family (or all on their own!) at home.

There’s also the #WBCPumpkin decorating challenge to keep in mind! Carve or paint a pumpkin with the letters “WBC” anywhere on it and you could win a free ticket to our next event, Voices in the Crowd! Share your pumpkin photo on Facebook or Instagram with the hashtag #WBCPumpkin and tag the Capital Region Chamber (@capregchamber) to be entered to win. Deadline is Friday, October 30 by 10:00 am.

If you need more tips on how to enjoy the holiday without spreading anything but Halloween spirit, check out this fact sheet from the New York State Department of Health. Have other ideas to share? Leave them in the comments below, and have a happy, healthy Halloween!!

5 things to know about the Consulting Alliance

The Consulting Alliance is a sub-group within the Capital Region Chamber of leading independent consultants with diverse experience and proven success in solving client challenges. It is the ideal resource for organizations seeking to hire a consultant with the highest professionalism and expertise level.

5 things to know about the Consulting Alliance

Why join the Consulting Alliance? The Consulting Alliance helps its members build upon their success through an array of skills development, resource sharing, and networking opportunities while working to maintain the consulting profession’s standards and reputation. A monthly meeting is typically held at the Chamber’s Albany office, but due to COVID, we are meeting via Zoom. The meetings are an opportunity for self-development for consultants to build their networks and skills.

Build your network and expand your talents! The members of the Consulting Alliance each bring a set of unique skills to the group. Collaboration on projects is common, and sharing tools, resources, and information enhances each member’s business culminating in new clients and growth.

Consultants provide a significant amount of value for an organization. They can help to develop strategies for growth or manage projects. Since consultants are not committed to a single firm, they bring experience from various companies and industries, which allows them to offer creative solutions and enables “out of the box thinking.” They can provide an objective viewpoint, which allows for more diverse ideas
than could be provided solely by employees within the organization. A consultant may have a higher level of business expertise than the average employee and can provide unique solutions for businesses. Companies may want to consider the advantages of the level of knowledge that can be brought by a consultant, as well as how they could benefit from having an established strategic plan.

Hiring from the Consulting Alliance is beneficial to the community. Working with an experienced consultant affords many businesses the ability tap into valuable resources without the financial hardships of a full-time headcount: No taxes, benefits, or human resource issues • Contract work is scalable • Easy to terminate when no longer needed • Independent advice • Diversity of ideas from other experiences • Flexible for project-specific work • Usually a higher-level business professional than may
be hired.

Spend an hour with the Consulting Alliance. If your business is in the consulting arena, you may wish to visit the Consultant Alliance for one of the monthly meetings. To apply, you must have a minimum of 51% of the business’ earned income derived from consulting. The participant is expected to be a sole practitioner, a partner, or a management-level executive in an organization with financial and administrative
decision-making authority for their consulting activities. And finally, your membership with the Capital Region Chamber is at the Premium Investment level or higher.

The Chamber has so much to offer its members!
Why not take a moment to check out the Chamber’s website and visit the many selections from the “Business Resources”tab or the “Build Your Network” page. Take advantage of the benefits and connect with people in your community! For more information on the Consulting Alliance, please E-mail Jennifer Sims or call 518.431.1418 to learn more.

Member Spotlight: Renee Purcell, True Synergy Coaching

To further promote women, minorities, and veterans who are leading the way in our community, we are featuring Chamber member businesses that fall under these categories. This week, meet Renee Purcell of True Synergy Coaching and see how she responds to our Member Spotlight questions.

Renee started True Synergy Coaching in 2016 after many years of hard-earned success in her career as a nurse and educator. She had been pursuing a PhD in nursing while juggling the demands of two small children and a busy husband when she started to wonder if she was on the right path.

Renee was feeling burnt-out and unfulfilled, and she realized that what she was doing in the world was very different than who she was as a person. She had a breakthrough through the most surprising of places—the hula hoop.

The fun and child-like play of the hula hoop allowed Renee to release mental layers and tap into her true inner-self. In this way, the hula hoop became a tool for empowerment and a way to harness the immense amount of energy that comes with living an authentic life.

Renee has crafted a specific technique for harnessing this empowering, freeing energy of the hula hoop, which she calls “Synergy Tools.” In each coaching session, Renee uses these Synergy Tools to lead individuals or groups through a 90-minute exploration of joy and physicality, leading you to access your own power.

Renee specializes in working with ambitious, successful women who have given everything to their careers and families, but are still left feeling unsatisfied in some way. What truly makes Renee stand out from others is her heart-centered approach; she says that love is the most important part of her work. By infusing every aspect of her business with love, Renee is able to guide her clients in a safe and impactful way.

Read Renee’s responses to our Member Spotlight Questions below:

When you have 30 minutes of free time, how do you pass the time?

I lay down! I take a nap and try to sleep. Too often we don’t allow ourselves to just take a break and enjoy rest. The glorification of busy-ness takes a toll on our health.

What do you love most about what you do?

Seeing people have their “aha” moment of connection. I get to watch someone’s awareness shift right before my eyes, and all because I held a space for them, gave love, and offered an insight. Watching you become you is very spiritual, profound, and beautiful. It’s watching life unfold.

What would you most like to tell yourself at age 13?

I want to say so many things. First, love yourself. You’re beautiful, you’re worthy. I would also say to the 13 year old me to live boldly. We only get to live once, make it count. Shine your beautiful light for all to see. Live authentically and without regret.

What have you gained from being a member of the Women’s Business Council?

Being a member of the Women’s Business Council has been an inspiration for me. In this group, we let other peoples’ success be our empowerment. We celebrate each other and lift each other up.

What is the best advice you have ever received?

The best advice I ever received was from my father-in-law. He told me to find what makes you happy and do that. Then, if possible, make money from it. But first, be happy.

You can find more information about Renee and True Synergy Coaching at: https://truesynergycoaching.com/

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month

From the desk of Tabetha Zostant, Project Manager and Business Development of Northern Rivers Family of Services

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Throughout this month and all year long, be an ally by believing supporters and spreading awareness. Domestic Violence is prevalent in every community and affects all people regardless of age, socio-economic status, sexual orientation, gender, race, religion, or nationality. 

Raising awareness about domestic violence is vital, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. While social distancing may prevent the spread of COVID-19, staying home may not be the safest option for many. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused economic devastation, disconnected many from community resources and support systems, and created widespread uncertainty.  These conditions may stimulate violence in families where it didn’t exist before, and worsen situations in homes where mistreatment and violence have been a problem.

Preventive measures used to control COVID-19 may limit access to resources and connections that one used to rely on for support or provide a healthy outlet to decompress.

Here’s how COVID-19 could uniquely impact intimate partner violence survivors:

  • Abusive partners may withhold necessary items, such as hand sanitizer or disinfectants.
  • Abusive partners may share misinformation about the pandemic to control or frighten survivors, or to prevent them from seeking appropriate medical attention if they have symptoms.
  • Abusive partners may withhold insurance cards, threaten to cancel insurance, or prevent survivors from seeking medical attention if they need it.
  • Programs that serve survivors may be significantly impacted –- shelters may be full or may even stop intakes altogether. Survivors may also fear entering shelter because of being in close quarters with groups of people.
  • Survivors who are older or have chronic heart or lung conditions may be at increased risk in public places where they would typically get support, like shelters, counseling centers, or courthouses.
  • Travel restrictions may impact a survivor’s escape or safety plan – it may not be safe for them to use public transportation or fly.
  • An abusive partner may feel more justified and escalate their isolation tactics.

If any of the above sounds like they may be happening to you or someone you love, here are a few suggestions for survivors that may make this uncertain time feel a little bit safer:

  • Create a safety Plan
  • Practice Self-Care
  • Reach out for help
  • Stay Connected with friends and families
  • Get help in an emergency

Support Options

YOU ARE NOT ALONE

  • National Domestic Violence Hotline 24/7  
    • Call: 1-800-799-7233
    • Text: LOVEIS to 22522
    • Or  Chat
  • National Sexual Assault Hotline
    • 1-800-656-4673
    • or Chat
  • StrongHearts Native Helpline
    • Call: 844-762-8483
    • or Chat
  • New York State Coalition Against Domestic Violence
    • Hotline NYS: 1 (800) 942-6906
    • Hotline NYC: 1 (800) 621-4673
    • Website: www.nyscadv.org

CAP COM Cares Foundation Thanks Members and Sponsors for Participation in “Golfing Alone Together” Fundraiser

From the desk of Kate Fruscione, Public Relations Strategist at Cap Com Federal Credit Union

Golf Sponsorship

We here at CAP COM Federal Credit Union would like to share the happy news that our charitable giving arm, the CAP COM Cares Foundation, has successfully concluded a reimagined fundraiser in lieu of our annual in-person charity golf tournament.

“Golfing Alone Together” sponsors participated in special outings on their own, all while pledging to financially support the cancelled in person tournament, previously scheduled for early June at Saratoga National Golf Club. The campaign raised over $60,000 for the CAP COM Cares Foundation, to support the Foundations year-round giving to more than 100 local organizations.

CAP COM extends an enormous “Thank You” to top sponsors, CUNA Mutual Group, Harland Clarke, Lecce & Arcodia, attorneys at law, and WorldPay.

The Credit Union received additional sponsorship support from Accent Commercial Furniture, BBL, Bond Schoeneck & King, Brown & Brown of New York, Bruno Associates, CDPHP, Commission on Economic Opportunity, Elite Capital Management Group, Fidelity National Title Group, Genworth Mortgage Insurance Corp., HVCC Foundation, Kerr DeVoe, Northeast Health Foundation, Overit Media, PNJ Technology Partners, Trinity Realty Group, Universal Sharing Network, WCGS Architects, Whittaker Appraisal Group, PLLC.

These sponsors and more are recognized on tee-signs outside CAP COM FCU Headquarters (4 Winners Circle, Albany 12205) through October 13, 2020. 

“The CAP COM Family of Companies offers their sincere gratitude to the 2020 sponsors, for their commitment to the CAP COM Cares Foundation and the community”, stated Chris McKenna, President and CEO, CAP COM. “Now more than ever, especially during these times of uncertainty and mid-pandemic, we thank all our partners who make it possible for the Foundation to continue to improve the lives of families in the Capital Region.”

“The virtual outing helped make a difference for the lives of many families in the Capital Region”, stated Jeff Koss, Vice President, Sales, CUNA Mutual Group. “The support the CAP COM Cares Foundation provides makes a big difference and it was rewarding to contribute to an event that support programs like Coats for Kids, Backpacks and Thanksgiving ‘Sharing The Harvest’. We’re proud to support CAP COM’s efforts.”

To learn more about the CAP COM Cares Foundation, visit: https://www.capcomfcu.org/community/ .

Five Civic-Minded Things You Can Easily Do

By: Karen Lombardo

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

Time is such a relative term. Time can pass so quickly when you are having fun, and so slowly when waiting for a change. It has been 194 days since the March 11th announcement and national declaration of the pandemic. Depending on your situation, this time has been challenging. I volunteered to quarantine for two weeks after driving my son to the University of Alabama. Two weeks is a long time, and, in that period, I was the fortunate recipient of many acts of kindness from a late afternoon coffee run to the delivery of much-needed groceries. Do we realize we have a civic duty? The consensus defines civic-minded as “A person interested and cares about what is happening in their community. A person who carries out this concern for the betterment of the community public.” Think about it for just a second and ask yourself, am I a good member of my community? Do I think about others and honestly assess if I could be giving back to build a more vital home and neighborhood for my family and friends? Have I sat down and created a goal for community involvement? 

Suppose your answers are predominantly ‘no.’ No worries. We have some thoughts to send you on your way to being civic-minded. 

Five civic-minded things you can easily do for your community: 

  1. Register to vote.
    The U.S. government has a site and page dedicated to voter information. Visit https://www.usa.gov/election-day to find out more. The rules vary from state to state and are run by the states themselves. Some can vary by county or town within a state. Ironically, no two states are the same. In New York, you can register online at https://www.ny.gov/services/register-vote . The New York State Board of Elections has a webpage to address absentee ballots: https://www.elections.ny.gov/votingabsentee.html . Please use this link to complete the application for a New York Absentee ballot.
  2. Visit your local farmer’s market.
    Cool spring Saturday’s turn into warm summer morning at the local farmer’s market. As summer turns to fall, we visit the local markets a little less, and winter rarely gets us out. Our local farmers continue to provide fresh produce, meats, eggs, cheeses, and spectacular baked goods for any sized family. Continue to support your local farmer’s markets. The USDA keeps a self-reported, searchable database of farmer’s markets that allows people to search by zip code/state, products available, payment accepted, and type of area.
  3. Support a local nonprofit.
    There are numerous nonprofits in the capital region and surrounding counties. The WBC Adopted Nonprofit for 2020 is The Food Pantries for the Capital District. In a spirit of cooperation, The Food Pantries for the Capital District believes we can do more together than any one of us can alone. The Food Pantries is a coalition of more than 65 food pantries in Albany, Rensselaer, Saratoga, and Schenectady Counties. The Food Pantries’ vision is to end hunger in the Capital Region. Last year, their member pantries provided approximately 57,853 individuals with enough food for more than 3.2 million meals. Yet with more than 89,000 people (including 27,000 children) affected by food insecurity in Albany, Rensselaer, Saratoga, and Schenectady Counties, there is more work to be done.
  4. Help a neighbor.
    As simple as this sounds, reach out and help a neighbor. The leaves will soon be falling, and some elderly homeowners struggle with the clean-up. Grab a leaf blower or an old-fashioned rake and lend a hand!
  5. Volunteer for holiday duty.
    The nonprofit organizations are hurting. They are stretched to the end with funds and resources. With the holidays quickly approaching, the need will be more significant for food, supplies, and holiday gifts. Donate your time to serve holiday meals, volunteer at a shelter, and of course, donations are always accepted. 

How can you help? 
Commuting time has been reduced or eliminated, and the absence of an abundance of social engagements affords us some time to investigate being a little more civic-minded. Give a try. Start slowly, and you will be hooked. Supporting your community is inspiring! 

Interested in learning more about the Women’s Business Council and volunteer opportunities, E-mail Marna Redding mredding@capitalregionchamber.com or call 518.431.1421 to learn more!