For people of the North Country, United Helpers delivers the specialized medical, physical, and emotional support needed to be connected to life. We've been caring for our neighbors for more than 120 years, and no other provider comes close to the reach of our network, the breadth of our services, or the depth of our commitment. United Helpers is a 501(c)(3) Non-Profit.


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Morristown Students Earn Grants for United Helpers

Morristown Students Earn Grants for United Helpers

MORRISTOWN — Thanks to the writings of two students at Morristown Central School, United Helpers has earned back-to-back grants from the Northern New York Community Foundation’s Community Spirit Youth Giving Challenge.

Scarlett Ritchie was one of 20 students to earn a $500 grant for their chosen organization during the 2021-2022 academic year. The following year, after changes to the competition made by the Northern New York Community Foundation, Peayton Stark was one of 10 students to earn a $1,000 grant for their selected organization.

An assignment in English Class at Morristown Central School has turned into $1,500 in grants for United Helpers thanks to the writings of now-freshman Scarlett Ritchie and now-eighth-grader Peayton Stark. Both girls wrote award-winning essays while in Maggie Rollins’ seventh-grade English class. From left, United Helpers CEO Todd Amo, Peayton’s mother Colleen Stark, who works as an MDSP at the Spruce Street IRA in Ogdensburg, Peayton, Scarlett and her mother Tammy Ritchie, who works as comptroller for the United Helpers organization.

Morristown Central School English Teacher Maggie Rollins said she’s been fortunate to have one of her students selected each year they’ve participated in the challenge.

“The pride I feel when my students put their heart into their responses and show their love for their community is unparalleled,” Mrs. Rollins said. “United Helpers has a huge impact in the Morristown community, so it’s no surprise that students are always interested in giving back to that organization.”

“We are especially grateful that the teachers at Morristown Central School have chosen to bring this program alive for their students. It is exactly what we hoped and envisioned when we established our Community Spirit Youth Giving Challenge,” said Northern New York Community Foundation Executive Director Rande Richardson. “Their participation very firmly demonstrates their belief in fulfilling their mission and values of collaboration and responsibility to the world around them.”

In addition to employing several people from the Morristown community, United Helpers has both an IRA and a Senior/Disabled housing complex located in Morristown. Scarlett’s mother, Tammy Ritchie, and Peayton’s mother, Colleen Stark, each work for United Helpers, although both girls say their essays have a deeper meaning than simply writing about where their moms work.

When Scarlett was five, she broke the knee in her left leg. “I had to go to physical therapy because I had to learn how to walk again,” she said. “Since United Helpers helped me, I hope I get the chance to help them.”

Peayton chose United Helpers because of the special bond formed with one of the residents at the IRA where her mom works. “I would like to donate to the IRA in Ogdensburg, because I have a really good connection with some of the residents there and the employees,” she wrote. “This one resident is so nice; he always called my sister and me ‘his girls.’”

Sadly, that resident passed away earlier this year, but through the impact he made on Peayton and the execution of this grant, his legacy will continue to live on.

Each girl recently had the opportunity to present the grants they won to United Helpers CEO Todd Amo. “Thank you very much for choosing us. This is fantastic,” he said. “We will be sure to put these funds to good use.”

Other organizations that have benefitted from grants earned by Mrs. Rollins’ students include the Gateway Museum in Morristown, Renewal House in Canton, and St. Joseph’s Foundation in Ogdensburg.

“I feel that the Giving Challenge is a valuable assignment and students looks forward to potentially giving back to the community they rely on so much,” Mrs. Rollins said.

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