December Newsletter: End of Year Giving

Recent Grants

You helped make a difference in your community! See how your support has impacted the world around you:

Paul Banks Elementary

The Non-Fiction books within the Paul Banks Library were quite aged. To be precise, the average age was 1986. Though the students were highly interested in learning about the world around them, the information was outdated.

The other place that needed continued attention was Early Reader books. Early Reader chapter books were purchased to encourage growth in reading. Many of the new chapter books are in a series to develop the kids’ love of a story. Having books that are “Just Right” for a student’s progress is very important for literacy growth and a love of reading.

Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies

Center For Alaska Coastal Studies has been awarded $5,000 to add playground features to the Wynn Nature Center Facility. CACS is partnering with Tiny Trees Forest School of Homer by allowing them to provide childcare out of the Wynn Nature Center for up to 26 students. There has been a real need for more childcare options in Homer, with waitlists being the norm.

The playground equipment will include benches, crawling tunnels, a play arch, a mud kitchen, a wooden boat, and two hammocks. This equipment will be at the Wynn Nature Center and will be accessible to all community members when Tiny Trees is not open. 

American Red Cross

The American Red Cross of Alaska is focusing on the Kenai Peninsula with their Sound the Alarm project this winter. This $2,016 project will work with local officials, the school district, volunteers, and partners to install 126 smoke alarms in the communities of Anchor Point and Ninilchik.

It has been found that every day, seven people die in the U.S. from home fires, most in households that lack working smoke alarms, with low-income households and at-risk populations disproportionately killed and or injured. 

In the last year alone, the Red Cross responded to 7 home fires on the southern Kenai Peninsula, assisting 15 people with financial assistance, comfort kits, and disaster mental health services. The average cost of the financial assistance was $660 per client. This project is a preventative initiative hoping to mitigate disasters in the future. 

Chapman School

Chapman School was awarded $4,000 to develop a Maker Shop for its students. While woodshop instruction is available at times for grades 7 and 8, they are expanding the technologies and processes available for all students. The goal of the Maker Shop is to purchase four 3-D printing machines, a CnC router (cuts 3D objects from a solid block), and a new pottery kiln. 

The desired outcome of the Maker Shop is for all Chapman students to have hands-on experience with these technologies. Chapman students will be exposed to many of the concepts of design and engineering. They will learn patience, problem solving, and benefit from the sense of accomplishment that
comes from conceptualizing, designing, and executing an idea.

Chapman School is fortunate to have staff and volunteer parents with
the knowledge and enthusiasm to include these technologies with the established curriculum… these new tools won’t just
be for shop class!

We are now officially in the end of year giving season. We are so blessed to have a generous donor who will match all end of year donations to our Opportunity Fund up to $15,000!  Wow!  Any donation to the Opportunity Fund received between now and the end of December will be matched dollar for dollar up to $15,000. That means you can double the impact of your gift. The Foundation uses the Opportunity Fund  to support the areas in the community with the greatest needs. This giving season, make your gift do twice as much close to home. You’ll be glad you did!

Annual Meeting and People’s Choice

Thank you to all of those who attended our Annual Meeting

Every year, we choose three attendees to grant $500 to a local nonprofit. This year, the winners were:

  • Randy Wiest- Kachemak Ski Club
  • Karen Marks- Hospice of Homer
  • Scott Bartlett- Homer Council on the Arts

Congratulations to these outstanding organizations.

In addition to these wonderful grants, the annual report is debuted at our annual meeting. You can find a digital copy below, or contact the staff ( to request a copy if you have not received one and would like a copy for yourself.

Update from the Executive Director

We have rearranged the format of the newsletter and hope it better reflects how much we value our amazing donors and nonprofit partners in the community. 

As it is the end of the year, in this giving season we hope you will support the causes and organizations you care about. I know I always feel better when I have given back to my community and the things I care about. I can’t be everywhere, but I can support those people who are on the front lines out there “doing the stuff”. That giving is a big part of feeling like a part of the community.  

There are dedicated people out there enriching our communities, providing vital services and generally making our lives better through the work they do. You can literally support them forever with your gift to one of the below funds at the Homer Foundation:   

    • Alaska Marine Conservation Council
    • Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies
    • Homer Council on the Arts Fund
    • Pratt Museum Fund
    • Peter Larson Compassion in Action Fund (Hospice of Homer)
    • Kachemak Bay Family Planning
    • Kachemak Heritage Land Trust
    • KBBI Public Radio Endowment Fund
    • Homer Animal Friends
    • Friends of the Homer Public Library
    • Homer Community Food Pantry Fund
    • Bunnell Street Art Center
    • Mariner Fastpitch Softball Fund
    • Storyknife Writers Retreat Endowment Fund

If these don’t speak to you, we have over fifty other areas where you can make a difference. Love your community? We have funds specifically for needs in  Anchor Point, Homer, and City of Kachemak. Love youth issues? We have funds for that. Education? Music? The environment? Basic needs? Yep. We can help you find a place to give. Follow the link below and give to what moves you.

Go ahead, make a difference, and have a Happier Holidays. 


Philanthropy Fact of the Month

Data suggests that each individual in a network of people can ultimately influence dozens or even hundreds of others, with evidence of a triple multiplier effect. If you give, you may inspire three others to give as well.