July 2023 Newsletter: Homer Community Chest

~How your giving has helped make a difference in your community~

The Homer Community Chest

Through our community partner, the Homer Community Food Pantry, the Foundation’s “Homer Community Chest” provided $22,650 in emergency funding to support families and individuals in times of need this fiscal year (July 2022 – June 2023).

The Homer Community Food Pantry is our point of contact for emergency aid. They administer the “Emergency Non-Food Aid Program” in which candidates are interviewed and the staff at the food pantry determine the needs for families. These needs range from automotive, to temporary housing, utilities, transportation, and hygiene for families that find themselves unable to cover the costs during a certain period of time. On average, they serve 35 households a month.

They are located in the basement of Homer Community Methodist Church, 770 East End Rd.  Hours of Operation are Mondays, 9 am to 4 pm.


Sheldon Purcell Fund

Robert and Melon Purcell have established the Sheldon Purcell Fund in memory of their son. This is the second such fund the Purcell’s have founded at the Homer Foundation, and the purpose of this one is to support youth-led, youth-focused grantmaking by the Homer Foundation’s Youth Advisory Council (YAC). This non-endowed, donor-advised fund will make annual matching grants to enhance the pool of money that the YAC has to work with each year in their youth-led, youth-focused decision-making process. This will effectively double the current amount of money that the YAC is able to grant annually, doubling the community impact. We look forward to a lot more youth-led community philanthropy

Ninilchik Community Fund

The Ninilchik area has come together to establish their first community fund with the Homer Foundation. Ninilchik has an active civic population and several non-profits caring for the community. Led by founding donors ARCHES Alaska and Lara McGinnis, the Ninilchik Community Fund has already met the $10,000 minimum threshold to become an active fund at the Foundation (active funds are able to begin grantmaking.) Many area residents have expressed their excitement about this new way to give back to their community. We’re excited with them and can’t wait to see how they grow!

This fund is an exciting strategic addition to the Foundation, as we seek to underscore the breadth of our service area – from Ninilchik to Nanwalek, and everywhere in between. We now have community funds established for Anchor Point, Homer, Kachemak City, and Ninilchik, and are eager to work with any other South Peninsula communities to establish your fund!

Update from the Executive Director


Every season is different. I am blessed to have 15 native oval leaf blueberry plants on my property.  Last year at this point the berries were beginning to ripen. This year they are mostly still little green buds. Apparently a little sunshine can make a difference. 

I am by nature incrementalistic. I’ve always believed that many small changes over time create a more permanent change in direction.  In the same way, relationships build trust through a sustained record of actions and accomplishments. Change can come quickly based on a shared traumatic experience, but wouldn’t it be better to avoid the trauma? 

This is our birthday month. July 1991. As we begin our 33rd year the Foundation has seen many changes, some gradual, some fast. both have strengthened us. Through these changes we have grown.

  • Our assets under management are at an all time high, over $5.7million.
  • We have been donated over $10 million.
  • We have more philanthropic funds (84)  than ever.
  • We have granted out over $5 million in to our community.

We cannot say “thank you” enough to all of our amazing donors. We have seen plenty of change, both internal and external. We’ve had sun and we’ve had rain. The rain falls on everyone as they say. At the Homer Foundation, when it does rain we break out the Grunden’s and keep growing.

Two quick internal announcements:

In recognition of her professional growth and addition of significant responsibilities in the areas of finance and programs, Executive Assistant Lauren Seaton has been promoted to the position of Office and Program Manager. Congratulations, Lauren.

Our Director of Development and Marketing, Jonathan Hamilton, will be leaving us at the end of this month. We will miss Jonathan and the energy he has brought to making the Homer Foundation better known in our service area.  Jonathan also pastors a church in Anchor Point so we wish him well as he focuses more on his pastoral and family responsibilities. We are recruiting for the position and hope to have a candidate soon.  

Have a great summer!


PS. Rain or shine, I’m always looking for a ride to China Poot!