Foreign Exchange Experience leads to a more open mind

Bonjour ! Or, in English, hello!

From left: Flo Larson, Sophie Samuseau, her son, and Peter Larson.

Sitting in my garden, during this quarantine due to Covid-19, I took time to look back over my life and especially to think about all the travels I did and the exchange student experience I had when I was 18. 

First of all, let me introduce myself: I am Sophie, born on the 22 of June 1969. I spent a year in Homer as AFS foreign exchange student from July 1987 till end of June 1988. Some of you might have met me at this time. This year in Homer has greatly enriched me and contributed to the person I am today.

I first stayed with Diane and Tony Borgman, then some time with the Marleys and, finally, with Florence and Peter Larson. 

I was a senior in HHS, along with Keiiche Homna from Theshio, Japan (Homer’s Sister city) and Nariman Movaffagh, who was a political refugee from Iran.

Prior to that year in Homer as an exchange student, I had however already lived a year out of France when I was a teenager. My father was hired in Gabon, Africa. He took his whole family with him and I thus lived there almost one year. I would not totally compare this year spent in Africa with the year spent in Homer, as Gabon is a French- speaking country and I was there with my parents. But, to me, this year in Africa was my first experience to get to discover other cultures and to always keep my mind open.  

My year in Homer as an exchange student had a deep impact on me. Not only did I have to adapt to a different culture but I also became my host families’ daughter. I do not believe that many people can pretend they have three or four families. I am, furthermore, very fortunate to still be in contact with my “parents” from Homer and proud that they consider me as their “French daughter”. I am even happier that I came to Homer in August 2011 with my son, who was 9 years old to show him a part of the world and to get him to meet my hosting families, while seeing the place where I stayed at the age of 18. He just loved it and keeps on telling me, even 9 years after, that this is one of his best travel memories. 

After my year in Homer, I have since managed to either work in an international environment, or to meet people from other places by having a bed and breakfast activity at my house, or to travel to many foreign countries, always picking one where I have never been before. No matter if it is a short stay, my goal of being in the country is to live like the locals do; to feel the differences between their culture and mine and to not judge people because they do not act like me. This, to me, is one of the key beliefs that I learned through my experience.

And I will keep on acting this way as long as I can. Every time I get the chance to meet various people, it enables me the chance to learn about new and different habits and to better understand other cultures. I wish to always be able to go over prejudices, and, moreover, to fight them. 

Sophie

Sophie Samuzeau works at a cognac distillery and runs a bed and breakfast in Cognac, France.

2020 YAC Grants Awarded

What an unusual experience it was for our Youth Advisory Committee this school year. Our YAC participants were members of the Homer Middle School National Junior Honor Society – seventeen highly committed, capable, and eager eighth grade students. As NJHS members, they imagined school spirit activities and community volunteer projects they would accomplish during the second half of the school year, nearly all of which were interrupted by the sudden closure of the school in March. Nevertheless, thanks to Zoom, the kids were able to fulfill their requirements as youth advisors to the Homer Foundation.

Youth Advisory Committee

The Homer Foundation Youth Advisory Committee is pleased to announce the following recipients of our annual YAC grants that support fun and healthy activities for youth in our community: Homer Hockey Association to purchase new gear for the Microbell program, South Peninsula Behavioral Health Services to support the summer ReAKtion Club, Soccer Association of Homer for underwriting SPARC rental fees for youth activities, and Homer High School Student Council to support travel expenses to the AASG Fall Conference.

More than ever, the dedication of our members this spring demonstrated how empowering it is for youth to be offered the opportunity to make impactful decisions for their community. I wish you could have overheard the kids as they discussed and debated the merits of each grant application in their Zoom breakout rooms. They listened, they learned, they compromised, and in the end, they came together and made thoughtful and careful decisions. Our YAC members handled their responsibilities with maturity far beyond their years. They were determined, despite their separation and isolation, to come together as a positive force our community.

Bonnie Jason, Homer Foundation YAC Advisor

We appreciate our donors, who have confidence in our ability to make thoughtful decisions. Thank you to Dave and Beth Schroer, Elaine Grantier, Shirley Fedora, the donors to the Ashley J. Logan fund, and to Robert and Melon Purcell, who established the Sheldon Youth to Youth Fund to help support YAC’s efforts.

The generosity of these individuals, as well as the support of the Homer Foundation Board of Trustees and staff, enabled YAC to distribute a total of $5,000.00 this year.

2020 Homer Foundation Scholarships

$32,500 Awarded to Area Students

The Homer Foundation has awarded nineteen scholarships totaling $32,500 to area students. These scholarships are supported by permanent endowments administered by the Homer Foundation and would not be possible without the vision and generosity of community donors. Since the Foundation began administering scholarships in 2000, it has awarded 289 individual scholarships totaling $335,990.

“These scholarships have value well beyond the monetary. It also sends the important message to each recipient and their family: ‘You have a future and we believe in you. ”

said Homer Foundation Executive Director Mike Miller

The success of the Foundation’s scholarship program depends on our school counselors, like Homer High School counselor Paul Story and staff who are on the front line, connecting students to scholarship applications, and the dozens of volunteers who made up these committees, sharing their time and expertise to read and rate applications, assuring a fair and equitable selection process.

Because of the donors who had the vision to establish these scholarships, and the community members that continue to support them, these endowed funds will be here to support the education of our youth far into the future. Tax exempt donations to support these scholarships, or any of the 68 funds managed by the Foundation, are appreciated and put to work in our community. Contact Mike Miller for more information: mikemiller@homerfoundation.org

Congratulations to the 2020 recipients:

Homer Community Science Scholarship: for post-secondary education in the life sciences.  The fund was established by retired Homer High School Science teacher, Stan Eller, and is supported by community donations.

Homer High School students: Ruby Allen, $1,250, Abigail Middleton, $1,000, and Rio Shemet Pitcher, $750

Alain and Daniel Rieser Scholarship:  established in memory of Alain and Daniel Rieser, it provides for a travel award or college tuition to a graduating senior with a flair for foreign language and/or interest in foreign cultures/travel. 

Anthony Melkomukov, Homer High School, $3,000

Drew Scalzi Memorial Maritime Scholarship:  established in memory of Drew Scalzi. The underlying philosophy of the scholarship is to nurture young adults pursuing their careers in the maritime field or who are from local fishing or maritime families.

Jacob Clark, Ninilchik School $1,000, and Amber Bridgeman, Kenai Peninsula College $1,000

Health Care Providers Scholarship:  established by local health care providers to support local students committed to pursuing a career in a health care field. May be awarded upon high school graduation, or later in their educational career.

Homer High School students: Megan Kirsis, class of 2016, $3,000 and Ruby Allen, class 2020, $1,000

Kenai Peninsula College, Kachemak Bay Campus student: Amber Bridgeman, $1,000

Beluga Tail Non-Fiction Writing Scholarship: rewards graduating seniors that demonstrate exemplary skills in non-fiction writing. 

Homer High School Students: Ruby Allen, $3,000, and Anthony Melkomukov, $3,000

Kachemak Bay Medical Clinic Scholarship:  established by Dr. Paul Raymond to provide financial assistance to a public high school graduating senior in the greater Homer area who has best exemplified academic excellence, community and/or school service, and a strong work ethic. 

Autumn Carlson, Homer Flex School, $2,000

Nikki Geragotelis (Fry) Memorial Scholarship:  This scholarship was established by the family and friends of Nikki in honor of the life she lived. The goal of the scholarship is to keep Nikki’s memory alive by helping students continue their education. Throughout her life Nikki had a “walk-on” spirit. A recipient is selected that exemplifies her sportsmanship, athleticism, integrity, friendliness, and hard-working nature, giving their best every time they step on the field whether at practice or for a game.

Homer High School students: Colby Marion, $5,000, and Abigail Middleton, $1,000

Heather Pancratz Memorial Scholarship:  The communities of the Southern Kenai Peninsula lost a valuable educator in 2017. This scholarship was established to keep alive Heather’s commitment to her students and home community of Nikolaevsk. Heather is remembered for her belief in a loving God from which flowed compassion, love and a faithful devotion to family, friends, students and community. The Fund will continue her legacy through its support to students who exemplify Heather’s critical thinking, respectful questioning, and lifelong learning approach to life.

Nikoleavsk School students: Sophia Klaich, $500, and Zachary Trail, $500

Sutton James Miller Memorial Scholarship:  This scholarship was established in the memory of Sutton James Miller, of Homer, Alaska. In his short 6 months on the Earth, he showed a willingness to strive to learn new skills, excelled greatly in all areas of development, had an amazing love for people around him, and a standout attitude, which made an everlasting impression on those who met him. Everyone’s life was touched by his standout presence, and remembers his giggle, sparkle in his blue eyes, as well as his heart-melting smile. Sutton James’ name will forever live in the Homer community, via this scholarship, becoming an everlasting legacy where he will give a graduating senior a head start in their next step in furthering their education. Candidates show ambition, giving their absolute best while staying positive, have a passion for life, and show strength while pursuing their best life. This scholarship may be used at a 4 year, 2 year or vocational school within Alaska.

Anthony Melkomukov, Homer High School, $1,000

Fish & Wildlife Scholarship:  This scholarship was created by Steve Albert who is a resident of Homer. Steve dedicated his life to Fish and Wildlife management for the State of Alaska. The intent is to support Homer area students in pursuit of higher education in wildlife or fisheries biology or management, with a preference for students planning on working in Alaska.

Autumn Carlson, Homer Flex School, $2,000

Nursing Studies Scholarship:  This scholarship was established to celebrate the memory of Eileen Albert. Eileen was a nurse throughout her life in Alaska, primarily as a school nurse practitioner, as well as a mentor within her field. This scholarship is intended to honor her love of nursing and to support students who are seeking this profession.

Annali Metz, University of Alaska Anchorage, $1,500

Homer Foundation welcomes new fund for Storyknife Writers Retreat

Author gives local. Area Non-Profit Gets Endowment Gift

Dana Stabenow at the groundbreaking ceremony for Storyknife Writers Retreat

The Homer Foundation is pleased to announce the creation of the Storyknife Writers Retreat Fund. The fund was started with a generous endowed gift from local author Dana Stabenow. She is also the Founder and president of Storyknife Writers Retreat. When asked why she chose the Homer Foundation to make this gift, Dana said, “When it came time to start an endowment fund for my nonprofit, Storyknife Writers Retreat, the Homer Foundation was the obvious choice — one local organization employing local people supporting another. It’s all about community for both of us.”

The new fund is an “agency endowment fund” meaning the gift will provide an income stream for the Storyknife Writers Retreat as long as it exists. 

All funds held by the Homer Foundation are invested at Vanguard Investment Services and professionally invested and managed. This is the fifteenth agency endowment held at the Foundation. Last year $11,163 was distributed to area non-profits from these funds. Overall, the Foundation has 67 different funds. Besides the agency funds, there are also donor advised funds, field of interest funds, scholarship funds and the Homer Foundation Opportunity Fund, an unrestricted fund which allows the Foundation the flexibility to meet changing needs within the community. With earnings and donations, last year the Homer Foundation distributed $187,000 into the Homer area in grants and scholarships.

The Homer Foundation is a community foundation committed to connecting generosity to community need. Since 1991 the foundation has distributed over $3.2 Million in the southern Kenai Peninsula. For more information on the Homer Foundation please visit our website www.homerfoundation.org, like us on Facebook or call 907-235-0541.

Halibut Cove Live 2020 has been cancelled

We regret to announce we have chosen to cancel Halibut Cove Live for the 2020 season. We were so looking forward to seeing all of you in July, but without a crystal ball to see into the future, we have had to make the decision based on the current outlook and health standards. We were hoping the COVID-19 pandemic would not affect our summers here in Alaska, but with health standards of maintaining a 6 ft distance from non-household members, Halibut Cove Live is not feasible; our event location just does not have the capacity to allow this to occur. At this time, there is no indication these standards will change by the time of the event.  We have decided to cancel this event in order to keep you and our communities healthy and safe. It is our intent to resume Halibut Cove Live next year, in the summer of 2021.

The Homer Foundation staff are here for you to answer any questions you might have about this event. Reach them at info@homerfoundation.org or 907-235-0541.

Sincerely,

Mike Miller, Executive Director

COVID-19 Response and Other Recent Grants

Homer Community Food Pantry Volunteers preparing food boxes

The Homer Foundation COVID-19 Response Committee has made the following grants as of April 28th, 2020.

  • Anchor Point Senior Center, $2,200
  • Homer Senior Center, $2,500
  • Anchor Point Community Food Pantry, $2,500
  • South Peninsula Haven House, $2,500
  • Homer Farmers Market, $2,500
  • Cook Inlet Council on Alcohol and Drug Abuse, $2,500
  • Homer Community Food Pantry, $600

Agencies can apply more than once for grants from the COVID-19 Response Fund. The award amount of up to $2,500 was designed to allow for flexibility from the Foundation to meet changing community needs. This is a pass-through fund and all donations will be awarded to community non-profits. Click here for more information on this fund.

In addition, the foundation has made the following Quick Response grants, from our other funds, to answer to organizations with other needs heightened by the pandemic

  • Bunnell Street Arts Center, $2,500
  • Pratt Museum, $3,750
  • Friends of the Homer Public Library, $2,100
  • Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies, $500

Our Quick Response Grant program is our main grant program with no deadline for applications and has not been changed by the COVID-19 pandemic. We have an active committee, comprised of board and community members, who meet as needed to respond to grant requests.

If you are a nonprofit organization, you may find more information here to read the guidelines and apply for either of these grant programs. Or please feel free to contact the Homer Foundation here.

Homer community reports for duty in COVID-19 crisis

The cars and trucks were lined up at the Homer United Methodist Church parking lot through the lunch hour Monday, and they kept coming into the afternoon. Some drivers wore masks and gloves, and so did most of the volunteers, bundled against a cold wind as they offered a quick greeting. The new drive-through line provides scant interaction. But a surprising number of drivers were first-timers, offering to show their identification to prove they live in Homer.

All we need to know is how many are in your household, the volunteers said.

Each vehicle got a paper bag of produce, and a box with peanut butter and canned vegetables and baked goods. Two boxes, for the biggest families. And this week, something extra in each box: a handful of chocolate Easter eggs.

Amid retail closures, economic uncertainty, and pandemic anxiety, weekly traffic to the Homer Community Food Pantry is on the rise. Nearly 220 food boxes were given out this week. Food kept in storage is going fast. The pantry depends entirely on local donations. Monthly spending for food is expected soon to double.

Likewise, at the Anchor Point Food Pantry, recipients are now limited to one bag of food each. Weekly household clients have tripled because of lost jobs. That number is expected to increase each week. Instead of serving a warm meal, clients get bag meals along with their drive-through pick up.

The Anchor Point Senior Center, meanwhile, has shut down, eliminating its weekly revenue stream, even as the kitchen continues to make free lunches for pickup and delivery. In similar fashion, the Homer Senior Center has closed its doors and eliminated congregate lunches, a source of income, while incurring new costs for to-go plates, hand sanitizer and stepped-up cleaning of the Friendship Terrace assisted living facility.

The impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic are only starting to be felt in Homer. But managers of Homer-area nonprofits tell us hard times are coming for their organizations and their clients — many of whom live paycheck-to-paycheck, without savings to carry them through six months of economic lockdown.

Fortunately, something else is happening on the South Kenai Peninsula. You won’t be surprised to hear that Homer has already started showing compassion in this time of need.

Donations of money and volunteer time are flowing to the nonprofit service providers, to the Salvation Army, to the I Love Homer relief fund established by the Church on the Rock, and to the Homer Foundation’s new COVID-19 Response Fund.

Thanks to the town’s quick generosity, our community foundation has already been able to grant money to the two senior centers, shoring up their efforts in a time of falling income. We continue to work with the food pantries, in part through the Homer Foundation’s Community Chest, which every year sends thousands of dollars to the Homer pantry’s emergency non-food assistance program, to pay for things like medicine, transportation and rent for families facing unexpected bills.

As donations come in, we will be able to pivot through this crisis as new needs arise. We are working with South Peninsula Haven House, which takes on homelessness in our area through the state-funded housing assistance program. Like other agencies, Haven House is looking at lost revenues and increased costs due to the pandemic. Their thrift store is closed, but the rent doesn’t stop. The need for their shelter may rise as well, to judge from a United Nations report out this week documenting dreadful increases in domestic violence and abuse in a world under lockdown.

Hard times ahead. In addition to the economic relief funds mentioned here, we have been urging donors to continue supporting the other worthy nonprofits in the area, whose annual fund-raising efforts have been shut down. We’re looking at a year of belt-tightening all around, even for those who regularly reach into their pockets to give to others.

In the next week or two, congressional stimulus checks start showing up in local bank accounts. For many in our area, this $1,200 will provide vital assistance to help cover immediate bills. Thank goodness for that money. Some may choose to share their windfall with others in the community who need it more.

These are the times a community foundation was made for. We believe this worst of years will also end up showing Homer at its best.

By Mike Miller and Tom Kizzia

Mike Miller is the Executive Director of the Homer Foundation. Tom Kizzia is the Board of Directors Secretary.

Homer Foundation COVID-19 Response Fund Serving the Southern Kenai Peninsula

Wondering how you can help respond to community needs in the coming weeks of health and economic crisis? The Homer Foundation has set up a new COVID-19 Response Fund to channel local donations toward non-profit organizations serving the most vulnerable families and individuals on the southern Kenai Peninsula.

One hundred percent of donations to this new fund will go to agencies providing support for food, housing and other needs of those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We’ve surveyed our community partners and heard their needs,” said Mike Miller, Executive Director of the Homer Foundation. “We’re only seeing the beginning of these effects. Local providers are already straining to deal with the new realities of the COVID-19 virus. Having access to this fund will make their jobs easier.”

Specific priorities in this first phase of the Homer Foundation COVID-19 Response Fund will be:

* to provide grants to nonprofits providing human services and emergency assistance (food, shelter, transportation, living expenses, rent/utility assistance, etc.)

* to provide grants to non-profits serving vulnerable populations, including children who are out of school, families without childcare, people who have lost a source of income due to the pandemic, people who are high risk medically, seniors, veterans, people who are homeless, and individuals who lack paid sick leave or health insurance.

This new grant fund comes with a shorter application and quick response. The maximum amount per grant is $2,500 per request, and the Foundation plans to turn requests around quickly to help agencies meet their missions.

The success of this effort will depend on local donations from our community. Anyone wishing to donate can follow the COVID-19 Response Fund link here. The Foundation can also be reached via info@homerfoundation.org or call the office at 907-235-0541.

Some of the money raised from community contributions will augment the Foundation’s Community Chest, which supports emergency non-food assistance in the Homer area.  Other likely recipients of the funds include other regional food pantries, senior centers and domestic violence shelters, which provide housing assistance in the area. The foundation board also expressed an eagerness to work with local churches through this crisis.  Those agencies are encourages to contact the Homer Foundation.

With many unknowns ahead, including loss of jobs and impacts on tourism and commercial fishing, the Foundation expects difficulties may continue at least into summer. The COVID-19 Response Fund will give the Foundation the ability to pivot as unforeseen needs arise. The Homer Foundation also encourages local residents to give directly to community non-profits.

Miller said the organization’s board met this week and felt an urgent close to home aid campaign would find strong support and fit the Foundation’s mission: “Connecting generosity to community need.”

To support other area non-profit groups not directly involved in this social response, the foundation plans to accelerate its turnaround for quick-response grant requests from its existing funds. Many non-profits on the south peninsula are hurting from the cancellation of public fundraising events and money-making programs. 

The Homer Foundation is a 501c3 not for profit corporation serving the communities of the southern Kenai Peninsula. Incorporated in 1991, it was the first community foundation established in Alaska. Born out of the combined vision of several community leaders, the Foundation began with $75,000 in pledges from three founding donors and has grown to have 65 different funds with total assets of over $2.5 million. Since inception, the Homer Foundation has distributed over $3.1 million in community grants and scholarships.

2020 Scholarship Updates

Notice: Due to the extenuating circumstance affecting all KPBSD students, the Homer Foundation has made a few changes to this years scholarship application. We have first extended the deadline by 5 days to accommodate the transition many students have had to make away from the school buildings. All scholarships are now due:

Monday April 13th, 2020 by 4 pm

Secondly, we are welcoming all electronic submissions. Please email all submissions to assistant@homerfoundation.org. Also, feel free to contact Lauren Seaton at this email address with any questions.

For your letters of recommendations, they may be sent directly via email to Lauren Seaton at assistant@homerfoundation.org by the adult writing the recommendation. Please give the adults the directions to include the student name applying and which scholarships the student is applying for in the subject line, (i.e. Letter of Rec for Joe Mariner for the Nursing Studies Scholarship). 

We have also created a new Google Form to use if needed as an alternative to the fillable pdf for your Cover Letter. Note, that you will still need to submit one complete cover letter, either through the google form or the pdf for each scholarship you are applying. You can find that cover letter google form here: https://forms.gle/6jgmTiPyGgSyc6Fa8

We have also created an alternative estimated needs assessment: https://forms.gle/HZBuq44ppr8E4pQX9

Your personal statements and resumes will need to be attachments in an email to Lauren Seaton at assistant@homerfoundation.org. Be sure to note that it is still recommended for you to write a separate personal statement for each scholarship for which you are applying.

Your counselors still have access to your transcripts so be in contact with them to have those available before the deadline as well.

Applications can still be found here: https://www.homerfoundation.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Homer-Foundation-2020-Scholarship-Application-final-v.12.31.19.pdf

We know this can be a very stressful time adjusting to differences in life but we want to provide some stability for the future going forward. Please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions or concerns.

(Wishing for) Spring Newsletter

Update from the Executive Director

Happy March Everyone! 

Match Campaign: Big news from the Homer Foundation. We have an amazing generous donor who has provided an anonymous match of $25,000 for operating funds for the Homer Foundation. That means you can be part of this great gift. Between now and June 30, 2020 for every dollar donated to the Homer Foundation Opportunity Fund, our donor will match up to $25,000. Your donations to the Opportunity Fund allow the Foundation to direct money to where the need is greatest. Let’s have a great match campaign and help us meet this challenge! You can pitch in right now by clicking here.

City of Homer Grants: A committee of Homer Foundation Board members and community members is considering 13 City Of Homer Grant applications. The City Grants Program is the foundation’s way of helping the city council sort through local needs, and of course helping the non-profits, who rely on these funds not only to fund ongoing operations, but to use as local matching dollars to attract more funds from other foundations, state and federal governments. Funds for these grants come from the City of Homer and City of Kachemak field of interest funds and from the City of Homer budget. Awards should be announced in April.

Youth Advisory Committee (YAC) Grants: Application season for these youth centric grants are still open. If you’re interested applications are due 4:00pm March 11, 2020. For more information, go here.

Scholarships: We are still accepting scholarship applications through 4:00 pm April 9, 2020. For more information or the application, go here. 

Sincerely,

Mike


Nonprofit Fundraising Workshops

The Homer Foundation is sponsoring two workshops for our area non-profits presented by Ken Miller, CFRE (Certified Fund Raising Executive) with Denali Fundraising Consultants. These workshops are happening on Wednesday, April 8th, 2020. 

First Workshop:

Fundraising 101 Best Practices- 8:15 am- 12 noon

Topics covered include fundraising calendars, annual campaigns, digital and online fundraising, Pick.Click.Give., direct mail campaigns, effective event marketing & promotion and making the in-person “ask” to major donors. 

Second Workshop:

Digital/Online & Social Media for Fundraising Success- 1:15-4:40 pm

Topics covered include websites, Facebook, Google, email marketing and promotion, and much more to increase your online, end of year and Pick.Click.Give donations. We will also look at how to effectively promote and market your events both offline and online. 

$15 for one workshop, $25 for both

Lunch is provided if you are attending all day. 

Workshops will be held at the Kachemak Bay Campus of KPC. Room is determined by size of group and you will be notified before the event where it will be held. Follow the signs posted on campus day of event.

Purchase tickets here.


Community Grants So Far This Year…

Homer OPUS: Nest Egg Campaign. This is the first multi-year grant from the Homer Foundation! OPUS is looking to expanding their impact on the community with their youth string orchestra programs and hiring a full-time educator. With the support of the Homer Foundation, this group has raised over $180,000 in their campaign and we are proud to be among their supporters. 

Homer Animal Friends: Spay and Neuter Support. This grant supported the year-long efforts of Homer Animal Friends and Alaska Mindful Paws, the local animal shelter, to spay and neuter 425 animals with a total cost of $43,942. This project improves over population in our area and continues to see fewer unwanted or abandoned pets surrendered to the shelter.

Paul Banks Elementary: Library Upgrades. Our local elementary school, Paul Banks, has received a grant to do necessary library upgrades. The library was able to purchase a new, bigger reading rug, create a reading corner, and purchase hundreds of fiction and non-fiction books. 


How you can help…

One of the easiest ways to support the Foundation is through the Pick.Click.Give campaign and your PFD through March 31st. We receive contributions from dozens of Alaskans for more than $7,000 each year. Join these like-minded individuals and give back to the Homer Foundation. All donations through this program go towards our Opportunity Fund unless we are contacted by a donor. The Opportunity Fund, formally the Unrestricted Fund, allows the Homer Foundation the greatest flexibility to meet our changing community needs and put the money where it is needed the most. PFD Applications are due by March 31st, make your pledges today!

Other options to help the Homer Foundation

  • Make a donation today!
  • Commit to making that a monthly donation
  • Increase your annual gift
  • Donate as a business partner
  • Talk to your family about naming the Homer Foundation as a beneficiary through revocable planned giving.
  • Ask your employer to become a business partner.
  • Talk to your friends about why you give and encourage them to do the same

Fund Highlight Friday

Introducing a fun new series on our Social Media Pages, Fund Highlight Friday. This is a way for us to shine a light on just one fund at a time, sharing when or how the fund started, its impact, or some of the projects associated with the fund. We know we have many funds and want to keep our community informed on all of their giving options. We do have at least weekly updates on the Foundation, be sure to stay informed by liking us on Facebook, or following us on Instagram 


Have you considered your Legacy?

When is the right time for a legacy gift?

To our donors and partners, we would like to thank you for your ongoing support of the Homer Foundation. Donors like you allow us to support nonprofits and provide scholarships in our community. With your help, in 2019 we distributed over $187,000 in the Homer area in 68 grants and 24 scholarships. The hungry were fed, deserving young people went on to higher education, the environment was protected and the arts flourished. Your generous gifts made that possible. Thank you.

You can protect the gifts you made in your life with a bequest gift to the Homer Foundation.  When do most people plan a legacy gift?  Anytime.  A marriage, a graduation, a milestone birthday can all be the event that says “it’s time to make a plan.”  Just make a note that the next time you review your estate plans you’ll consider doing what many others have done and join our Legacy Society by making a bequest gift to the Homer Foundation in your estate plan. A bequest gift is an expression of you and your life. It’s about protecting what you care about. It is about giving back to our local communities. It’s a way to payback for all we have received from this beautiful place we get to call home. It is a forever gift. It’s your legacy.

A legacy gift can be narrowly focused to support a specific nonprofit or broad to support a cause you care about like youth, fighting hunger or the arts.  You can even start your own family fund.

Leaving a bequest gift to your community is easier than you may think. If you’re interested in learning more about the ways to start your legacy, contact the Homer Foundation and we can provide you with the appropriate language to add to your estate documents. You can also connect with us here or call us at the office at 907.235.0541.