September Newsletter: Watching the News

Update from the Executive Director

I am plagued by a lifelong interest in current affairs. Since I was a young boy I read newspapers and magazines in an effort by my young, immature mind to know and understand what was happening nationally and in far-flung corners of the globe. I was not afraid of these happenings, I just ….wanted to know. As I’ve gotten older I realize that so many factors outside of our control impact us in both legitimate and contrived ways. 

So what to do about that?  Much of what we see in the news is designed to grab our attention in the moment to keep us focused on that one small component. How do we combat the urge to stay focused on the small problem in front of us rather than the greater picture? By continually reorienting ourselves on the larger goal or mission. By staying focused on your goals and by always siding with long-term success over short-term increases.

We use the mission statement of the Homer Foundation, or any organization, not only as a  measurement of success but also as a guide when making decisions. By asking “Does this seemingly important thing advance the mission?”  If not, then it maybe it should be left for someone else to do.

Our mission is:

“… to enhance the quality of life for the citizens of the greater Homer area by promoting philanthropic and charitable activities.”

That’s why even though the market may be down at the moment, we’re committed to continuing our long-term investment strategy and providing (and growing) a stable pillar of philanthropy on the southern Kenai Peninsula. It’s why we don’t try to fight every fight but stand and support the missions of our community, friends, and partners. 

What’s your mission?


Annual Picnic…Thank you to donors!

Shortly after last month’s newsletter came out we held our annual picnic. The event is open to all recent Homer Foundation donors, current and past board members. We love getting together to say thank you to this farsighted group of people. We especially want to thank Phil Morris for hosting the picnic at his home again, Ken Caster for cooking, as well as all the people who helped set up and tear it down.

Miss the Pick.Click.Give. Deadline?

If you meant to give part of your PFD this year but missed the Aug 31st deadline, no worries! If you want to be generous with your larger-than-normal PFD you can still give directly. Just follow the below link to donate today.  

Recent Grants
Homer High School Sports Cage $3,900

Homer High School applied for grant to help fund an indoor sports cage for the Homer High School gymnasium. It will serve the HHS baseball team which does not have access to a year-round batting cage of their own. This batting cage allows for setup and tear down in a matter of minutes and would also serve the softball team, little league players during open gym and clinics and other sports requiring an enclosed cage.  Batter up!

Homer Trails Alliance- $5,000

The Homer Trails Alliance (HTA) organized to advocate for trails, to coordinate safe walkability efforts with community partners, and to maintain and develop trails in the Homer area (north side of Kachemak Bay). Homer Trails Alliance volunteers have been doing some much needed repairs on The Homestead Trail.  Many of the original boardwalks are completely rotten and other areas are in desperate need of boardwalks to make hiking safer and drier. Signage has also been added which helps people navigate what can be a maze of trails! Some of the trail is through wet areas necessitating a board walk through some trail portions. 

The Alliance requested and was approved for a $5,000 grant to finish the main route to Reuben Call Bench. With the help of donated labor, The grant will fund a 250’ boardwalk three feet wide, which includes replacing a bridge over one of the major creeks.  

Philanthropy Fact of the Month

Ever noticed that people who are kind have a tendency to be happier and more content?

This is because when we do something kind for someone else, we feel good – which is due to the release of dopamine and oxytocin.

Dopamine is the reward chemical that is released by the brain and makes us feel good as a result of something that we perceive as positive.

Oxytocin, responsible for emotional warmth, reduces blood pressure and promotes other cardiovascular benefits. It also reduces levels of free radicals and inflammation, thus slowing ageing.

Kindness also has obvious social benefits, making for better friendships and relationships.