Pay It Forward: A year for celebration

This month the Homer Foundation has turned 30 years old. For those of us who remember the 1960s, yeah, well, we’ve learned the truth. You actually can trust those over 30.

Recently, I took on a project to collect some of the best pictures of the Foundation’s last 30 years. As I sorted through hundreds of photos, I became seriously overwhelmed – in a good way. Tears came to my eyes seeing the incredible reach this organization has had in the lives of so many of our neighbors. Here are just a few highlights:

High school girls traveling to India or Russia with experiences that have changed their lives. Graduates off to college with scholarships leading to amazing careers. Young kids learning to play the violin, not just for music education but for the compounding benefit it has on developing brains. Food and emergency support for those in desperate need. And then there are physical manifestations of community in building the Karen Hornaday Park Playground, the Homer Public Library, and the Boathouse Pavillion. Oh, and there is so much more. Look around the efforts toward the new Kachemak City playground, the skateboard park, music events, recreation, conservation; little ones helped by Sprout, families by the Anchor Point Food Bank, and elders supported by Hospice.

Yet, the Foundation didn’t initiate or carry out these projects. Our community service groups did. Our neighbors did. Our nonprofit organizations did. Very possibly you did.

You see, the Homer Foundation provides a place where we all can come together to share our appreciation for this wonderful place we live. It is a place where your generosity grows into a fund for the future. Then, as funds are needed, when they can do the most good, requests are vetted by our community grants committee and amazing things happen.

The Foundation’s trustees set a really big goal a few years ago. We want to build our Vanguard managed funds to $20 million so that we can return hundreds of thousands of dollars each year to make a significant and positive difference in our quality of life here on the Southern Kenai Peninsula. You, your friends and neighbors, give what you can so great ideas can find seed money. So our nonprofits can not only have a source of quick support but they can spend more time doing the work for which they were created and less time fundraising. So groups from Ninilchik to Nanwalek with a valuable idea can turn them into reality.

If you are already an occasional donor to the Homer Foundation, thank you. If you are a monthly or annual donor, thank you twice. If you have included us in your legacy estate planning, thank you thrice!

If you want to join in the great satisfaction of knowing that your generosity is truly making our home a better place, accept our 30th Anniversary Challenge. The goal is to add 300 new donors at $30 or more in our 30th year. Just go to or call or come by the office. We’ll thank you 30 times over!

Let’s celebrate!

Liz Downing is a member of the Homer Foundation Board of Trustees.

August 2021 Nonprofit Needs

Share the Spirit: It’s time for the annual reminder. Summer is drifting to and end, fall is near and it will be the holidays before you know it, so we ask as we do each year for you to plan now on supporting Share the Spirits Food and Gift Basket Program. Save a bit from your PFD or put aside a small amount of the next few pay checks. Again the coming year is uncertain and we ask all, those donating and those who may be in need to plan ahead so the holidays won’t find us with out resources. Thank you and please remember to Share the Spirit.

Hospice of Homer needs volunteers. There are a wide variety of ways you can help your neighbors by volunteering your time to HOH: 1. Weekly grocery shopping for a woman with a disabled son, 2. Visit with a young woman who enjoys sharing her artistic talents, 3. Pick up a blind client and take him to walk on the Spit, 4. Light housekeeping for a couple in their 80s, 5. Companionship for an 89 year old woman who lives downtown, 6. Meal prep for a man in the early stages of Parkinson’s, 7. Spend time with a man in Anchor Point so his wife can get out of the house to do the shopping. Call the office at 235-6899, email, or stop by for more information.

The Homer Farmers Market could use some rubbermaid totes if anyone has extras. Contact Lauren at

The Homer Community Food Pantry could really use some canned fruit, especially peaches. Of course, frozen fish is always appreciated. Contact Dennis at