A Helping Hand

 A Helping Hand

GO Pantry in Florence was one of the 2020 winners of the fund’s Give Where You Live NKY giving circle.

Horizon Community Funds saw the region’s need during COVID-19 and decided to find more ways to help

With the number of active COVID-19 cases changing daily in Boone, Campbell and Kenton counties, it’s uncertain of what the approaching fall season will bring for the virus. To help the community in these confusing times, the Horizon Community Funds of Northern Kentucky is using its resources to help those who’ve been impacted throughout the region.   

Founded in 2017, the fund operates as a public charity and a community foundation. Through forming partnerships with donors, nonprofits, corporations and community leaders, Horizon Community Funds helps to collect and distribute monetary donations to where they are needed within the Northern Kentucky area. 

“We’re really that conduit for philanthropic activity and [we’re] trying to build a more robust culture of giving in Northern Kentucky,” says Nancy Grayson, president of Horizon Community Funds. 

Grayson and two other staff members make up the fund’s team, but there’s also a 20-member board that consists of leaders from the area that work to ensure the community’s trust in the Horizon Community Funds’ operations.

Along with accepting donations, the fund has several groups people can join that bring a social component to giving. One example is The 410, a giving circle named after the first three digits of every Northern Kentucky zip code. Members of the circle put forth $410 for the year and, over the course of several meetings, the group as a whole decides where to allocate the funds. Each year the money goes to various programs and initiatives. For example, last year the group helped to fund a mural in Newport.

Another group, Give Where You Live NKY, is a more fast-paced giving circle. Members bring $100 each to a quarterly meeting, each places a name of a nonprofit of their choice into a hat and three nonprofits are drawn. After a discussion and a vote, the top choice will receive the money. Last year, across the four meetings, a total of $25,000 was distributed. 

Another recent effort from the organization is the Coronavirus Relief Fund. The fund is designed to assist the Northern Kentucky region in its efforts to fight the virus. To date, the fund has raised over $2.1 million, and the donation amounts have varied across the community, from $10 to larger grants. One group the fund partnered with for this initiative was Be Concerned, which runs one of the largest free food pantries in the area. In total, Horizon Community Funds has provided $160,000 to the organization, which went toward providing food and hygiene supplies to those in need. 

As the virus’ impact continues to develop, the fund plans to do the same. Some of the same partnerships will be maintained, and more will most likely be added as the needs of the community grow and change. 

If individuals are looking to get involved with Horizon Community Funds, you’re able to donate at horizonfunds.org. If you’re looking to help in a more hands-on way, you can also go to the fund’s website or send an email to be connected with a volunteering opportunity.

“I think this has been a real big time for Northern Kentucky to shine,” says Grayson of the support the fund has received this year.