February 3, 2020

Horizon Foundation Awarded Over $1.8 Million in Grants to Nearly 80 Community Programs in 2019

The Horizon Foundation announced today that they awarded $1.87 million in grants to 79 organizations and members of the community in 2019 as part of its mission to improve health and wellness for people who live or work in Howard County, Md. The grants focus on advancing the Foundation’s three strategic priorities – promoting healthy kids and families, encouraging healthy aging and ensuring a more equitable community – including emphasizing mental health for both children and adults.

Among the grantees are 13 organizations that received community opportunity grants to support local nonprofits in carrying out their missions. The Foundation also partnered with the United Way of Central Maryland to award $60,000 in grants to four awardees as part of the Changemaker Challenge, an event to advance social change in Howard County.

“From spreading awareness about mental health resources, to launching a new after-school sports program, to making advance care planning easier, our grantees are making Howard County a model community where good health is a priority,” said Nikki Highsmith Vernick, president and CEO of the Foundation. “We are proud to work in partnership with them to help make Howard County a place where everyone has an opportunity to thrive.”

The full list of grantees and grant amounts is included below.


Promoting Healthy Kids & Families

Howard County Department of Recreation and Parks: $150,000 to launch RISE (Recreation Inspired Sports for Everyone), a middle school pilot program that offers after-school sports programming at an affordable cost. The program includes transportation at low to no cost for children who are enrolled in the Free and Reduce Meals (FARMS) program in order to break down barriers to youth sports participation and encourage physical activity.

Howard County Public School System: $75,000 to help install more than 40 water bottle filling stations in schools to broaden access to drinking water, offer a healthy alternative to sugary drinks and reduce the need for disposable plastic water bottles.

Howard County Public School System: $150,000 to assist the school system in its collection and reporting of important health data.

Maryland Matters: $25,000 to expand news coverage of public health issues at the state and local level.

Maryland State Medical Society (MedChi): $200,000 to support Sugar Free Kids Maryland and the LOCAL Maryland Coalition. These coalitions work to reduce sugary drink consumption and prevent the state from banning local public health laws.

MedStar Health: $78,546 to conduct a study on opportunities and barriers to youth sports participation in Howard County and establish a “Healthy Sports Play” program that will develop health promotion and injury prevention recognition criteria for existing county sports programs.

People Acting Together in Howard (PATH): $75,000 to support its work in priority areas including equity, chronic disease and mental health.


Encouraging Healthy Aging

Maryland State Medical Society (MedChi): $75,000 to create the Maryland Honoring Choices Coalition,  which will raise awareness about end-of-life choices, make it easier for people to document their health care wishes and advocate for legislative issues around advance care planning.

Maryland Hospital Association: $75,000 to spread best practices among member hospitals about advance care planning and to partner with the Horizon Foundation on advocacy and regulatory efforts to encourage statewide changes to make it easier for residents to complete advance directives.

Alpha Foundation of Howard County, Bridgeway Community Church, Friends of Howard County Library, Howard County Autism Society, Indian Cultural Association of Howard County and NeighborRide: $10,760 total to promote advance care planning among their members in partnership with the Speak(easy) Howard campaign.

Howard County General Hospital: $200,000 to support the hospital’s patient care pavilion and physical plant renovation.


Ensuring a More Equitable Community

African American Community Roundtable: $15,024; Association of Community Services: $93,344; Equity4HC: $85,000; and Howard County Chinese School: $79,420 to continue to support and work on racial equity issues in Howard County.

Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Columbia: $12,000 to help host the Howard County Faith Community’s Courageous Conversation series on race and religious bias.


Mental Health

A-OK Mentoring, Active Minds Reservoir High School , Bollman Bridge Elementary School, Bonnie Branch Middle School PTA, Bryant Woods Elementary School, Building Families for Children Inc., Center for Creative Life and Learning Inc., Chinese American Parent Association of Howard County, Clarksville Middle School PTA, Clemens Crossing Elementary School PTA, Conexiones of Howard County, Cradlerock Elementary School, Dunloggin Middle School PTA, Every Kid Can Cook, Equity4HC, Folly Quarter Middle School, Guilford Elementary School, HC DrugFree, Howard County Autism Society, Howard County Police Department Youth Advisory Council, Howard High School, L3M Global, Laurel Woods Elementary School, Marriotts Ridge High School PTSA, Mayfield Woods Middle School and PTA, Maryland Turkish American Inhabitants Inc., Mount Hebron High School PTSA, My Life Foundation Inc., Oakland Mills High School, Patapsco Middle School PTA, Peiying Chinese School, Steven’s Forest Elementary School Black Student Achievement Program, Temple Isaiah Sisterhood, The Ed Lally Foundation, Therapeutic and Recreational Riding Center, Tridelphia Ridge Elementary School and Young Queens in Training Inc.: $24,000 total to reach students, parents and families and promote mental health education and awareness, with an emphasis on addressing signs and symptoms of depression and anxiety, preventing suicide in youth and reducing stigma around mental illness.

Ellicott City Soccer Club: $11,985 to raise awareness, provide education, fight stigma and promote resources for mental health.

Community Action Council of Howard County: $50,000 to continue behavioral health services within its Head Start program.

Behavioral Health System Baltimore: $75,000 to advance advocacy efforts for behavioral health crisis services.

Mental Health Association of Maryland: $20,000 to conduct legislative advocacy for a number of key behavioral health policy priorities, including fully funding community service budget commitments, expanding access to medication-assisted substance use treatment and expanding county-based crisis response services.

Grassroots Crisis Intervention Center, Inc.: $20,000 to expand its Safe Space Training Certification Program to include a train-the-trainer module that teaches how to provide a safe and supportive environment for the LGBTQ+ population.

Grassroots Crisis Intervention Center, Inc.: $26,000 total to offer free crisis, mental health and suicide prevention trainings to the community.

Accessible Resources for Independence: $10,000; Bridgeway Community Church: $6,000; Indian Cultural Association of Howard County: $30,000; NAMI Howard County: $10,000; On Our Own of Maryland Inc.: $10,000; St. John the Evangelist Roman Catholic Church: $11,690; and Wilde Lake High School PTSA: $11,325 to raise awareness, provide education, fight stigma and promote resources for mental health.


Community Opportunity Grants

Chin Integration and Advocacy Network USA: $5,000 to develop a three-year strategic plan to enable the Chin community in Maryland to successfully integrate into American society.

Chinese American Parent Association of Howard County: $2,800 to build its capacity to better serve Chinese American parents, students and families in the Howard County Public Schools.

Community Action Council of Howard County: $2,000 to stock fresh fruits and vegetables in the Howard County Food Bank at the time of the 2018-2019 federal government furlough, during which the number of families visiting the food bank doubled.

Community Foundation of Howard County: $10,000 to help leverage the Women’s Giving Circle’s new fundraising initiative to focus on diversity, equity and inclusion for women in Howard County.

Free Bikes 4 Kidz Maryland: $15,000 to launch and continue a state affiliate nonprofit to collect gently used bikes from the public and refurbish and distribute them to local children.

Friends of Howard County Library: $10,000 to host a speaker series on racial equity on the topics of white privilege and structural racism with Debby Irving (author of Waking Up White), Lisa Gray (associate director of student diversity and inclusion at UMBC) and Richard Rothstein (author of The Color of Law).

JustLiving Advocacy, Inc.: $7,000 to provide executive training to the board and develop a website for the organization, which works to improve, strengthen and enrich the lives of women.

Let Me Run: $7,500 to provide up to 120 full and partial scholarships to its running program to boys at five schools.

Pointers Run Elementary School PTA: $1,000 to host a PTA conference to bring together experts, host interactive workshops and discuss trends and issues affecting children.

Sobar: $6,000 to plan and host its first alcohol-free community New Year’s Eve event, designed to provide a social alternative for people in recovery as well as for individuals who choose not to drink alcohol.

The Community Ecology Institute: $12,000 to hire a fundraising consultant to bolster fundraising infrastructure and train staff to transform its organic farm into an innovative community education center.

United Way of Central Maryland: $20,000 to help develop a new child care center at the county’s Community Resources Campus that will provide full-time, affordable, quality child care to 71 infants, toddlers and preschoolers, as well as support services for their families.


Changemaker Challenge

Note: These grants were awarded in partnership with the United Way of Central Maryland.

Upcycled: $25,000; The Arc of Howard County: $15,000; Pamela Woolford: $10,000; and Dr. Leah Katherine Saal and Dr. Lisa Schoenbrodt: $10,000 to advance innovative ideas to create social change in Howard County. Projects included making sustainable building materials using recycled plastic water bottles, spreading the word about Columbia’s historic Black leaders, building adult changing tables in the community for people with disabilities and creating a training program for Fire/EMS personnel to better serve individuals with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities.

For more information about our grantmaking, visit thehorizonfoundation.org/grants.