Today, the Horizon Foundation announced that they awarded over $1.852 million in grants to 50 community organizations 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.
The Foundation also helped conduct the 2021 Changemaker Challenge in partnership with United Way of Central Maryland, the Community Foundation of Howard County and the Women’s Giving Circle of Howard County. This biennial event awards funding for project ideas that promise to drive positive social change in Howard County.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has continued to challenge all of us, and 2021 was another difficult year for many in our community,” said Nikki Highsmith Vernick, president and CEO of the Horizon Foundation. “At the same time, our grantees helped lead incredibly important work across Howard County that will make our community stronger. We are proud to work together with all of our grantees to make Howard County a healthier and more equitable place for everyone.”
The full list of grantees and grant amounts is included below.
PROMOTING HEALTHY KIDS & FAMILIES
Black Student Achievement Program – Swansfield Elementary; Center for Creative Life and Learning, Inc. – Girls on Fire Mentoring and Enrichment Program; Continental Societies, Inc. – Columbia Chapter; Grassroots Crisis Intervention Center, Inc.; Howard County Housing Commission; Indian Cultural Association of Howard County; JustLiving Advocacy, Inc.; LindaBen Foundation, Inc.; and Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Zeta Alpha Sigma Chapter, Inc.: $500 each ($4,500 total) to raise awareness and provide education about diabetes and build momentum for future Healthy Choices Coalition efforts.
African American Community Roundtable; The Columbia (MD) Chapter of The Links, Inc.; Every Kid Can Cook; and Life Change AME Church: $10,000 each ($40,000) to raise awareness and provide education about diabetes, as well as serve as steering committee members of the Healthy Choices Coalition.
Maryland Matters: $20,000 to continue expanding news coverage of public health issues at both the state and local levels.
Maryland State Medical Society (MedChi): $125,000 to support Sugar Free Kids Maryland in its work to pass statewide policies to reduce sugary drink consumption. Sugar Free Kids will also support the Foundation’s diabetes prevention policy initiatives.
ENCOURAGING HEALTHY AGING
Hospice and Palliative Care Network of Maryland: $75,000 to expand its diversity and inclusion initiative and create an outreach strategy toolkit for service providers focused on surmounting the barriers to hospice/palliative care utilization.
Howard County General Hospital: $200,000 to support the hospital’s patient care pavilion and physical plant renovation.
Maryland State Medical Society (MedChi): $75,000 to launch the Maryland Honoring Choices Coalition that will educate Marylanders about end-of-life choices; help to facilitate greater conversations between healthcare physicians and the patients they serve, to ensure that end-of-life choices are honored, and streamline the overall process to name a healthcare agent.
ENSURING A MORE EQUITABLE COMMUNITY
The Community Ecology Institute, on behalf of B-FLY: $30,000 to build their organizing and advocacy capacity and partner with the Foundation on important strategic policy issues..
Bridges to Housing Stability; Columbia Housing Center; Springboard Community Services; and United Way of Central Maryland: $75,000 each (total of $300,000) to learn how to apply a racial equity lens to their work, collaborate on a joint equity-related policy campaign and build power to advance racial equity issues that matter to them and their communities. These grants cover their first year of participation in the Howard County Equity Collaborative.
CASA: $75,000 to support its work in priority areas including equity, chronic disease and mental health.
Equity4HC: $50,000 and Howard County Chinese School: $34,440 to support their racial equity campaigns focused on education and housing in Howard County.
Howard General Foundation: $5,000 to support Howard County General Hospital’s anti-racism belonging learning program that would be required for hospital management.
People Acting Together for Howard (PATH): $75,000 to support its work in priority areas including equity, chronic disease and mental health.
Alston for Athletes; Chinese American Parent Association of Howard County; Howard County Chinese School; Howard County Autism Society; Oakland Mills Online; Temple Isaiah Sisterhood; and The Columbia (MD) Chapter of The Links, Inc.: $3,500 each (total of $24,500) to help coordinate and lead film screenings and community discussions of the 2021 Mental Health Film Festival.
Bridgeway Community Church: $4,525; Celebration Church: $15,000; The Healthy Church: $10,000; Life Change AME Church: $15,000; Locust United Methodist Church: $15,000; and Temple Isaiah: $15,000 to develop or expand mental health supports within their community, and participate in mental health training.
Behavioral Health System Baltimore: $20,000 to support the MD988 Fund Campaign, which aims to establish dedicated funding to support the continuum of behavioral health crisis services, including 988 call centers, mobile crisis teams, crisis stabilization centers, and other crisis support services.
Columbia Festival of the Arts: $10,000 to conduct the Foundation’s Mental Health Film Festival virtually including purchase of a secure platform for airing protected films.
Community Action Council: $100,000 to develop a three-pronged approach for its Head Start program to support and improve mental and behavioral wellness for internal team and the families they serve.
Grassroots Crisis Intervention Center: $10,000 to offer free crisis, mental health and suicide prevention trainings to the community.
Howard County Police Department: $4,500 to train members in Mental Health First Aid and provide them a better understanding on how to identify mental health conditions and interact with community members diagnosed with mental health conditions.
Howard County Public School System: $150,000 to develop and pilot a mental health and well-being screening tool, expand advertisements for school-based mental health supports to students and their families and provide access to therapeutic services for students with families with insurance gaps.
Mental Health Association of Maryland: $20,000 to lead the Maryland Behavioral Health Coalition’s legislative efforts to enact reforms that will address widespread unmet mental health and substance use needs.
Sheppard Pratt: $250,000 towards a joint total of $450,000 support the operation of a 365 day/year, 12 hours a day, walk-in urgent care behavioral health clinic. This is a two-year grant awarded in partnership with United Way of Central Maryland and will be fully operational in 2022.
COMMUNITY OPPORTUNITY GRANTS
Alston for Athletes: $10,000 to provide Youth Mental Health First Aid Training to 35 coaches, athletic directors, and trainers across Howard County.
American Red Cross Central Maryland Chapter: $10,000 to cover the cost of 250 units of blood to be tested for compatibility so that patients with sickle cell can receive life-saving blood transfusions.
Columbia Housing Association: $10,000 to support the development and implementation of a marketing strategy plan to help raise digital presence in Howard County.
Girls on the Run of Central Maryland: $2,689 to support staff in attending annual professional development summit.
Humanim, Inc.: $20,000 to provide racial equity training to current/future Board members, leadership & employees.
Immune Recovery Foundation, Inc.: $5,000 to support organization marketing and communication plan of increasing their digital media to increase their awareness in Howard County.
Leadership Howard County: $2,500 to support their summer board development retreat to equip board members with tools and resources to accomplish their goals.
Sobar: $10,000 to engage a strategic planning consultant to help determine the best way to serve non-drinkers and influence young people to prevent substance abuse diseases.
Upcycled, Inc: $9,625 to engage Maryland Nonprofits to assist with developing best practices and policies and to strengthen the organization’s infrastructure.
Note: These grants were awarded in partnership with the United Way of Central Maryland, Community Foundation of Howard County and the Women’s Giving Circle of Howard County. The Changemaker Challenge seeks to advance innovative ideas to create social change in Howard County.
Alston for Athletes: $25,000 to help provide Mental Health First Aid Training to coaches, athletic directors and trainers to support Howard County’s youth athletes.
The 3rd: $15,000 to help create a community co-working space in downtown Columbia that is run by, supplied by and incubates women of color entrepreneurs.
Kits to Heart: $10,000 to improve the mental and emotional well-being of those affected by cancer through an innovative art therapy program.
The Community Ecology Institute: $10,000 to support its Nourishing Gardens initiative, which aims to transform lawns in the community into ecologically beneficial food growing spaces and teach people how to grow their own healthy food.
For more information about our grantmaking, visit thehorizonfoundation.org/grants.