As Community Foundation of Harford County celebrates its 10th anniversary during this fiscal year, the assets of the foundation are approaching $2 million.
The foundation's assets hit the $1 million mark in 2015. They have grown significantly since then to $1.7 million at the close of calendar year 2017. In addition, the foundation distributed more than $105,000 to charitable organizations in the county during the past fiscal year, a 63 percent increase over the year before.
In addition, Community Foundation of Harford County has unveiled a new web site. While the address remains the same--cfharfordcounty.org--the design is more user friendly. The new web site provides visitors with more stories about donors and recipients and makes donating even easier.
Community Foundation of Harford County demonstrates local philanthropy at its best. The foundation invites donors of all backgrounds to make a difference in the community where they live, work and raise a family, contributing to causes that matter to them. Anyone can be a philanthropist, and the foundation works with folks of all means to maximize their charitable impact at their preferred giving level.
Just ask the members of RAMS4OTHERS, a group of Edgewood High School alumni who started a giving circle to raise money to establish and support the Help Your Neighbor Fund, which is based at the Community Foundation of Harford County. The group looked for 40 members to give a minimum $250 pledge. The funds raised are used to help those with emergency financial needs.
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In 2017, the first grants were distributed to clients at Harford Community Action Agency and Harford Family House. Harford Community Action Agency aided the mother of an 18-month-old child from becoming evicted. She was starting a new job and needed funding to keep her and her child from becoming homeless. The grant to Harford Family House was used toward the purchase of a car to enable an individual to go back to work and become sustainable.
"Many of my fellow Edgewood alumni work within our own philanthropic endeavors, but RAMS4OTHERS was a chance to come together and do something as a group that impacts the Edgewood community, Route 40 and Harford County in general," said Scott Elliott, the founder of RAMS4OTHERS and a vice president at Harford Bank. "While RAMS4OTHERS started with the Edgewood High Hall of Fame members, it is spreading to all alumni who feel very fortunate to have grown up in Edgewood and want to give back. We help those who need a hand up."
Another example of an everyday philanthropist is Grace Callwood, founder of The We Cancerve Movement, Inc., a nonprofit that brings happiness to homeless, sick and foster children. The nonprofit was founded in 2011, when Grace, then 7 years old, was a pediatric oncology patient. She knows how important it is to help children in any stage of need. Her nonprofit established two funds with the Community Foundation of Harford County. One is for an endowment for future needs, and one is non-endowed and used for yearly distributions.
T'Jae Ellis, Grace's mother, is grateful for the help provided by the Community Foundation of Harford County to manage the funds.
"Allowing the Community Foundation to manage both the endowed and the non-endowed funds for The We Cancerve Movement, Inc., frees us up to focus more concertedly on bringing happiness to homeless, sick and foster children," said Ellis." "It's important to us that our donors and supporters trust us to be good stewards of all gifts. Having the Community Foundation of Harford County manage the financial gifts helps us address that priority."
For more information about contributing to an existing fund (such as Help Your Neighbor Fund or The We Cancerve Movement, Inc.) or setting up a new fund at the Community Foundation of Harford County, contact Brigitte Peters, executive director, at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 443-371-6062.
Founded in 2007, Community Foundation of Harford County is Harford County's local resource for informed philanthropy. It has been accredited by the Community Foundations National Standards Board, the nation’s highest honor for philanthropic excellence. As one of 15 community foundations in Maryland and more than 700 across the country, Community Foundation of Harford County provides individuals, families and businesses an easy, meaningful and personal way to give back to the community. For more information, visit cfharfordcounty.org.