Community editor and columnist Kris Capps is a longtime resident of Fairbanks and Denali Park. Contact her at, in the office at 459-7546 or by cell at 322-6334. Follow her on Twitter: @FDNMKris.

The average age of a child who experiences homelessness is 5 years old. Homelessness overall is increasing.

Jason Kempthorne, executive director of Love INC shared these startling statistics and then asked, “What are we going to do?” Luckily, he was speaking to a group committed to helping those in need in Fairbanks. His audience, at the Fountainhead Antique Auto Museum, was attending the November celebration of the Golden Heart Community Foundation. This is a Fairbanks foundation formed in 2013 to provide grants to help local nonprofits and causes. It is an affiliate of the Alaska Community Foundation and has already distributed funds to help a myriad of agencies in Fairbanks.

Kempthorne went on to share some success stories, all thanks to the Golden Heart Community Foundation. Grants have helped provide fuel for a vehicle that transported kids to school and parents to work and a bus pass that allowed a woman to reach classes for further professional training. That woman obtained her CNA certification and now intends to go back to school for further education. She wants to open her own bakery. Just a little help made a big difference for these people.

The foundation also manages scholarship funds and endowment funds and more.

“Why do we give?” C.B. Bettisworth asked. “Because of stories like that.”

Both Bettisworth and his wife created successful lives here.

“For both of us, it’s time to do some good,” he said. “That is the reason we give.”

The celebration last week was a chance to celebrate the good that has already been done and to encourage more giving so that good work can continue.

“I believe you, like us, want to make this community a better place,” he said to the audience. “Tonight is the night to think about Fairbanks’ future.”

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Here are some of the local agencies that have benefited from Golden Heart Community Foundation grants. 

• Access Alaska — medical equipment loan program computer upgrade

• Alaska Center for Children & Adults — fetal alcohol syndrome education materials

• Alaska Songbird Institute — citizen science program

• Breadline Inc. — culinary job training program

• Calypso Farms — field trips

• Citizens for Clean Air — testing electrostatic precipitators

• Downtown Association — service for chronically inebriated people

• Fairbanks Children’s Museum — services for kids with autism

• Fairbanks Concert Association — education intensive and mini-festival

• FMH and UAF Hockey — co-sponsor ‘Stayin Alive’ CPR video

• Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival — app for attendees and connectivity

• Fairbanks Symphony Association — summer youth program

• Food Bank — van purchase

• Friends of Creamer’s Field — sharing nature and history

• John Trigg Ester Library — Kids Read program

• KUAC — support and advertising for new GHCF

• Love INC — Loving Families

• North Star Community Foundation — Project Homeless Connect

• North Star Imagination Library — books for kids

• Special Olympics of the Tanana Valley — general support

• World Eskimo-Indian Olympics — WEIO 2019

• United Way — co-host nonprofit workshop

• Weller PTA — skis for recess and PE use


Reach columnist/community editor Kris Capps at Call her at the office 459-7546. Follow her on Twitter: @FDNMKris.