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Quote of the Month

Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.

-Martin Luther King, Jr.

Letter from Birmingham Jail

April 16, 1963


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Families, Children and Youth

The Horace Hagedorn Foundation (HHF) is guided by the belief that all children deserve a happy, healthy and safe start to life.  The Foundation considers parents and supportive communities to be essential players in the successful start of a young person’s life and transition into adulthood. HHF supports parents, community leaders, business leaders and policy-makers who protect and advocate on behalf of the well-being of children and youth.  The Foundation supports projects and initiatives that improve early care and education, strengthen families and supportive communities and/or build public and political will to achieve these goals. Special attention will be paid to projects and initiatives that work in all three areas.

HHF’s primary focus is funding on Long Island.  On a state and national level, we support research, policy work and related initiatives that directly benefit Long Islanders.

The Foundation’s three areas of focus are described below.

Improve Early Care and Education

Recognizing the importance of early childhood development and the parent-child relationship, HHF seeks to enable children and families to gain access to high quality early care and education programs by supporting the following funding priorities:

  • Creation of innovative, systemic approaches to improve professional training among and increase compensation/benefits for childcare and early education workers.
  • Research and evaluation that demonstrate the economic and social benefits of early care and education programs.
  • Collaborations of various kinds, including: public-private partnerships; projects/initiatives that work across various issue areas; collaborations between early care education and other education systems; and collaborations among family, children and youth programs that seek to create continuity of services and strengthen the sector as a whole.
  • Programming that employs creative strategies to maximize parents’ access to services that improve parent-child relationships and promote children’s social, emotional and academic performance. Strategies to increase parental access to such services may include but are not limited to days/hours of operation, service locations, and outreach methods.

Strengthen Families and Supportive Communities

To thrive and become responsible and fulfilled members of a community, children and youth need loving, nurturing families and caring neighborhoods.  Families and children need supportive, interconnected services, family-friendly institutions and positive opportunities to ensure their healthy development. To promote community responsibility for the well-being of all children, and to empower mothers, fathers and all who share in the parental role to strengthen and advocate for their families, The Horace Hagedorn Foundation supports the following funding priorities:

  • Innovative strategies that link economic development to family support.
  • Accessible, flexible and friendly neighborhood-based services for children, youth and families.
  • Advocacy on behalf of paid family leave policies.
  • Efforts to institutionalize family-friendly policies in the public and private sectors.
  • Collaborative efforts that create or expand public-private partnerships, coalitions, and other cooperative ventures to promote public and private investment in neighborhood-based services for children and families.
  • Neighborhood- or community-wide collaborations and partnerships that maximize the assets, capacity and impact of local resources and institutions.
  • The development of community-wide networks that address the needs of families.
  • The development of resident-driven, neighborhood-building initiatives to identify what the community needs in order to strengthen local families and promote the healthy development of the community’s children, and to determine how best to meet those needs.

Build Public and Political Will in Support of Family and Children’s Issues

The Horace Hagedorn Foundation supports efforts to build momentum at local, state and national levels to prioritize family and children’s issues.  The Foundation also funds initiatives that strengthen the involvement of parents, caregivers and professionals in transforming policies and public institutions to make them more accountable to and supportive of all families. Funding priorities in this area include initiatives and projects that:

  • Build public awareness about the full spectrum of issues affecting children and families and engage the public in addressing these issues.
  • Bring people together across sectors to develop coalitions around common agendas and messages that are responsive the needs of families.
  • Advocate for family and children’s issues that address the Foundation’s priority areas.
  • Conduct research and data collection that demonstrate the need for and effectiveness of successful family and children program models.
  • Develop messages that focus on building the public’s interest in and commitment to supporting families and children’s issues.

Organizational Criteria:

The Horace Hagedorn Foundation supports organizations that:

  • Embrace and promote family support principles and practices.
  • Strive to operate in a socially equitable, culturally competent manner;
  • Implement family-friendly policies;
  • Are accountable and responsive to their respective communities; and
  • Include community input in all phases of programming and planning.