BTCF Blog | Easing the Burden of Medical Costs

BTCF Blog

Easing the Burden of Medical Costs

By Darryl Gangloff / January 11, 2019 / Donor Spotlight
Easing the Burden of Medical Costs

When illness hits, many people who can otherwise pay their bills on their own are suddenly stuck. Debt from surgeries and emergency room visits can quickly pile up, adding stress to the healing process.

That concern sparked the creation of the Blue Horizon Health Fund, which helps families in northwest Litchfield County cover medical expenses through one-time grants. It was founded nearly 70 years ago by John Noble and his wife, Ethel, of Sharon. They selected Thomas Wagner to run the fund as trustee, who in turn appointed his daughter, Judith McKernon, as his successor. The Lakeville resident considers it a gift from her father to advance the fund’s vital mission.

“We have older people in the community who are on Social Security as their only means of staying afloat,” Judy said. “The majority are on a very limited income, and they just don’t have anything in the bank for that $1,000 for dental work” or other unexpected expense.

In 2007, Judy brought the endowed fund to Berkshire Taconic to invest and grow its assets. Foundation staff work directly with town social workers to identify residents who require assistance. Since BTCF manages the finances and paperwork, Judy can concentrate on helping her neighbors get back on track.

“I get the fun of saying, ‘Yes, let’s help that person’ or even, ‘Couldn’t we do a little more on that bill?’” said Judy, who has approved almost 200 grants totaling nearly $115,000 since bringing the fund to BTCF. “Nothing feels better than helping somebody get through a bad time.”

Recent Posts

A Lifelong Interest in Other People: Judy Kittredge

BTCF Blog

A Lifelong Interest in Other People: Judy Kittredge

We remember Judy Kittredge, whose liveliness was matched only by her generosity.

We're Hiring!

BTCF Blog

We're Hiring!

We seek an Administrative Coordinator to maintain office and building operations and provide database and special project support, and a Tech Operations Associate to improve our IT systems and programs.

Reflections on Moe England

BTCF Blog

Reflections on Moe England

We are grateful for nearly 10 years of partnership with a very special person and beloved community member.

Free Consulting Support Available for Nonprofits

BTCF Blog

Free Consulting Support Available for Nonprofits

Specialized, one-on-one technical support from the New York Council of Nonprofits is now available to nonprofits in Berkshire, Columbia and northeast Dutchess counties.

Grants for Continuing Mental Health, Food Needs Total Over $180,000

BTCF Blog

Grants for Continuing Mental Health, Food Needs Total Over $180,000

The partners behind our Berkshire County emergency response fund are tackling two of the persistent challenges from the pandemic.

View All Stories