Former Congressman Richard Hanna may be best known for his political achievements throughout the years, but he has an equally impressive history of supporting philanthropic endeavors. He is committed to bettering the Mohawk Valley, a community in which he was raised and still cherishes to this day.
“This community has more heart than most,” said Hanna. “Any event held in this community is well-attended; people are enthusiastic, and these events raise money from that same caring base. This community has a lot of empathy. There is always that enthusiasm.”
Hanna was drawn to The Community Foundation after hearing about its impressive work in support of the community. He joined the organization’s Board of Trustees in 1996 and served as Board Chair from 2003 to 2005.
In 1997, Hanna established the sixth donor-advised fund at The Community Foundation. He was an early adopter of this now popular charitable vehicle, with nearly 100 others following suit in the decades that have passed.
The Richard and Kimberly Hanna Fund has awarded more than $600,000 in grants since its inception, providing support to more than 110 nonprofit organizations. The fund has given multiple grants to organizations such as The House of the Good Shepherd, Samaritan Counseling Center of the Mohawk Valley, Stevens-Swan Humane Society and two organizations of significant importance to Hanna: The Women’s Fund of Herkimer and Oneida Counties and Annie’s Fund.
The Women’s Fund of Herkimer and Oneida Counties is a nonprofit organization that supports women and young girls economically and educationally, helping them advance personal growth and community participation. A distinct program of The Women’s Fund, Annie’s Fund was established in 2004 by Hanna. He was inspired by a woman who questioned why the community had no program to help women overcome obstacles and transform their lives.
“I knew someone, named Annie, and I thought to myself, I am going to do this one day when I have the money,” Hanna said. “I was fortunate enough to get to that point, and Annie’s Fund is doing exactly what I wanted it to.”
Annie’s Fund is unique, offering monetary assistance to women experience immediate and temporary crises.
Hedy Ann Hage, board member of The Women’s Fund and co-chair of Annie’s Fund calls, refers to Annie’s Fund as Hanna’s brainchild.
“Richard heard these stories about these problems that women were having and how there weren’t any resources available, and he wanted to know how we could remedy that,” said Hage. “It’s a unique fund; it’s one-of-a-kind. Through Annie’s Fund, we do what no one else can.”