On the Horizon

What’s new? What’s old? What’s interesting? What’s worth mentioning? We’re all busy. But we always do our best to provide news and views on the happenings in our community.

  • MLK Day

    All of our branches will be closed on Monday, January 17 in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. We will resume normal hours on Tuesday, January 18.

  • New Year’s Day

    All branches will be closed on Saturday, January 1st for New Year’s Day. We will resume normal business hours on Monday, January 3rd.

  • Christmas Holiday Closure

    All branches will be closed on Friday, December 24th at 2 pm in observance of Christmas Eve. We will remain closed Saturday, December 25th. We will resume normal business hours on Monday, December 27th. Merry Christmas!

  • Thanksgiving

    All branches will be closed on Thursday, November 25 in observance of Thanksgiving. We will resume normal business hours on Friday, November 26.

  • Veterans Day

    We will be closed on Thursday, November 11 in observance of Veterans Day. We will resume normal posted hours on Friday, November 12.

  • Labor Day

    In observance of Labor Day, all bank locations will be closed on Monday, September 6. We will resume normal hours on Tuesday, September 7.

  • Independence Day Closure

    We will be closed on Monday, July 5th in observance of Independence Day. We will resume normal posted hours on Tuesday, July 6.

  • Memorial Day

    We will be closed on Monday, May 31 for Memorial Day. We will resume posted hours on Tuesday, June 1.

  • Thriving Together

    We are proud to accept Humana’s Thriving Together award for one of the nation’s best wellness program engagement rates, thanks to our dedicated employees who have continued to make healthy lifestyle choices even in challenging times. Congratulations – and kudos to our employees for taking care and setting a good example every day!

    Horizon Bank_Thriving Together Award 2020

  • Winter Storm Assistance

    We are with you.


    The winter storm in Texas impacted us all. If you need assistance, reach out to your banker so we can help.

  • Weather Update

    Due to inclement weather and widespread power outages, all Horizon branches will be closed Tuesday, February 16. Mobile and online banking are available. Please contact Customer Service at (512) 637-5730 or if you need immediate assistance. Thank you for your patience and stay safe!

  • Presidents’ Day

    All of our branches will be closed on Monday, February 15 in observance of Presidents’ Day. We will resume normal hours on Tuesday, February 16.

  • MLK Day

    We will be closed on Monday, January 18th in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. We will resume posted hours on Tuesday, January 19.

  • Simple & Secure is now Horizon.Bank.

    In keeping with our commitment to build the best client experience, we are transitioning from to Horizon.Bank.

    What is .Bank?

    Dot Bank is our new URL, replacing the dot com behind our name in our web address. Dot Bank offers enhanced security, as it is a registered domain reserved only for verified financial institutions. The added layer of protection it provides assures that your banking information is safeguarded against cybercriminal activity.

    Why are we changing our website?

    • Security – The .Bank domain has strong encryption and a higher level of security than .Com, protecting your financial information and making it harder for fraudsters to try to spoof our site and outgoing emails.
    • Simplicity – the new domain is easy to say and quick to type. No more spelling out those long email addresses!
  • New Year’s Day

    We will be closed on Friday, January 1 for New Years Day. We will resume posted hours on Saturday, January 2. Happy Holidays!

  • Christmas Holidays

    All branches will close at 2:00pm on Christmas Eve and will remain closed for Christmas Day. We will resume normal business hours on December 26. Happy Holidays!

  • Thanksgiving

    All branches will be closed on Thursday, November 26 in observance of Thanksgiving. We will resume normal business hours on Friday, November 27.

  • Bank Closure – Veterans Day

    All Horizon Bank branches will be closed on Wednesday, November 11th in observance of Veterans Day. We will resume normal business hours on Thursday, November 12th.

  • Horizon and COVID-19

    In response to the ongoing COVID-19 situation, here are some updates regarding our operations.

    We are dedicated to serving our customers and keeping our communities safe and healthy. With that in mind, Horizon Bank continues to offer drive-thru, online and mobile banking, e-mail, ATM, and phone services. The lobbies at our West 5th, North Austin, and Salado branches are open for business. We are keeping a safe social distance within our lobbies and in accordance with state directives, we are asking that our customers wear a mask when entering. Hand sanitizer is available at all lobbies. If you need to access your safety deposit box or meet with a banker at any of our other locations, please give us a call and we can set up an appointment to meet with you.

    We will continue to monitor the situation and will keep you informed of any updates. We thank you for being part of the Horizon Bank family. If you have questions or need any additional information, please reach out to your local branch, call us at (866) 914-2265, or email our Customer Service team.

  • Memorial Day

    All branches will be closed on Monday, May 25th in observance of Memorial Day. We will resume normal business hours on Tuesday, May 26th. Have a safe and happy holiday!

  • Horizon’s Response to COVID-19

    In response to the dynamic COVID-19 situation, we’d like to share with you some information regarding Horizon Bank’s operations.

    Nothing is more important than the health and well-being of our customers, staff and the communities in which we live and serve. That being said, Horizon Bank will continue to serve our customers with drive-thru, online and mobile banking, e-mail, ATM, and phone services. Effective Thursday, March 19th, our lobbies will be closed for the time being to protect our customers and our employees from potential health and safety concerns, and courier services will be temporarily suspended. We will continue to serve the financial needs of our customers with the same high level of personal service that you’ve come to expect from us.

    We are monitoring the situation and will keep you updated and informed of any changes that are made. We thank you for being part of the Horizon Bank family during this time of uncertainty. If you have questions or need any additional information, please reach out to your local branch, call us at (866) 914-2265, or email our Customer Service team.

  • It’s My Park Day: Spring 2020

    Horizon Bank has yet again joined forces with Austin Parks Foundation to improve our parks and public spaces. Our very first time participating was such a success last year that we wanted to team up with our community one more time! Employees and volunteers spent their Saturday morning joining in on the city-wide effort in renovating, cleaning, and improving Austin parks. A great way to spend a Saturday morning with a little team building and giving back. We look forward to participating in future events with the Austin Parks Foundation!

  • Presidents Day

    All Horizon Bank branches will be closed on Monday, February 17th in observance of Presidents Day. We will resume normal business hours on Tuesday, February 18th. Have a safe and happy holiday!

  • Martin Luther King Jr. Day

    All Horizon Bank branches will be closed on Monday, January 20th in observance of MLK Day. We will resume normal business hours on Tuesday, January 21st. Have a safe and happy holiday!

  • Bank Closure – New Year’s Day

    All Horizon Bank branches will be closed on Wednesday, January 1st in observance of New Year’s Day. We will resume normal business hours on Thursday, January 2nd. Have a safe and happy holiday!

  • Bank Closure – Christmas

    Happy holidays from the Horizon family to yours. All Horizon Bank branches will be closing early on Tuesday, December 24th and closed on Wednesday, December 25th in observance of Christmas Day. We will resume normal business hours on Thursday, December 26th.

  • Annual Adopt a Family Event

    This holiday season brings yet another opportunity for giving. Last week, Horizon Bank partnered with Helping Hand Home to give children in foster care their very own custom gift at the Helping Hand Home’s Santa Party. Luckily, Santa was able to attend the event and hand deliver each gift himself! Everyone had a great time volunteering, and we couldn’t just stop there. Horizon Bank volunteers are now coming together to provide several foster families with gift baskets to celebrate the holiday season. Our employees are excited to be helping out with the annual event for the fourth year in a row!

  • Bank Closure – Thanksgiving Day

    All Horizon Bank branches will be closed on Thursday, November 28th in observance of Thanksgiving Day. We will resume normal business hours on Friday, November 29th. Gobble! Gobble!

  • Austin Parks Foundation: It’s My Park Day

    This weekend our hard-working volunteers went out and got their hands dirty! With the help of employees and the Austin Parks Foundation, we were able to celebrate It’s My Park Day by renovating the Country Club Creek Trail. Horizon Bank volunteers joined the city-wide effort and were responsible for cleaning and widening the local trail. Afterwards, they were able to spend some well-earned time off at Happy Hour hosted by our customer BuzzMill.

  • Bank Closure – Veterans Day

    All Horizon Bank branches will be closed on Monday, November 11th in observance of Veterans Day. We will resume normal business hours on Tuesday, November 12th.

  • Halloween at Horizon

    Our Horizon Bank team went all out for Halloween this year sporting their favorite costumes and spooky creations. Teams got together to dress up and transform their space into places such as a shark filled, underwater office and a coven run by witches. One team got their groove on and transformed their entire office into a 70’s disco club, and another created their very own science lab occupied by mad scientists! We hope you and your families have just as much fun and enjoy a safe Halloween.

  • Debit Card Alert Tips

    Our final post for Cybersecurity Month involves debit card alerts. An easy way to keep track of spending and an even easier thing to set up with Horizon! Debit card alerts are text messages that alert you to when certain transactions are made. The best part? The alerts can be customized to what information you want to know. Set up alerts to be received in these four situations.

    1. When your account drops below a certain amount. This alert can notify you when your balance falls below a chosen amount. Plus, it can also be helpful when you’re trying to avoid overspending.
    2. When your profile or password changes. It’s important to find out when your information changes on your banking website or app. This can be a tell-tale sign of identity theft, especially when it involves your password. It’s a good idea to routinely update your passwords in order to keep your account safe.
    3. ATM withdrawals. Do you typically withdraw cash from ATMs? Depending on your usage, it may be wise to receive notifications when an ATM money withdrawal has been made. That way you can be alerted when withdrawals are processed that you didn’t authorize.
    4. Last but not least, when any debit card purchase occurs. Keep up to date with purchases or payments made from your account. Get alerted in real-time when transactions are made without your authorization or at unusual times of the day.
  • Be Wary of Phishing

    Phishing is a common method cyber criminals use to gain passwords, secure information, credit card and bank account numbers, and more by disguising themselves as someone else electronically. Some of the most common phishing scams include robocalls, IRS tax scam emails, social media scams, CEO fraud, and text message scams.

    Never send sensitive info over email or over an unsecured website. Send secure via an online banking secure message. Cyber criminals can use websites and emails to gain sensitive information, such as your social security, card numbers, and passwords when you least expect it. If you need to send confidential information online, make sure that it is through an OLB secure messaging to ensure safe communication.

    Don’t click links you’re unsure of. One way scams or hackers can take advantage of you is by sending disguised links that are harmful when opened. Although theses links might seem innocent, they can spread dangerous viruses and unwanted spyware to your devices.

    Be wary of emails with “Urgent” in the subject line or body message. Fraudsters will exploit urgency to fool you into clicking links that will download unsafe software or trick you into revealing sensitive information. Does the email seem like a scare tactic? Subject lines that include “Urgent” or “Request” are commonly used by hackers because victims are easily manipulated into clicking these links. As mentioned in our previous post “6 Ways to Protect your Business from Fraudsters” this is a very common form of wire fraud. Always be on the lookout!

    Know the signs of a phishing email. There are several red flags you can search for when trying to spot a phishing email. Be wary of clicking on links that have warnings of stolen information, claim that you have “won” a prize, or are pressuring you. Incorrect spelling and grammar are easy ways to identify a phishing email, especially if it is supposed to be from a professional company. You should also be skeptical of emails with suspicious attachments. Stay on the safe side by forwarding them to your IT department to let them scan.

  • 6 Ways to Protect your Business from Fraudsters

    1. Partner with Horizon

    Horizon offers a wide variety of security features such as debit card alerts, dual authentication, tokens, secure messages, Positive Pay, and more to help protect you and your business. Contact your banker today and find out what additional security features we offer.

    2. Educate your staff

    Cybersecurity is everyone’s responsibility. Holding regular cyber security sessions, trainings, conference calls, or even email reminders are all great ways to educate staff.

    3. Be wary of “confidential” or “urgent” requests

    As wire fraud rises, so do the requests for urgent and confidential requests. Email, phone, and even mail requests are becoming commonplace for scammers to request monies. Did the request seem out of the ordinary? Always do your due diligence and verify with the actual person who the request is supposedly coming from.

    4. Protect your workplace physically and digitally 

    Updating your browser, denying unknown individuals access to secure areas, downloading suspicious materials, reporting broken windows or locks, reporting suspicious behavior and backing up sensitive data are all ways employees can protect their workplaces. Check out additional ways to protect your workplace physically and digitally on the Department of Homeland Security’s website.

    5. Shred sensitive documents

    Dumpster diving is a becoming more prevalent and is one of the easiest ways for fraudsters to collect information. In fact, identity theft through dumpster diving is becoming more commonplace and an easy way to gather personal information about you and your business. There are companies that will come to your business, pick up your shred, and safely shred and dispose of the documents in a safe, secure location. Always be sure to shred documents containing sensitive information at home too!

    6. Trust your gut

    If you feel something is a little off, it more than likely is. Even if nothing turns out to be wrong, spending the extra minutes to check is time well spent.

  • Columbus Day

    Due to Columbus Day, Horizon Bank ACH and wire processing will not be available on Monday, October 14th. Any teller transactions made will be posted the next day. All activity will resume as usual on Tuesday, October 15th.

  • A Cybersecurity Survival Kit

    Cyber threats are real and can happen to anyone. Doesn’t it seem like every couple of months we hear of yet another data breach? One of the easiest ways to protect you and your business is to make cybersecurity a priority. Cybersecurity is the practice of protecting computer systems, networks, and programs from digital attacks, theft, or damage. Below is a list of some helpful do’s and don’ts.

    1. Be Selective When Sharing Info

    Fraudsters can gain access to a wide range of information from social media sites including your birthday, where you live, family members and pets’ names, dates you’re on vacation, and more. These key pieces of information can be used to guess passwords, logins, or attempt impersonations.

    2. Backup Your Data

    Backing up your data prevents a potential loss to ransomware. Cloud based backup services are an excellent option but an external hard drive works too.

    3. Use a Firewall and Keep your Software, OS, and Browsers Up to Date

    Firewalls guard against unwanted network traffic. It’s similar to a digital gatekeeper where anything can exit but only authorized items can enter. Most computers come with built-in firewalls and enabling these firewalls protects your computer from threats.

    Keeping your software, operating systems and browsers up-to-date is very important. As more security threats are created, updates help to tackle these new risks. Put bluntly, outdated technology cannot keep up with modern security threats.

    4. Don’t Download Pirated Software

    Pirated software for things like movies, tv shows, games, applications, and office productivity software are not only illegal but most often times contain malware or viruses. Remember the huge surge in music piracy in the 2000s?

    5. Always Check the URL

    Clicking a link in an email does not always take you to the URL you thought you were going. Always hover over a link within an email first to ensure that the correct link is shown. Also, practice safe surfing and shopping by checking that the site’s address begins with “https” and not “http.”

    6. Use Multi-factor Authentication

    Use multi-factor authentication whenever possible to confirm your identity when you log into your accounts. Horizon offers dual authentication and tokens, along with a lineup of other security features.

    7. Change Your Password. Often!

    Last but not least, changing your passwords often is an easy way to protect you and your business. Be sure to use passwords that are not easily guessed; contain symbols, numbers, and upper and lowercase letters; and do not contain personal information. Look into using a password manager as they can auto-generate and store strong passwords for you.

  • October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month

    It’s National Cybersecurity Awareness Month (NCSAM)! Held every October, NCSAM is a collaborative effort between industries and the government to boost awareness about the importance of cybersecurity and to provide people with the resources they need to be better protected and more secure online.

    Horizon Bank is joining in this effort by providing a few tips and tricks to help better protect and secure you and your business from fraudsters. We’ll be discussing topics throughout the month of October including: A Cybersecurity Survival Kit, Six Ways to Protect Your Business from Fraudsters, Be Wary of Phishing, and Debit Card Alert Tips.

    For more information about NCSAM, check out the Department of Homeland Security’s website. Here you’ll find important information, updates, and even a trivia game to help further your learning. Don’t forget: Own IT. Secure IT. Protect IT.

  • Afternoon at the Movies: The Sequel

    Once again, Horizon Bank has partnered with Helping Hand Home to bring the movie theater to an amazing group of children. On Saturday night, the kids were magically transported to the movies with their very own ticket stand, popcorn and snow cone bar, and a special screening of Moana! The night continued with many exciting activities and finished off with dinner. Volunteers from across our local branches came together to make this an amazing night for the kids at Helping Hand Home.

  • Woof! Woof!

    Horizon Bank has gone to the dogs! To celebrate National Dog Day on August 26th, staff teamed up with their pups and participated in a “Strut Your Pup” step challenge for the week and earned a fun doggy bag filled with pup goodies. We also teamed up with Q2 at their 3rd Annual Pup Pub Crawl for some doggy pets and mixing.

    Dog toys and treats were also handed out to our fuzzy customers who came by to wag their tails. The event rounded off with an awesome donation of doggy toys to a local Austin veterinarian.

  • Bank Closure – Labor Day

    All Horizon Bank branches will be closed on Monday, September 2nd in observance of Labor Day. We will resume normal business hours on Tuesday, September 3rd.

  • Back to School Time!

    It’s August and you know what that means… back to school! Horizon wants to wish all the parents, teachers, students, staff, administration, and all of those involved a happy 2019-2020 school year!

  • Bank Closure – 4th of July

    Horizon Bank will be closed on Thursday, July 4th in observance of Independence Day. We will resume normal business hours on Friday, July 5th.

  • Salado Grill N’ Chill

    As temperatures rise, so does the summertime fun! On Tuesday, June 25th, our Salado branch held a little Grill N’ Chill in appreciation of our amazing customers. The smoker was cooking and the burgers were grilling. Customers enjoyed delicious food, famous homemade sugar cookies, dessert, and received some awesome giveaways. Everybody had a little fun in the sun.

  • Holland Corn Festival

    This past Saturday marked the 45th Annual Holland Corn Festival. Horizon Bank staff and family had a “popping” good time! Festival activities included concerts, 5k run, parade, corn seed spitting contests, corn cob relay, bbq cookoff, and so, so much more!

    Not only did we run in the 5k, have a little fun in the horseshoe tournament, and bobbed for some corn on the cob, we also had a float in the parade. Horizon’s float theme this year was “We go the extra mile,” and featured construction accessories like hard hats, safety vests, and traffic cone stress balls. We even won 2nd place!

  • Bank Closure – Memorial Day

    Horizon Bank will be closed on Monday, May 27th in observance of Memorial Day. We will resume normal business hours on Tuesday, May 28th.

  • X Marks the Spot

    Ahoy Mateys! The Wonders & Worries 3rd Annual Urban Scavenger Hunt takes place today, Sunday, May 5, 2019. A family-friendly event that benefits Central Texas children and teens by building their wellbeing and helping cope with a parent’s serious illness. The hunt is on and crew mates will come together to complete fun challenges, good deeds, and visit multiple clue stops around Austin to earn points. Arrrrr you ready? We see your financial horizon on 5th.

    After manning our clue stop or competing for the doubloons, Horizon Bank staff will join families, volunteers, and shipmates alike to go on more adventures at the After Party at Zilker Lodge. See you on the open seas!

  • Chocolate Bunnies, Colorful Eggs, and Bright Smiles

    Horizon Bank employees played the Easter Bunny this year and hopped on over to local nonprofit Helping Hand Home with 40 Easter baskets for their foster families. These baskets were crafted with care and filled with hand-picked toys, bunny shaped chocolates, individually filled Easter eggs, coloring/art books, stickers, and other fun goodies. To make them feel egg-stra special, we decorated handmade cards addressed to each and every little bunny.

  • #MarchMadness

    The March Madness fever passed around our branches this year! 2019 brought out a little friendly competition among the staff with the NCAA Tournament. We had a little face off of our own to see who could predict the best bracket. And while there’s a 1 in 9.2 quintillion chance of a perfect bracket, some of our staff knew what they were doing! One employee even had a perfect bracket at the end of the first day (don’t worry, it didn’t last.)

    But in the end, only one came out on top as our bracket winner. The top three brackets plus one randomly drawn person received fun prizes, and our bottom two brackets received a little something with the coveted “March Sadness” cup. There were no sore losers here!

  • Spring Break is Here!

    Spring is in full force this year with warm sunshine and a little rain to wash away the winter blues and help those spring gardens grow. Be sure to enjoy the weather and check out the bluebonnets, wildflowers, and fun local events happening all around Central Texas. Have a wonderful Spring Break and take this time to rejuvenate, refresh, and spend some time with the kiddos.

  • SXSW 2019

    If you are going to be out and about in Austin these next two weeks, you’ll probably notice the sea of people with lanyards (and the eccentrically dressed).  Every year, Austin is taken over by tens of thousands of innovators, techies, music artists, film makers, and creatives alike. This 10-day conference and festival brings together a diverse group of people from all over to discover, experience, network, and collaborate. The city will be humming and we’ll be here stepping to it. Whether you partake in the festivities or avoid them all together, we hope you have a great SXSW!

  • Super Bowl LIII Party

    With Super Bowl Sunday quickly approaching, Horizon Bank staff got into the spirit and had a little Super Bowl party of our own. Employees put on their favorite team’s jersey (or spirit shirts) for a little Friday football fun. There may or may not have been a little trash talk in Patriots versus Rams at our tailgating-inspired lunch of wings, salads, tater tots, and treats. Don’t forget to check out the Kitten Bowl and Puppy Bowl for a little ruff and tumble.

  • New Year. New Website.

    This past year we have been diligently working on updating our website. We’ve worked to bring you an experience that’s straightforward, seamless, mobile responsive, and modern. Changes include an updated look and feel, navigation, additional login options, demo videos, and more. Take a look around and see why Horizon is “A Different Brand of Banking”.

  • Season of Giving: Adopt a Family

    The holidays are a wonderful time of joy and giving. For the third consecutive year, Horizon partnered with Helping Hand Home (HHH) to provide families with a memorable holiday season. Our six teams checked 19 kids off the “Nice List” this year.

  • Halloween 2018 at Horizon Bank

    This year, the scariest day of the year fell on a Wednesday. But that didn’t stop the Horizon team from getting into character and having a spooktacular time! All over Central Texas, our branches were taken over by underwater royalty, minions, crime-fighting superheroes, medieval lords, and more! Teams were encouraged to gather for a costume contest that manifested in creativity, collaboration, and of course, some friendly competition!

  • Horizon Bank Rides for JDRF

    Over 30 employees, volunteers, and customers joined Horizon Bank for a Halloween Fun Bike Ride in support of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. JDRF aims to help the lives of those who are burdened with type 1 diabetes (T1D). The bike ride started at Govalle Park and ended in Hutto. Both riders and those attending donned spooky costumes and cheered on the cyclists. Afterwards, the crew headed to Eastside Tavern for a well-deserved reward!

  • Change is Good: Horizon Bank’s Holland Branch Under Renovation

    Exciting changes are on the horizon! Beginning November 2018, our very first bank branch at 200 West Travis Street in Holland, Texas, will be undergoing a renovation. In addition to some basic updates and upgrades, we’re taking the branch back to its original footprint and true form. In the meantime, please visit our other location around the corner. Stay tuned for the big reveal projected in Spring 2019! Thank you for your patience.

  • Afternoon at the Movies Benefiting Helping Hand Home

    Going to the movies can be challenging, even with a group of awesome kids. So on September 9, 2018, 30 Horizon employees brought the movies to them! Our dedicated volunteers helped celebrate back to school with an “Afternoon at the Movies” for the kids at Helping Hand Home. It was a day full of fun with a showing of Coco, a custom ticket stand, a popcorn bar, movie blankets, bingo, and crafts. “Seize your moment!”

  • Horizon Bank Partners with Q2 eBanking to Host Breakthrough’s Presentations of Learning

    Breakthrough Central Texas builds paths for students from low-income communities who will be the first in their families to graduate from college. Through Breakthrough’s summer program, 11th grade students participate in activities like volunteer projects, internships, and camps that help build their college resumes. Students presented their experiences, what they learned, and how the summer program will help them on their journey to college–all in front of a panel of professionals that included over 30 Horizon Bank and Q2 employees who provided feedback to the students.

  • Holland Corn Festival: “Your Homegrown Bank”

    As a cornerstone of the Holland business community, we were excited to take part in all the festivities at the 44th Annual Holland Corn Festival on June 16, 2018. This year’s theme was “Your Homegrown Bank.” Festivities included a float in the parade, performances on the Saturday Night Stage, and the 5K Run/Walk. We love to dig up solutions for our customers and cultivate lifelong relationships. And while we’re growing in size, we’re dedicated to keeping it local.

  • Horizon Bank Presents the Wonders and Worries’ 2nd Annual Scavenger Hunt

    Horizon was proud to be the presenting sponsor for Wonders and Worries 2nd Annual Scavenger Hunt. With over 300 participants–including 50 Horizon Bank employees and family members–each team completed fun clue challenges (like singing the Barney theme song to strangers or oinking like a pig) to earn points. In addition to increasing awareness, we also helped raise $59,000 that will enable W&W to continue to provide free professional support to families throughout a parent’s serious illness.