Sept. 25, 2013. Thanks to the Appalachian Women’s Fund, 14 local nonprofit organizations received $57,000 in grants this week. Programs supporting women and young girls will be able to continue for another year with the money raised at the annual Woman of Vision Award Luncheon held in June.
Checks were awarded and distributed to the grant recipients, and not a minute too soon for some.
“It’s no secret that nonprofits have faced significant cuts in local and state funding this year,” said AWF president Jean Brooks. “Unfortunately, the cost of de-funding severely affects impoverished women and their children on every level, making the day to day struggle just that much harder,” Brooks added. Agencies serving the disenfranchised have come to rely on funding from the Appalachian Women’s Fund which has distributed more than $350,000 over six years.
According to Kathleen Kennedy-Olsen, the grants committee chair, the AWF received 14 grant requests and all 14 applicants received the grant amount for which they applied. Because many of the recipients serve multiple counties in the surrounding area, the financial support from the AWF is critical and far reaching.
Like back-door neighbors, the group embraces the agencies outside of Watauga County. Building strong families across county lines impacts all aspects of nonprofit agencies. In more rural areas, transportation can be the barrier between a woman in distress and getting the help she needs. Sometimes a woman may have a high-profile job and worries about stigma and anonymity. Pressure from family can also keep a woman from seeking services more local to her.
A bigger town such as Boone can offer mass transportation. Also, a larger population can provide anonymity for a family who needs it ad put miles between a woman in need and her detractors. Watauga County nonprofit organizations are often the first line of defense for a family in crisis both in and out of the area.
Agencies supported by the 2013 cycle of grant funding by the Appalachian Women’s Fund include:
- $5,000 – ASHE (A Safe Home for Everyone) a domestic violence shelter in Ashe county. To be used for a 24/7 hotline, financial assistance toward transportation costs and initial cost of living for clients in their care.
- $5,000 – ACCESS financial aid program at Appalachian State University: Money to be used for summer school scholarships for first generation college attendees in families living at or below the poverty line
- $3,000 – Blue Ridge Women in Agriculture: Three grants of $1,000 to local women farmers, ranchers and processors for 2014.
- $4,000 – The Children’s Council: To be used toward the salary and benefits of the Crisis Intervention Parent Educator for the Parents as Teachers (PAT) outreach program focused on single mothers who live in temporary housing shelters
- $4,000 – Community Care Clinic: Women’s Health Program
- $4,000 – DANA (Domestic Abuse is Not Acceptable) Shelter in Sparta: to be used for utility and rent deposits and other fees associated with a new home, particularly for women who are working and therefore lose their government assistance
- $2,500 – Girls on the Run of the High Country: Toward the expansion of their program into Avery and Wilkes counties for participant scholarships
- $5,000 – Hospitality House: to be used toward the Women’s Emergency Shelter Program and the Women & Women with Children Transitional and Family Housing Program
- $4,000 – Hunger & Health Coalition: to be used toward increasing food distribution to local women age 60 and over
- $4,000 – Mountain Alliance: to be used towards the Leadership Initiative for Female Teens program (LIFT) of Mountain Alliance exclusively reaching out to young women
- $4,000 – New Opportunity School for Women: to be used toward three-week intensive educational immersion program providing low-income women with the tools they need to get back on their feet, find a job, navigate higher education and others
- $5,000 – OASIS: to be used for domestic violence and sexual assault support groups for their clients in Watauga and Avery counties.
- $3,000 – WAMY: to be used towards the Credit Building and Financial Literacy program for women for micro loans
- $4,500 – Western Youth Network: to be used for the costs of running the Girls Circle Program, a supportive empowerment group for middle school girls
For more information on the Appalachian Women’s Fund, call 828-264-4002 or visit www.appalachianwomensfund.org.