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The High Country United Way, High Country Women’s Fund and Appalachian Women’s Fund Join Forces

March, 3, 2014. Three local nonprofit agencies are working together to enhance the support and services provided for impoverished and disenfranchised women and girls in the High Country.

The High Country United Way (HCUW) is working with The High Country Women’s Fund (HCWF), which operates under its charter to transition the Women’s Fund operations to a new unified community women’s fund. The HCWF was formally established in May 2006 and between 2006 and 2013 it raised and allocated over $500,000 for agencies that serve the economic and social needs of women and their families in Watauga and Avery Counties. 

The High Country United Way supports the desire of High Country Women’s Fund advisory council and volunteers to work collaboratively with board members and volunteers associated with the Appalachian Women’s Fund through a new unified organization. The new group, to be known as The Women’s Fund of the Blue Ridge (WFBR) will embrace the commitment to the needs of women as that will be its core mission. Representatives from all three groups expect that very little will change regarding the fundraising and grand funding priorities and goals. The unified women’s fund organization will have a stronger presence throughout the counties being served.

David Burleson, Chair of the High Country United Way’s Board of Directors states that “this is the logical progression of these three organizations and he and the Board are thankful to all the volunteers who have helped make the High Country Women’s Fund successful in meeting the critical needs of women in our communities.”  The long-standing relationship between the High Country Women’s Fund and the United Way enabled the HCWF to grow its membership, support and impact each year.  Current High Country Women’s Fund Advisory Board Chair Grace Palacios-Will states that “the High Country United Way’s support provided us with a strong and steady foundation for raising both money and awareness for women’s issues and we remain very grateful for the years of support and encouragement from the United Way.”

These organizational developments will allow the High Country United Way to focus on the continued implementation of its community impact model of funding through three area vision councils that help direct community support to address long-term, root cause solutions in the areas of income, health and educational disparity.  The unified women’s fund enables the greater cooperation and the sharing of talent and resources.  Kay McCloskey of the Appalachian Women’s Fund states that “the blending of these groups means nothing but good news for members, the non-profits we fund and most importantly, the women and girls in need.”  The Women’s Fund of the Blue Ridge is already forming its fundraising plan, organizing a membership drive, and planning a joint meeting of current members from both former women’s funds.

For more information about the High Country United Way, please visit:

www.highcountryunitedway.org or call 828-265-2111

 For more information about the Women’s Fund of the Blue Ridge, please contact: info@womensfundoftheblueridge.org or call 828-264-4002