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Over 30 Agencies Receive Grants From High Country United Way; Needs Continue to Grow Across the High Country

By Nathan Ham

The High Country United Way and over 30 area agencies were recognized for their contributions to numerous communities in the High Country at a special breakfast held Thursday morning at Blue Ridge Energy in Boone.

Dr. Gary L. Childers, the High Country United Way’s Executive Director, recognized each organization that received financial assistance to help with their respective programs.

“I want to thank all of you for taking time from your schedules and for what you do that tremendously impacts the High Country,” Childers said. “I’m always humbled in the presence of this group and if you know me, you know I mean that sincerely. What wonderful work everyone here does to help improve the lives of our neighbors and we’re grateful for you and pleased to be able to help you a little bit with your work day in and day out.”

High Country United Way chairman Johnny Carson spoke briefly to the crowd, thanking everyone for their efforts in the community.

“Our mission of uniting people and resources to benefit the High Country is what we’re here to celebrate and you all are the major component of what we’re doing. You are our boots on the ground as they say so we want to celebrate you, honor you and thank you for all you do,” said Carson.

For the High Country United Way to be able to help these many organizations with financial backing to implement their programs, it takes a lot of support and donations from business and community members.

One of those businesses is Publix, which has a storied past of donating to each and every community that they have a store in. The Boone Publix location is certainly no different. According to store manager Joel Wise, Publix has raised $25,000 through payroll pledges from store associates in Boone that will go to the High Country United Way.

LifeStore has also been a key contributor in the community and offers a special checking account for non-profit groups that will earn the account 1 percent interest according to LifeStore employee Denise Deitz who was at the event. Deitz said that LifeStore wants to do everything they can for these organizations that help out in the community.

While there was plenty to celebrate, there is still a lot that can be done in the High Country. Childers said that there are many groups and organizations that the High Country United Way has to turn down because they simply don’t have the extra funds to support them along with the groups they already support.

To learn more about what you can do to help the High Country United Way or any of the many non-profit and community outreach programs they support, visit their website at https://highcountryunitedway.org/.

2018-19 High Country United Way Program Grants and Partner Agencies

Avery and Watauga Counties

Blue Ridge Academy Student Vision Reality – Avery County Schools ($4,658)

SCOTTIE Bus – Blue Ridge Partnership for Children ($4,658)

Community Gardens Food Access Program – Blue Ridge Women in Agriculture ($3,357)

Food Assistance Program – Casting Bread Food Pantry ($1,736)

Raising a Reader – Children’s Council of Watauga ($2,063)

Family Literacy – Children’s Council of Watauga ($6,684)

Quality Support for Daycare Workers – Children’s Council of Watauga ($2,130)

Access to Health Care – Community Care Clinic ($5,063)

Foster Grandparents – Appalachian State University ($1,158)

Financial Literacy Program – Avery County Habitat for Humanity ($2,315)

Financial Literacy Program – Watauga County Habitat for Humanity ($2,315)

Avery County Dental Services Expansion – High Country Community Health ($2,531)

Crisis Assistance and Rapid Rehousing – Hospitality House ($6,684)

Publix Employee Emergency Fund – Hospitality House ($1,710)

RISE – Hospitality House ($15,405)

Food Assistance Program – Hunger and Health Coalition ($3,241)

Pharmacy Assistance Program – Hunger and Health Coalition ($1,158)

Beautiful Daughter Recovery Program – Kari’s Home for Women ($1,354)

Mediation Program, Watauga and Avery – Mediation and Restorative Justice ($3,473)

Drug Court – Mediation and Restorative Justice ($5,139)

Mountain Alliance Avery County High School – Mountain Alliance ($1,012)

Mountain Alliance Watauga High School – Mountain Alliance ($5,810)

Emergency Shelter – OASIS ($2,431)

Victim’s Legal Assistance Program – OASIS ($5,063)

Parent to Parent – Appalachian State University ($2,894)

Senior Companion – Appalachian State University ($3,241)

Transportation Assistance – South Mountain Children and Family Services ($579)

Equine Therapy Program – Spirit Ride ($810)

Low Income Tuition Assistance – Sugar Grove Developmental Day School ($3,126)

Food Assistance Program – Volunteer Avery County ($1,621)

Total Family Development Program – WAMY ($20,405)

Garden Assistance for Seniors – WAMY ($579)

Avery Yo – WAMY ($2,720)

Afterschool Scholarship Program – Watauga County Schools ($1,736)

Mentoring Program – Western Youth Network ($6,684)

Afterschool and Summer Programs – Western Youth Network ($4,182)

Chronic Disease Management Program – Williams YMCA of Avery County ($2,531)

Sheltered Workshop Program – Yellow Mountain Enterprises ($4,050)

Clothing Assistance Program – Yellow Mountain Enterprises ($695)

Mitchell County

Medical Equipment Assistance Program – Bakersville Community Medical Clinic ($1,242)

Play and Learn Literacy Development Program – Blue Ridge Partnership for Children ($1,553)

Summer Youth Development Program – Mitchell County 4-H ($2,160)

Behavioral Health Support Program – Mitchell County Safe Place ($834)

Food and Utilities Assistance Program – Mitchell County Shepherd’s Staff ($2,340)

Financial Literacy Program – Mitchell County Habitat for Humanity ($622)

Access to Health Care Program – Center for Rural Health Innovation ($1,180)

Total Family Development Program – WAMY (See total above in Avery/Watauga County)

RISE – Hospitality House (See total above in Avery/Watauga County)

Crisis Assistance Program – Hospitality House (See total above in Avery/Watauga County)

Ashe County

Self Sufficiency Program – Blue Ridge Opportunities Commission ($7,000)

Alleghany County

Self Sufficiency Program – Blue Ridge Opportunities Commission ($5,000)


NC 211 – United Way of North Carolina ($5,459)

Donations designated to specific partner agencies or programs – $52,234

Total: $226,625

Joel Wise, Publix Store Manager (left) and Denise Deitz of LifeStore.
Dr. Gary Childers, High Country United Way Executive Director.
Johnny Carson, High Country United Way Chairman