Even though they have been in operation for more than 50 years, staff at WAMY gets asked every day, “What’s a WAMY?”
Executive Director Melissa Soto said, “We do a lot of different things for all kinds of people.” So what does that mean?
- Keeps families warm
- Keeps kids in school
- Helps people get an education
- Helps people get a job
- Makes fresh organic produce available to everyone
W.A.M.Y. Community Action Inc. (Watauga, Avery, Mitchell and Yancey counties) is a true multi-purpose agency that was created to meet the needs in each community. They provide many services directly but, just as important, they help connect people to other agencies within the community.
“We are not here to do the same thing as other agencies, we are here to connect people to resources and provide services that no one else offers,” says Soto.
Currently, WAMY has services in three areas: families, housing, youth and food/nutrition. The Total Family Development program helps people with educational or employment goals rise above poverty. Housing services are offered to make homes more energy efficient and to do minor repairs and rehabilitation.
WAMY offers after school programs in each elementary and middle school in Avery County. In the summer, WAMY provides garden vouchers to the low-income and elderly to allow them to have a home garden. WAMY also operates the High Country Community Supported Agriculture program which makes fresh, organic produce available to the general public as well as offering discounted shares to the low-income.
Support from the community is crucial when helping people move to self-sufficiency.
“WAMY is the final lap of the race to help people stand on their own.” says Soto. “We help people earn more money, save money and manage the money they have.”
The services that are offered rely on donations from the community.
“We believe in the value of neighbor helping neighbor. It makes the services received mean so much more to the client when they realize that someone in their community believed in them enough to make a donation.”
If you would like more information about WAMY, call Melissa Soto at 828-264-2421 or click to http://www.wamycommunityaction.org. Donations can be sent to 225 Birch Street, Suite 2, Boone, NC 28607.