Photos by Jessica Isaacs
Continue reading to find out which agencies have been funded this year and use their respective links to learn more about what these programs do, why they’re important and how you can help.
The Women’s Fund of the Blue Ridge is making a difference for women and girls in the High Country. $110,000 worth of difference, to be exact.
For the third year, the Women’s Fund of the Blue Ridge has distributed grants between $1000 and $10,000 to regional nonprofits helping women and girls. This year, 21 agencies from Alleghany to Yancey Counties benefitted from an allocation from the Women’s Fund.
“The day we write the grant checks may be our best workday of the year,” said Karen Sabo, Executive Director of the Women’s Fund of the Blue Ridge (WFBR). “Our mission is to be a philanthropic catalyst for positive change for women and girls, and the way we do that is by funding the great nonprofits that help women directly.”
The WFBR funds programs that advance women’s financial, professional, and personal potential, serve marginalized populations, and use innovative techniques to help women and girls pursue positive change.
WFBR Grants Committee Chair, Christina Howe, describes how the Women’s Fund of the Blue Ridge supports programs that address a range of issues for women and girls.
“We give to programs for young girls, like Girls on the Run of the High Country, and the after-school Girls Circle at the Western Youth Network,” said Howe. “We also love to give to programs that help women who have fallen through the cracks, by supporting feeding programs for older women on fixed incomes, and helping women in poverty gain job skills at programs like the New Opportunity School for Women at Lees-McRae.”
The Women’s Fund of the Blue Ridge is a membership organization, and they invite community members to join. In addition to philanthropic endeavors, they also have social opportunities and outreach programs, such as a fall coat drive and a Mother’s Day Pop-Up Shop.
Agencies supported by the Women’s Fund of the Blue Ridge 2016 grants include the following:
ACCESS (Appalachian State University: Appalachian Commitment to a College Education for Student Success), Watauga County. Allocation is for summer scholarships for ACCESS students, all of whom come from families below the poverty level.
A.S.H.E. (A Safe Home for Everyone), Ashe County. Funds assist domestic violence survivors in transitioning into independent living situations, and to support middle schoolers in learning about healthy relationships.
Ashe Family Literacy, Ashe County. This program provides women the opportunity to complete their secondary education. Funds will be used for an Early Childhood Education Specialist to care for children while mothers are in class.
BRWIA (Blue Ridge Women in Agriculture), Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Mitchell, Watauga, Wilkes, and Yancey Counties. Money given is for scholarships for women farmers to take business courses, and for capital investment grants through the Mary Boyer Food & Sustainability Agriculture Grant Program.
The Children’s Council, Watauga County. Grant supports on-site childcare for mothers enrolled in the GED program.
Children’s Hope Alliance, Ashe, Alleghany, Avery, Watauga, and Wilkes Counties. Funds will be used to help women and girls with developmental disabilities.
Children’s Playhouse, Watauga County. Support is for low income mothers to receive scholarship memberships to the Playhouse.
Community Care Clinic, Watauga County. The WFBR supports dental care for Community Care Clinic patients, and vision care for uninsured female diabetics.
D.A.N.A (Domestic Violence is Not Acceptable), Alleghany County. Funds will help women make transitions out of violent relationships.
F.A.R.M. Café (Feed All Regardless of Means), Watauga County. Grant will provide meals for the TWC (Tokens for Women and Children) program.
Girls on the Run, Ashe, Avery, Watauga, and Wilkes Counties. Grant is for support for coach and council training, and for scholarships for participants.
Hospitality House Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Mitchell, Watauga, Wilkes, and Yancey Counties. Allocation is for women in the Emergency and Transitional Housing Programs.
Hunger and Health Coalition, Watauga County. Grant will support the Red Hat Boxes (Senior Women Care program), and fund the Women’s Family Planning Initiative, which provides oral contraceptives at low to no cost.
Mitchell County Safe Place, Mitchell County. Domestic violence, sexual assault, and elder abuse agency. Funds will be used for primary prevention education in middle schools.
Mountain Alliance, Watauga County. Grant will support the LIFT (Leadership Initiative for Female Teens) program.
NOSW (New Opportunity School for Women at Lees-McRae College), Avery County. Funds support this free immersive educational program for low-income Appalachian Women.
OASIS (Opposing Abuse with Service, Information, and Shelter), Avery and Watauga Counties. Allocation is for supporting emergency shelter for domestic violence survivors.
Two Rivers Community School, Avery, Ashe, Caldwell, Watauga, and Wilkes counties. Grant will support the “She Hikes Alone” program for middle school girls in the Mountain Adventure program.
W.A.M.Y. Community Action, Watauga, Avery, Mitchell, and Yancey Counties. Funds are for Total Family Development Program, which is for low-income women working towards self-sufficiency.
WeCAN (Watauga Crisis Assistance Network), Watauga County. Allocation supports homelessness prevention program for women through funding for emergency rent, mortgage, and utility payments.
Western Youth Network, Watauga County. Grant is to support The Girls Circle, helping marginalized girls with academic improvement and self-esteem.
Photos from the Women’s Fund of the Blue Ridge annual Power of the Purse luncheon, its primary annual fundraising event, which was held in July at the prestigious Elk River Club.
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