The board and staff of the Women’s Fund of the Blue Ridge have recently completed our first-ever grantmaking process as the new combined fund. We allocated $130,000 to 16 local non-profit organizations, and are thrilled to grant such an impressive amount.
The WFBR funds local non-profit programs that affect positive change to women’s financial, professional, and personal conditions, serve marginalized populations, use innovative techniques to help women and girls reach their full potential, and affect social change in the pursuit of fairness and justice.
Before merging into one fund, the Appalachian Women’s Fund and the High Country Women’s Fund had previously allocated a combined total of $800,000. With the amount allocated in 2014, funds granted now equal $930,000.
We could only fulfill our mission with the help of our many wonderful members, donors, and community business partners.
Agencies supported by the Women’s Fund of the Blue Ridge 2014 grants include the following:
Hunger and Health Coalition, Watauga County. Grant will support the Women Over 60 Food Program.
ASU: 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.
Western Youth Network, Watauga County. Grant is to support The Girls Circle, helping marginalized girls with academic improvement and self-esteem.
W.A.M.Y. Community Action, Watauga, Avery, Mitchell, and Yancey Counties. Funds are for women’s financial literacy and credit building, and self-sufficiency assistance.
OASIS (Opposing Abuse with Service, Information, and Shelter), Avery and Watauga Counties. Allocation is for support group sessions for domestic violence survivors in order to promote self-growth.
D.A.N.A (Domestic Violence is Not Acceptable), Alleghany County. Funds given will help women make financial transitions out of violent relationships.
BRWIA (Blue Ridge Women in Agriculture), Alleghany, Ashe, Wilkes, Watauga, Avery, Mitchell, 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.
Daymark Recovery Services, Watauga County. Grant provides free childcare for mothers during mandatory evening substance abuse treatment sessions.
A.S.H.E. (A Safe Home for Everyone), Ashe County. Funds are to assist domestic violence survivors in transitioning into independent living situations.
Mountain Alliance, Watauga County. Allocation is for Mountain Alliance’s LIFT (Leadership in Female Teens) program, which helps young women between the ages of 13-18 improve self-esteem and strengthen support between girls in the high school community.
Community Care Clinic, Watauga County. The WFBR supports dental care for CCC patients, and vision care for uninsured female diabetics.
The Children’s Council, Watauga County. Grant supports on-site childcare for mothers enrolled in the GED program, and expansion of the Parents as Teachers program for high-risk mothers.
NOSW (New Opportunity School for Women at Lees-McRae College), Avery County. Funds support this free immersive educational program for low-income Appalachian Women.
WeCAN (Watauga Crisis Assistance Network), Watauga County. Allocation supports homelessness prevention program for women through funding for emergency rent, mortgage, and utility payments.
Hospitality House Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Mitchell, Watauga, Wilkes, Yancey Counties. Support is for operational and support service expenses for women in the Emergency and Transitional Housing Programs.
Girls on the Run, Ashe, Avery, Watauga, Wilkes Counties. Grant is for support of this youth development and empowerment program and expansion into Avery and Wilkes Counties.
Members of the Women’s Fund of the Blue Ridge participated in the Watauga County Back-To-School Festival in early August. Support for this festival came from many local groups, including Quiet Givers, Footsloggers, Appalachian Regional Healthcare System, Hospitality House, Western Youth Network, and the Children’s Council. The festival was created to bring relief to families that are struggling to meet the demands of back to school shopping.
WFBR member (and former board member) Kathy Crutchfield spearheaded the Women’s Fund efforts, encouraging members to recruit volunteer hairdressers, and obtaining new shoes, and gift cards for clothing stores. Thanks especially to Kathy, all the WFBR volunteers, and to all those who participated in this important event.
After the festival, volunteers took the remaining school supplies to the Avery County Back-To-School organizers for their event, scheduled for the next week. The WFBR hopes all area youth will feel well-prepared for great success in school this year.