Our Mission

Our Mission

Our mission is to create positive change and economic justice for women and girls in the High Country. We aim to be a philanthropic catalyst so that women have access to the resources they need as they strive to become empowered and reach their full potential.

2017 Sponsors

Thank you to all of our sponsors who helped make the 2017 Power of the Purse Luncheon a great success!

Diamond Sponsor
westglow logo

Emerald Sponsor
Kathleen Kennedy Foundation

Ruby Sponsors

mast general store

Amethyst Sponsors

Richard A Honeycutt, Financial Advisor, Edward Jones (Newland) & John Ritter, Financial Advisor, Edward Jones (Boone)


Jan Rienerth, Ph.D.

Peridot Sponsors

Appalachian Summer Festival

sotheby'sRobinson/Turner Team
Barbara & Ellis Aycock, Patti Curtis, Susan Duke, Debbie Stevens, and Sam Tallman & Mike Zuravel

2016 Grant Allocations

2016 Grant Allocations

The board and staff of the Women’s Fund of the Blue Ridge have recently completed our grant-making process.  We allocated $110,000 to 21 local non-profit organizations, and are thrilled to grant such an impressive amount. The Women’s Fund has now cumulatively given out over $1.1 million since our funds began.

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.

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 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, 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.

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. Cafe, Watauga County.  Grant will provide meals for the TWC (Tokens for Women and Children) program.

Girls on the Run, Ashe, Avery, Watauga, Wilkes Counties.  Grant is for support for coach and council training, and for scholarships for participants.

Hospitality House Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Mitchell, Watauga, Wilkes, 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.

Pack the Pantry!

pack the pantryThank you to those who brought donations!

Debbie Stevens
Emily Stallings
Elena Romagni
Megan Lynch Ellis
Grace Will
Peggy Jessee
Jan Rienerth
Bobbi Taylor
Gayle Gill
Marsha Gibson
Jenny Miller
Patti Jupiter
Betty Jean Williams
Don Saunders
Brian Yerman
Tricia Wilson
Mary Jo Grubbs
Billie Howell

Consign Your Clothes

annabananaRemember to take items that you would like to replace to Anna Banana’s. Anna will donate 50% of the sale of your gently used clothes to WFBR. Don’t forget to tell her you’re a member!

Walk-ins welcome on Mondays from 10am – 5pm and on other days by appointment only. Check out Anna’s Facebook page for specials and new arrivals. Call ahead to schedule a time (828) 865-2000. Anna Banana’s is located at 641 West King Street in downtown Boone.

Local Resources

24-Hour Crisis Line Numbers:

1-800-268-1488 (within area codes 828, 336 and 423)
262-5035 (within the Boone Area)
264-3761 (page via Sheriff’s Office)

pdficonClick here to download our resource guide

Our Research

In the spring of 2013, the Women’s Fund partnered with a sociology class at Appalachian State University to identify the biggest barriers for women becoming economically self-sufficient in our mountain communities. You can download the research study below.

pdficonIdentifying Barriers to Self-Sufficiency: A Study of Women in the High Country

Thanks to Dr. Cameron Lippard and his senior sociology students for all their hard work making this report possible. And many thanks to our grantee partners for distributing surveys to their clients and helping to arrange focus groups.


FAQ About Women’s Funds

What is a women’s fund?

“Women’s funds seek to achieve lasting community gains by addressing the root causes of social problems and transforming systems, attitudes, and social norms.” ~Women’s Funding Network

Women’s funds aim to help women reach their full potential. They do this by seeking out initiatives that have the same goal and providing them with the funding to fuel their efforts. By investing in various programs, they provide organizations and community leaders with the resources, funds and skills to build women up and give them the confidence to realize that they can reach their greatest potential. Some of the main goals include eradicating issues such as poverty and violence, making healthcare and education more accessible, and providing leadership and development skills as well as economic empowerment. There is also a significant focus on youth development and empowerment.
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