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Press release from The Community Foundation of Western North Carolina, shared June 4:

ASHEVILLE – The Community Foundation of Western North Carolina is pleased to announce grants totaling more than $694,000, made in partnership with the Janirve Legacy Fund and CFWNC affiliates, fundholders and co-investors. These grants will support nonprofits across 18 counties in Western North Carolina who serve some of the region’s most economically disadvantaged people.

“This is our first grant cycle for our ‘People in Need’ focus area and with the Janirve Legacy Fund,” said CFWNC President Elizabeth Brazas. “We are honored to carry on the important work of the Janirve Foundation in supporting the nonprofits that provide critical services to disadvantaged people across the mountains. These grants address access to health care, hunger, job skills and much more. Our impact was greatly increased by the generous fundholders, partners and affiliates who chose to co-invest with us.”

CFWNC funds that helped support this grant cycle are the Gretchen Batra Fund, Connestee Falls Endowment Fund, Gerald R. and Cornelia C. De Land Fund, Dogwood Charitable Endowment Fund, Sycamore Fund, Clementine W. Gregory Fund, Little Acorn Fund, Lipscomb Family Foundation Fund, Jenifer Morgan Charitable Fund, Oliver Family Fund, Penny Fund, Peterson Endowment Fund, Walnut Fund and an anonymous endowment fund.

“We had 122 nonprofit organizations submit letters of intent with 45 invited to apply,” said Brazas. “We were able to fund 32 grants. As our economy continues to recover, it is important that the nonprofits serving vulnerable populations are able to expand successful programs, open clinics, build affordable housing, launch training programs and do what they do best.”

In 2011, The Community Foundation adopted a new strategic plan that focuses discretionary resources on people in need, early childhood development, food and farming and preserving natural and cultural resources.

The Community Foundation is a nonprofit serving 18 counties in Western North Carolina. The foundation is a permanent regional resource that facilitates more than $8 million in charitable giving annually. CFWNC inspires philanthropy and mobilizes resources to enrich lives and communities in Western North Carolina. More information can be found at www.cfwnc.org.


Grants went to:

Aspire, Youth and Family, Inc. – $25,000 for Kids at Work, a structured after-school program, serving 80 youth in Haywood and Buncombe counties that employs culinary arts training to help at-risk youth make positive decisions that will keep them away from gangs and drugs and motivated to stay in school.

Camp Spring Creek - $25,000 to expand teacher training to improve literacy and reading scores in Yancey and Avery counties with some continued support for Mitchell County teachers.

Cashiers Valley Community Council - $11,000 to construct an entrance and stairway at the Cashiers Valley Community Center to enable community groups to use the large upper level space for fundraising events and other services such as nutrition programs.

Center for Diversity Education – $10,000 for ASCORE Commemoration and Youth Leadership Development Project, a program for students of color that teaches problem solving skills by engaging the students with community challenges that help build citizenship capacity.

Children First/Communities In Schools of Buncombe County – $25,000 to provide a Site Coordinator at Johnston Elementary and Deaverview Learning Center who will implement an evidenced-based community-focused model with the end goal of keeping these at-risk children in school.

Community Care Clinic of Highlands-Cashiers, Inc. – $25,000 for the Nursing Clinic/Case Management Program to support the establishment of a nursing clinic/case management position that will improve patient services at a clinic in Franklin serving Macon and surrounding counties.

Community Clinic of Rutherford County - $25,000 for an additional “patient care team” to more effectively provide health care services to the low-income uninsured residents of Rutherford County at the recently expanded community clinic.

Community Housing Coalition of Madison County - $25,000 to increase its low-income housing repair volunteer program from two months each summer by visiting volunteers to a year-round program that attracts local volunteers by developing the internal staff capacity required to process prospective clients on a year-round basis and recruit, train and manage local volunteer repair crews.

Community Services of Swain, Inc. – $25,000 to help staff and coordinate job training programs at this new technologically-advanced education and training center currently under construction through a grant from Duke Energy.

F.I.R.S.T. - $25,000 to implement strategies that will improve the literacy skills and overall school readiness of 200 three-to-five-year-olds in childcare centers serving economically-disadvantaged neighborhoods in Asheville with a goal to better prepare children for Kindergarten.

Family Violence Coalition of Yancey County, Inc. – $16,000 to purchase a used van to transport clients to services.

Free Clinic of Transylvania – $25,000 to assist with the hiring of a part-time Executive Director who is needed to insure sustainability of high-quality patient services at a recently re-opened local free clinic serving the uninsured of Transylvania County.

Gilkey School Community Center – $15,611 toward renovation of three classroom spaces to be used for an expanded food pantry and community closet providing emergency food, clothing and other household needs to residents of rural Gilkey community.

Green Opportunities – $25,000 to provide job training, case management and support services to economically-disadvantaged neighborhood residents in the transformation of the Reid Center, an historic African-American school and community center, into a state-of-the-art, LEED-certified green job training center.

Just Economics – $20,000 to expand a living wage campaign in Buncombe and Transylvania counties in order to help raise the wages for low-wage workers.

Latino Advocacy Coalition - $25,000 to provide a mobile unit that will offer on/off site services to the Latino community that include filling out forms for important documentation, providing information for community resources and systems and enhancing educational opportunities.

Literacy Council of Highlands – $10,000 to support after-school enrichment and individual tutoring programs in reading, ESL and academic courses that serve the elementary to adult learners in the Highlands community.

McDowell Mission Ministries, Inc. – $25,000 to provide six-months extended case management and support for up to 12 homeless clients transitioning to independence.

Meals On Wheels of Asheville and Buncombe County, Inc. – $25,000 to implement a project that focuses on recruiting new volunteers, updating volunteer information into a contact management database to improve communications and developing recruitment/training materials that enhance the overall volunteer experience.

Mitchell-Yancey Partnership for Children – $10,000 to implement a collaborative initiative focusing on childhood obesity prevention.

OnTrack Financial Education & Counseling – $15,000 to provide free tax preparation in 2013 to 900 economically-disadvantaged taxpayers so they receive the highest possible tax return, save on fees and avoid high-interest refund anticipation loans, and to increase the number of clients who use additional OnTrack financial services to improve money/credit behavior.

Pisgah Legal Services – $25,000 to expand a project started in 2011 in response to requests from low-income survivors of domestic violence for legal advice on family law issues that arise after beginning a life independent of their abuser.

REACH of Macon County – $25,000 to expand a program to meet the needs of the Latino population in Macon County which will provide free services to victims and their children of domestic violence and sexual assault.

Smart Start of Transylvania County – $25,000 to launch and implement an early literacy pilot program serving preschool age children to encourage parental involvement in the early education of their children and attempt to restore the parent/child activity of book-cuddling, reading and story-telling that has been the traditional beginning of a child’s early learning process.

Thirtieth Judicial District Domestic Violence Sexual Assault Alliance – $25,000 to support development and provision of training to improve positive responses by staff in the far west seven counties that are working with victims of crime including those experiencing domestic violence, sexual assault, elder abuse, disabilities, human trafficking and battered immigrants.

Transylvania County Community Land Trust – $25,000 to hire a part-time executive director to provide management of recently formed umbrella organization that is developing affordable and workforce housing in Transylvania County in order to attract and retain high-quality teachers and other education workers.

Tri-County Community College – $25,000 to expand the Basic Skills class offerings in remote areas of Cherokee and Graham counties to assist young adults in completing their GED or other training through distance learning for increased employability.

Warren Wilson College – $11,800 for a program expansion to develop a service learning course with four to six nonprofits to better integrate community service into the academic model.

Welcome Table of Black Mountain - $25,000 to purchase food for weekly Wednesday community-wide lunch to feed those in need.

Western Carolinians for Criminal Justice – $25,000 to expand the successful “Women At Risk” program beyond 5 p.m., which will provide access to treatment for women who work or are in school in the daytime and will include on-site childcare.

WNC Workers Center – $25,000 to build individual, collective and regional capacity for immigrant women to resist violence and discrimination in their workplaces and communities by training them as leaders as they confront sexual harassment, social isolation, and barriers to equality in their daily lives.

YMCA of Western North Carolina – $25,000 to provide support for middle school after-school programs in McDowell and Buncombe counties and the start of a summer program for teens in Buncombe County.

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About the Author

Angie Newsome

Angie Newsome is the executive director and editor of Carolina Public Press. Contact her at (828) 279-0949 or e-mail her at anewsome@carolinapublicpress.org.

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