2019 Impact Grant and Special Initiative Recipients

WNC Bridge Foundation announced today that 44 local non-profits will be the recipients of the Foundation’s 2019 Impact Grants, with awards totaling $3,341,836.

Aligning with the Foundation’s goal of being a catalyst for positive change throughout the 18 counties of Western North Carolina, the three focus areas for the 2019 Impact Grants included wellness support, elder care, and youth development. The following grants were approved by the Foundation’s Board at its October board meeting.

Elder Care – $1,120,720

WNC Bridge Foundation will initially focus on elder care and addressing the needs of the aging population in WNC, by diligently identifying the greatest determinants of health for the elders in our community, including: access to food; safe housing; utilities; transportation to and from medical care; and adult day programs.

Blue Ridge Health was awarded $90,720 to provide access to primary care for low-income elderly adults.

The Council on Aging of Buncombe County received $90,000 to access services to meet the needs of social determinants of health.

All Souls Counseling Center was awarded $10,000 to enhance quality mental health services for adults aged 50-64, primarily in Buncombe, Henderson, Haywood, Madison, and McDowell counties.

Mountain Projects was awarded $100,000 to bridge the gap to community partners by reducing their wait list for in-home services and to increase client participation in other community resources.

MemoryCARE was awarded $50,000 to identify and address unmet needs of families in WNC affected by Alzheimers or other dementias and to provide community education about dementia.

Pisgah Legal Services was awarded $160,000 for their elder law project.

The Council on Aging of Buncombe County, in collaboration with multiple aging service providers, received $95,000 to conduct a feasibility study to determine the possibility for the centralization of services at an Active Aging Center.

Meals on Wheels of Brevard received $20,000 to feed the homebound.

The Community Kitchen received $25,000 to feed the needy in Haywood County.

Haywood County Meals on Wheels received $40,000 for programmatic support and food cost.

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (MAHEC) received $100,000 to provide home-based primary care teams for WNC.

Irene Wortham Center received $100,000 for a transportation grant to increase the number of outings into the community.

Our Voice received $35,000 to offer crisis response and advocacy services to survivors of sexual assault and their loved ones, including “It’s Never too Late for Healing: A Project to Support Elder Survivors of Sexual Abuse.”

Jewish Family Services of WNC received $50,000 to expand and enhance the staff position of Elder Club Supervisor, a role that will assist in growing and strengthening the agency.

Community Housing Coalition of Madison County received $100,000 to give elderly community members experiencing housing issues more empowerment and opportunities for them to engage in CHC’s home repair programs.

Land of Sky Senior Companion Program received $30,000 to increase mile reimbursement rate from $0.33/mile to $0.54 and refresh driving skills of Senior Companion volunteers.

Literacy Connection was awarded $25,000 to fully develop the curricula for both components of the Senior Literacy program, heath and digital. The program will be delivered by the Literacy Council in Henderson and Transylvania Counties, and other literacy agencies across WNC will be trained on the use of the curriculum as well.

Wellness Support – $1,678,491

Wellness Support is another one of our initial focuses to help remove the barriers that prevent the people of WNC from reaching their potential. Through collaboration with local non-profits, we are providing funding for necessary assistance, including: safe housing, utilities, healthy food, reliable transportation, medical care, clothing and medical equipment.

ABCCM Medical Ministry received $500,000 for operational support to expand access to medical and dental care, at no charge.

Interfaith Assistance Ministry received $250,000 to assist Henderson County residents experiencing a financial crisis to develop and follow through with a basic-living action plans and to help educate clients to better nutrition, healthy living choices and use of partner referrals and resources to improve the overall health of Henderson County.

Arc of Buncombe County received $10,000 to support crisis intervention for its clients.

Mountain Child Advocacy Center received $40,000 for evidenced based trauma therapy for child and parent victims of abuse.

Haywood Pathways Center received $20,000 for general operational support to provide emergency food, shelter, and safety for Haywood County residents.

Neighbors In Need received $30,000 for heating assistance for Madison County residents in need.

Pardee Memorial Hospital Foundation received $20,000 for its mobile mammography program.

Vecinos Farmworker Health Program received $55,000 for its mobile medical clinic for migrant workers.

United Way of Asheville of  Buncombe County received $200,000 for its NC 2-1-1-Asheville Call Center of United Way of Asheville and Buncombe County.

Bounty & Soul received $25,000 for its Rooted in Health program to increase individual and community wellbeing.

Transylvania Christian Ministry-Sharing House received $25,000 to support wellness support for seniors.

The Community Table was awarded $11,600 to offer high quality food to residents of Jackson County who are in need.

Children’s Center of Transylvania received $14,000 to build healthy families by decreasing child abuse, neglect, and daily trauma by helping families with immediate needs.

Western Carolina Medical Society Foundation was awarded $477,891 to address urgent health care needs though its Wellness Emergency Community Action Network (We Can).

Youth Development – $542,625

WNC Bridge Foundation’s goal is to identify ways we can best provide the support needed to remove barriers that prevent youth from reaching their full potential and establish a more successful future for them. Our areas of support include: literacy, mentoring, tutoring, and special programs for disadvantaged students.

Western Carolina Rescue Ministries received $15,000 for its 101 Kids Initiative to help “at-risk” children and youth in Buncombe County.

Boys & Girls Club of Henderson County was awarded $165,000 to expand and deepen year-round academic programs aimed at school success for hundreds of at-risk youth daily across Henderson County.

Arts for Life received $25,000 to provide educational art opportunities for WNC’s pediatric patients and family members.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of WNC was awarded $17,625 for its group mentoring program for middle school youth.

Helping Hands Developmental Center received $50,000 to develop individualized educational plans for children with special needs.

Verner Center for Early Learning was awarded $30,000 to increase access to healthy foods and wellness in early care and education programs across Buncombe County.

St. Gerard House received $50,000 to launch its Learners with Autism program.

Lake Logan Conference Center and Camp Henry was awarded $10,000 to develop a new residential summer reading camp.

Evergreen Community Charter School received $10,000 for its Middle Schooler Academic Safety Net initiative to create support for academic success of all middle school students at Evergreen.

Helpmate was awarded $50,000 to support its Youth Violence Program which provides educational workshops to children and the professionals who serve them with the goal of promoting safe and healthy relationships.

Read to Succeed Asheville/Buncombe received $40,000 for its sustainability project.

Asheville Community Theatre was awarded $10,000 to provide scholarships for arts education.

United Way of Henderson County received $50,000 to continue their ongoing work of improving pre-k literacy and kindergarten readiness.

Literacy Council of Buncombe County was awarded $20,000 to provide professionally trained tutors to struggling students whose families cannot afford pay for private assistance.

In addition to the Impact Grants, two special initiatives were also approved by WNC Bridge Foundation’s Board.

Southwestern Community College received $400,000 for its new health sciences building, which will allow 144 additional students to enroll in its 14 healthcare programs, in addition to adding three health sciences programs for a total enrollment of 288 in the third year of the building’s existence.  These programs will provide salaries ranging from $31,000 – $58,000 to graduates who will work in WNC (nearly 90%), mostly in Jackson, Macon, Cherokee and Swain counties.

The Children and Friends Enrichment Center received $250,000 to aid the organization in moving to a new location which will allow them to increase enrollment and eliminate their maintenance issues. Buncombe County has a severe childcare shortage, with vacancy rates as low as 1%. There are only 89 certified early childcare centers in Buncombe County, with funding from WNC Bridge Foundation, the Children and Friends Enrichment will be able to increase the number of children they serve from 70 to 170.

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