2021 IMPACT Grant Recipients

Now in our third year of regional grant funding, 90 local non-profits from across Western North Carolina are WNC Bridge Foundation’s 2021 IMPACT Grant recipients, with awards totaling $3,900,000.

Home repair for the elderly, access to dental care, and academic tutoring for youth are examples of how grants will be utilized in communities across Western North Carolina.

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 2021 IMPACT Grants include elder care, wellness support, and youth development.

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Elder Care: $753,284

Asheville Art Museum
Connections program serves community-dwelling adults with mild to moderate memory loss and their care partners by enabling them to experience the transformative power of art through a welcoming, interactive program at the Museum. Connections addresses participants’ need for social connection, cognitive stimulation, and a respite from life’s challenges.

Blue Ridge Literacy Council
The Senior Literacy program is designed for seniors and their caregivers (at all literacy levels) to better understand Medicare, how to access appropriate care at the most effective costs, how to access eldercare community resources, and how to navigate technology as it relates to their healthcare and personal needs.

Brevard Music Center
Increase opportunities for area seniors and other typically underserved groups to listen to world-class music in social settings, engage with each other and the community, and attend intellectually stimulating music-related lectures and activities regardless of health, mobility, or financial constraints. Partner with other area non-profits to support and amplify their fundraising efforts with recognition at BMC events and donated tickets they sell. Share campus resources at no or little cost as a place to gather socially, host fundraising events, hold meetings, socialize, and connect.

Council on Aging of Henderson County
Serve food insecure seniors in Henderson County by delivering free RDA-approved meals each week.

Haywood County Meals on Wheels
Funding for meals for current or additional qualified recipients with priority given to adults who are soon to be or recently discharged from the hospital, rehabilitation/nursing facility, or have in-home aid due to health challenges. Their needs for services, lunch, and a safety check by a caring volunteer are especially needed during this vulnerable time after a recent hospital or recovery stay.

Hinton Rural Life Center
Expansion of the safe and healthy homes ministry to one that addresses substandard housing and its relation to health and safety. Create a system for referrals and coordinate the recruitment and training of local volunteers, expand data collection and analysis processes and staff time to establish a relationship and implement the initiative, and training supply costs, and tools and building supplies needed for repairs.

Meals on Wheels of Asheville & Buncombe County
Through the delivery of weekday meals and visits, Meals on Wheels provides nourishment, companionship, safety, and prolonged independence for elderly clients.

Meals on Wheels of Brevard
Only 13.9% of food costs are borne by the recipient clients, and the percentage of homebound seniors who can pay for their meals will not rise. Agency sources and pays for food from a certified kitchen and delivers those meals to seniors who still live in but do not leave their homes. Grant funds are spent on the meals provided and not operations.

Establish a pilot mobile foot care clinic for underserved communities of Buncombe County and to support the care of indigent, underserved families who have loved ones with dementia.
In addition to foot care, the mobile foot care clinic would provide education about healthy aging, listen for unmet needs and barriers to accessing medical care so that, when possible, they can be addressed, and facilitate referrals to community services when appropriate.

Mountain Housing Opportunities
Eliminate immediate threats to life, health, and safety for low-income elderly homeowners, threats caused by severe home repair needs. There is also a mental health benefit in easing the stress of elderly homeowners who seek to age in place, concerned that a leaking roof or rotting floors will lead to displacement or premature institutional care. Funds are used for building materials, project delivery, and contracted health-and safety-related repairs in the homes of low-income elderly homeowners.

Mountain Projects
Sustain and continue the expansion of In-Home Aide Program services, enabling the elderly population to stay in their homes longer and avoid more costly institutional care. In addition, the program provides support to those needing assistance with housekeeping, cooking, shopping, errands, and companionship, which helps address food insecurity, quality of housing, and some transportation issues and helps them live independently.

Pisgah Legal Services
Elder Law Program provides free legal assistance to help low-income seniors meet their basic needs of accessing food, safe housing, utilities, and medical care. In addition, the program stabilizes and preserves affordable housing options for elderly clients so they can age in place by reducing threats of eviction, foreclosure, and other displacement and by improving existing housing conditions through enforcement of rental housing codes and other rights. PLS attorneys also provide legal assistance to seniors regarding their income, benefits, and debts so they can meet their basic needs.

The Council on Aging of Buncombe County
A collaborative project between the Council on Aging of Buncombe County & Dementia Friendly Western North Carolina will address three key challenges facing older citizens in WNC that impact their social health and well-being, including persons living with dementia & other cognitive impairment & their care partners: 1) the knowledge deficit in WNC regarding dementia-friendly capability, 2) elevated risks for abuse/neglect/exploitation & 3) inability to identify available services.

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (MAHEC)
Promoting Racial Equity and Engagement in Primary Care focuses on improving the well-being of historically marginalized, vulnerable older adults, especially Black, Indigenous, or other Persons of Color (BIPOC), by reducing isolation and expanding access to home-based primary care. The approach would be led by the needs of communities of color and rely on guidance and implementation by BIPOC serving in key advisory, volunteer, and clinical roles. Funding would support expanding the Social Bridging Project, which pairs socially isolated older adults with volunteers to provide friendly check-ins and assistance with technology, focusing on racial equity, and using a Community Health Worker model to bring an explicit racial equity focus to MAHEC’s HBPC program.

United Community Development of North Carolina
Enhance the organization’s ability to provide life, health, and safety repairs to 70 homes and a “de-cluttering” program to 50 homes of low-income elderly people in Buncombe County, primarily those located in “legacy” black neighborhoods Southside, East End, and Shiloh.

YMCA of Western North Carolina
Serve a minimum of 800 older adults, age 60 and older, through a wide selection of programs that meet the diverse needs of our growing older adult population. They will be able to connect to multiple facets of elder care work, programs that include, but are not limited to, evidence-based health intervention programs that combat chronic diseases and physical activity inequities, food insecurity, and nutrition education outreach, and socially inclusive and volunteer opportunities that foster interaction between older adult members and community participants.

Wellness Support: $1,886,787

ABCCM Medical Ministry
Fund clinician staff to oversee the growing telehealth component of the medical clinic. The clinic’s outpatient telehealth structure mainly provides acute/episodic medical care and pharmacy services to the uninsured.

All Souls Counseling Center
Support occupancy and administrative costs as well as therapist and psychiatrist sessions to meet the mental health needs of uninsured and underinsured adults in Western North Carolina.

Arc of Buncombe County
Help individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities realize their highest potential through advocacy, education, programs, and family support.

Asheville Buncombe Institute of Parity Achievement
Expand the community health worker program and elevate the response to the pandemic and its aftermath by expanding capacity and development programming to a virtual program.

Babies Need Bottoms
Support the health and wellness of babies and families through the purchase and distribution of training pants “Pull-Up” style diapers and potty-training supplies.

Black Mountain Counseling Center
Cover the costs for program development and presentation along with some funding for follow-up services. Pay for the professional counseling services with some additional funding for administrative support.

Blue Ridge Mountains Health Project DBA: Blue Ridge Free Dental Clinic
Support for direct service dental personnel to increase access to dental care in WNC. Funds will support staff activities related to the emergency dental needs of patients, which account for 45% of all procedures and restorative and preventative procedures.

Bountiful Cities
Establish the Collaborative Food Security Apprenticeship Program, a collaborative, community-centered educational pathway aiming to support economic and food system community empowerment. The multifaceted and practical educational content thoroughly prepares learners for employment opportunities within the local food system and the organizations that work toward food security while earning a living wage.

Bounty & Soul
Support and expand programs that focus on the intersection of food, farms, and health. Bounty & Soul is in a stage of growth, as it strives to ensure everyone and anyone who needs its services has equitable access.

Campaign for Southern Equality
Distribute funds in Emergency Assistance Grants to address the acute financial and personal difficulties experienced by LGBTQ individuals in WNC, improve resilience for individuals and families facing unexpected hardships, and help them thrive in their daily lives.

Casting for Hope
Provide financial services to women in Western North Carolina who are battling gynecological cancers. Use these funds to help women and families with medical bills, office co-pays, over-the-counter and prescription medications, rent and housing, food shortages, gas cards to travel to medical appointments, among other needs through the end of the pandemic and the start of the financial recovery.

Dig In! Yancey Community Garden
Host a participatory design charrette for one new community garden, purchase supplies for the installation and maintenance of 3 gardens, support a Gardens Coordinator position to help plan and bring people together in the initiative, provide stipends to garden leaders, support volunteer gleaning activities, initiate a local “crop mob” network, provide educational support and implement outreach activities.

Eblen Charities
The Eblen Charities Adult Assistance and Stability Program provides resources for adults to obtain and/or retain adequate housing by providing both security deposits to eliminate homelessness or sub-standard living conditions, as well as funding to prevent eviction from established living situations.

Good Samaritan Clinic
Make medication access equitable for all uninsured in our communities, not just enrolled patients, through community uninsured health care provider partners who do not have access to medications.

Grace Place, A Community Table
Expand the food pantry capacity to families to help make the pantry fully operational to meet the critical needs in Graham County.

Haywood Pathways Center
Provide emergency food, shelter, safety, case management, and rehabilitative services to the homeless and formerly incarcerated in Haywood County.

Haywood Street Congregation
Provide medical respite care to 8 homeless adults at a time. “Friends” who stay at HSR have a safe place to rest 24 hours a day; 3 meals a day; transportation to follow-up appointments; and assistance accessing needed services and supports.

Homeward Bound of Western North Carolina
The Permanent Supportive Housing program ends chronic homelessness with housing, rental assistance, and case management support services for the most vulnerable individuals and families due to mental health, substance use, and/or chronic physical health issues.

Interfaith Assistance Ministry
Expand Food Inequities Relief Project programs to provide more equitable distribution of nutritious foods and reduce food insecurity and hunger. Purchase a new 24-foot refrigerated truck that would enable IAM staff and volunteers to hold pop-up Mobile Food Markets in underserved neighborhoods and mobile home parks to residents living near, at, and beneath the federal poverty line.

MANNA Food Bank
Expand two important initiatives designed to increase long-term food security in WNC in order to expand collaborative outreach to other WNC organizations working to address the crisis of food insecurity and other SDOH. Continue the Data Insights Project to develop a more robust client data collection system that will capture the impact of hunger in WNC.

McDowell LFAC
The Foothills Food Hub will support rural Black, Brown, and White food insecure communities who live in West Marion, Marion East, Old Fort, North Cove, Nebo, and Dysartsville to distribute fresh produce, hot meals, and food boxes to families on a regular basis.

Ministry Seven DBA: Hendersonville Rescue Mission
Address the physical and social needs of individuals experiencing homelessness or living with low incomes from Henderson, Polk, Rutherford, and Transylvania Counties by providing daily meals, emergency shelter, transitional housing, addiction recovery, basic medical and mental health services, and referrals to other community resources.

Mount Zion Community Development
Project NAF (Nurturing Asheville and Area Families) connects pregnant/postpartum women to the care and services they need to improve birth and overall health outcomes, well-being, and quality of life.

Neighbors in Need
Provide heating assistance to Madison County neighbors in need during the winter season of 21-22.

Restoration House
Serve the working poor and homeless populations by expanding the current homeless shelter and adding a staff person to the only homeless shelter in Swain County.

Sixth Avenue Psychiatric Rehabilitation Partners DBA: Thrive
Addition of a staff member to support the organization’s work in providing mental health services to adults with severe and persistent mental illness; assist adults who receive Social Security or Disability income and need help managing finances; and provides permanent housing and case management services to people experiencing homelessness in Henderson, Polk, Rutherford, and Transylvania counties.

Southwestern Community College
Purchase a GE Carescape Mechanical Ventilator for use in the respiratory therapy program curriculum as a simulation tool for students studying to become professional respiratory therapists.

Special Olympics North Carolina
Addition of a fellowship position, created in collaboration with a university partner, to build organizational capacity that supports a vibrant year-round sports program including both virtual and in-person training opportunities, culminating competition events, health education, and screenings, and medical exams leading to increased physical activity, improved aspects of physical and mental health, and healthcare accessibility for people with intellectual disabilities.

Swain County Family Resource Center
Support emergency needs (such as utilities, housing, hygiene needs, food, and clothing) in Swain County.

Swannanoa Valley Christian Ministry
Support for Medical Assistance and Vehicle Repairs to help clients in the eastern part of Buncombe County get to their medical appointments or, for those who are working, can get to their jobs.

The Community Kitchen
Provide operational support to assure that neighbors in need have a safe place to come and get a hot meal, fellowship, and receive groceries to supplement their income.

The Giving Spoon
Support the Executive Director and Cooks to address food insecurity in Swain County and look into other social determinants of health to treat people as a whole, which increases a person’s ability to succeed.

The Housing Assistance Corporation
Support for the Single-Family Development Program ensuring that individuals and families can live in a safe and affordable home in Henderson, Polk, and Transylvania.

TRACTOR Food and Farms
Retain a Driver/Warehouse Associate who helps deliver locally sourced produce to food pantries and individuals that have screened positive for food insecurity of diet-related illnesses by their health care provider.

Trauma Intervention Programs
Expand crisis intervention services to ensure that the people of Henderson and Transylvania counties have someone in the immediacy of what is often the worst moment of their life.

Vecinos Farmworker Health Program
Assist in increasing access to healthcare for low-income, uninsured Latinx community members in the six western counties.

W4H Asheville DBA: Working Wheels
Repair 21 vehicles for working families and continue to increase capacity to produce dependable vehicles.

Washburn Community Outreach Center
Meet the local community’s needs by providing an area for farmer’s markets or yard sales and adding a generator to preserve food in case of an electrical outage.

Western North Carolina Medical Society Foundation
Continue the ongoing Wellness Emergency Connection Access Network (WE CAN) project. Will provide wellness support and emergency access for medical care and socio-economic resources by paying for staff to address health inequities with interpretation services and funds to provide free transportation and childcare services.

YMI Cultural Center
Support for Operation Gateway, which is the upward economic mobility of Asheville’s Black communities. Participants will train to build technical and workforce skills from within one of four industries identified as high-demand, high-pay.

Yokefellow Service Center
Support of the crisis assistance provided in Rutherford County including rent assistance to prevent families from being evicted from their homes, payment on utilities, heating/cooling, fuel, and water so the client may maintain clean and healthy living conditions, non-narcotic prescription medications for health conditions and certain home health equipment.

YWCA of Asheville and WNC
Empowerment Child Care provides free or low-cost drop-in childcare and resource coordination for low-income families in Buncombe County who are looking to improve their lives and financial security through education, job training, or social services.

Youth Development: $1,259,929

Asheville Writers in The Schools & Communities
Through arts-based programming, participants develop healthy relationships with peers and mentors while working to make a difference in their community using their voices, talents, and imaginations. As members of The Squad, youth build a unique and bilingual space to become hopeful about their futures, experience racial healing, and develop a radical imagination to build a better world.

Baptist Children’s Homes of North Carolina
Baptist Children’s Homes of North Carolina works to meet children’s daily needs in the 17 western counties that come from abuse and neglect.

Black Mountain Home for Children, Youth & Families
Since opening the Ray Campbell Independent Living Village in 2008, 89% of the teens in the organization’s care have graduated from high school or obtained a GED. Grant will support the capital cost for the new Student Life Center, where students can continue to learn, grow, and thrive as they learn skills that prepare them to enter the workplace making a living wage.

Blue Ridge Hope
Provide safe spaces for students in the area to be tutored and mentored by open-minded community members after school. Blue Ridge Hope’s mission is to connect teens with resources that will help them be successful, including academic tutoring, attaining their emotional goals, reconciling personal loss, and developing health and wholeness.

Boys & Girls Club of Henderson County
Address learning loss and long-term academic fallout caused by educational interruptions, school closures, and remote learning during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Boys & Girls Club of the Plateau
Operational support as the organization opens a new 15,000 sq. ft. facility in 2022. The new building will house K – 5 members, providing room to serve many more teens in the current space. BGCP is the only five-day per week afterschool program for students in Southern Jackson County.

Buncombe Partnership for Children
Strengthen the capacity of early childhood educators, families, and the community to build a strong foundation for children’s learning and development starting at birth. Grant funds will support early literacy programs, equity work, and staff who supervise, fundraise, and deliver programming for BPCF.

Centro Unido Latino Americano
Afterschool program supporting Latinx children, grant will provide salary support for program’s certified teachers.

Children & Family Resource Center
Preschoolers Reaching Educational Potential (PREP) program provides free developmental, hearing, and vision screenings and remedial support services for children ages 3-5 in Henderson County.

Children First/Communities in Schools of Buncombe County
Community Supports Coordinator and Student Support Specialists at elementary schools in Buncombe County. Specialists address the challenges to academic achievement children from low-income households experience, including food insecurity, transportation barriers, and lack of access to school supplies and clothing.

Communities in Schools of North Carolina
Student Support Specialist works to connect students and families in the Smokey Mountain School community in Jackson County with the resources and relationships they need to thrive.

Davidson River School
Pilot program providing one-on-one math tutoring to students who have significant gaps in their academic progress.

Family Place of Transylvania County
Through positive parenting education and adult/child interactive opportunities, the organization provides resources to help families grow and strengthen relationships, encourage nurturing and emotional support within the home, and assist the development of social and emotional health. Grant will provide expanded staff hours.

Graham Revitalization Economic Action Team-GREAT
Create a unique, all-inclusive learning/training/employment opportunity for local high school and IDD (Intellectually/Developmentally Delayed) students. Grant will support capital cost to renovate a vacant building on Main Street Robbinsville that will serve as a coffee shop and print shop operated by Robbinsville High School students.

Youth Violence Program provides educational workshops to children and the professionals who serve them to promote safe and healthy relationships in Buncombe County.

Henderson County Education Foundation
Improve academic outcomes for youth by providing additional academic supports and enrichment programs.

Higher Academia Corporation
Empowers underserved youth and their families through education, mentoring, and tutoring in Polk and Rutherford counties.

Horizons at Carolina Day
6-week summer enrichment program and year-round academic and social-emotional support program to end summer slide in learning and close the achievement and opportunity gaps for students from under-served communities in Buncombe County.

Key Learning Center
An accredited resource for educators, students, and parents in the field of Orton-Gillingham multisensory structured language, multisensory mathematics, and language-based learning differences—dyslexia. Grant will provide funding for the salary of a part-time executive director.

Literacy Together
Trained tutors provide reading support to struggling students whose families cannot afford to pay for private assistance.

McDowell County Schools
Supportive Beginnings program works to stop the cyclical nature of trauma in its tracks. It is an early intervention program available to families across McDowell County. The goal is to develop lasting relationships with families to support healthy attachment and bonding from infancy through the child’s elementary education.

Mountain Alliance Avery
Serves high school students with two broad program components: experiential education outings and afterschool academic support. The afterschool academic enrichment program, School’s Out, is an inclusive, FREE program that provides any Avery High student with a positive, supervised, developmental place to be after school.

Neighbors in Ministry/Rise & Shine
Afterschool program and summer camp working with economically disadvantaged and racial minority children in Transylvania County.

Norris Library Foundation
Add a full-time Youth Services Specialist to the staff of Norris Public Library, allowing the library to provide early literacy services and help improve STEM education for local children.

Open Doors of Asheville
‘To & Through’ College Access and Completion initiative, a whole-child informed approach helping students reach their full potential; K-College.

Rock Hill Missionary Baptist Church
Project Lighten Up’s afterschool and summer camp programming for underserved youth.

Smart Start of Transylvania County
Expansion of Family Connects, an evidence-based program seeking to meet all newborns’ needs at birth.

The Christine Avery Learning Center
Expansion of Out of School Enrichment programming focuses on enhancing and expanding the academic, social, emotional, and cultural development of Black youth ages 6 to 14 in Buncombe County and the surrounding areas enrolled in the Christine Avery Learning Center (CWA) programs.

The Industrial Commons
Academic support programming, targeting social determinants of health that affect marginalized and underserved communities in Burke County, specifically Hispanic and African American communities.

The Mediation Center
School Attendance Mediation program addresses chronic absenteeism and low school engagement in Transylvania County.

UNC Asheville Foundation
The project will support interventions to improve students ‘ literacy achievement, focusing on improving literacy outcomes for children served by Asheville City Schools.

Verner Center for Early Learning
Startup funding for the new, 10-classroom early childhood education center in partnership with Buncombe County Schools on the campus of Emma Elementary School. This center will increase access to high-quality, affordable early childhood education in Buncombe County.

YMCA of Western North Carolina
The Academic Recovery project will serve youth through a wide selection of educational enrichment and social-emotional tools to help them find academic success and the school environment rewarding. This project will serve students in McDowell, Henderson, Buncombe, and Asheville school districts. The Academic Recovery program emphasizes student success through tutoring, extended school day enrichment opportunities through research-based, hands-on learning, increased parent and family involvement, and holistic social and emotional learning.

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