AWF distributes $62,000 in grants
Agencies in five mountain counties have received grant awards
totaling $62,000 from the Appalachian Women’s Fund.
Money raised at the Woman of Vision luncheon in June has been allocated. Recipients have been notified and checks have been sent.
“Projects to support women and girls are well under way in some of the most underserved areas of the western mountain counties,” according to a spokeswoman for the Appalachian Women’s Fund.
Watauga County recipients include the Hospitality House for case management of female clients.
The Community Care Clinic will use grant money for women’s medical exams and supplements.
The Hunger and Health Coalition will provide food and supplements to women older than 60.
“In hard times, women over 60 tend to suffer in silence,” said Jean Brooks, former HHC president and current AWF president. “They make the most concessions, but are often the last to seek help. An added challenge is the number of young children being raised and cared for by their grandmothers.”
Other recipients in Watauga County include OASIS for domestic and sexual assault support groups; WAMY Community Action Inc. for small credit building loans and larger business start-up loans; Western Youth Network for empowerment programs targeting middle school girls; ACCESS financial aid program at ASU supporting tuition and housing needs for women whose families live at or below the poverty level; Girls On The Run; the Blue Ridge Women in Agriculture to provide small grants to female farmers; and The Children’s Council to boost expansion of the Parents as Teachers program into the shelters of OASIS and the Hospitality House.
Ashe County domestic violence shelter, A Safe Home for Everyone, now has money to help women rebuild their lives by assisting with deposits, down payments and other expenses incurred when leaving the home of an abuser, according to the spokeswoman.
Alleghany County’s domestic violence shelter, DANA (Domestic Violence is Not Acceptable) also received funding from the AWF.
“Particularly in very rural areas, a stigma is attached to domestic violence that forces women to leave their home county and seek shelter in a neighboring county, away from angry family members or judgmental employers,” Brooks said. “That’s why the AWF looks at the big picture of supporting shelters in these often forgotten outlying counties.”
The New Opportunity School for Women in Avery County is a new recipient of AWF funding. The comprehensive program provides educational tools for re-entering the workforce, completing a degree, personal finance, credit building, self-esteem and many other life-lessons, she said.
“We love programs like this because education is the foundation for success, no matter what the hurdle is. Negative patterns and cycles will never be broken without educational tools and support,” Brooks said.
Also new to the AWF funding list is the Spring Creek Literacy Project in Madison County. This summer program for middle school girls teaches both printed and computer literacy skills, while promoting social equity and economic opportunities to young girls in the Appalachian region.
The next Appalachian Women’s Fund event will be a holiday gift drive in early December. For more information on the gift drive, joining the AWF or how to donate, call the office at (828) 264-4002 or visit http://www.appalachianwomensfund.org.