High Country Women's Fund finds new ways to give

Article Published: Oct. 19, 2009 | Modified: Sep. 7, 2011
High Country Women's Fund finds new ways to give

From left, Jane Meyers of Fritz and Riley Consignments meets with High Country Women's Fund officers Lindsay Miller and Mary Jo Grubbs to plan the store's upcoming HCWF fund-raiser scheduled for Nov. 3.

Photo by Jeff Eason

The last few months have been a time of change for the High Country Women's Fund.

As a relatively new non-profit, HCWF has changed the way it raises money to support women in need in Watauga and Avery counties.

Group officials said support for the efforts of HCWF is pouring in as service efforts in the community increase as the winter is approaching.

An initiative of the United Way, HCWF was created in 2006 in order to bridge the gap of resources available and women in need in the High Country.

Previously, their main fundraiser has been an annual luncheon highlighting membership and service projects through the year. Women heard stories of success and compassion.

This year, that fundraiser changed for the better, according to a fund spokesperson.

"With our community working hard to make ends meet on various levels, HCWF knew they needed to do something different," a spokesperson said.

Power of the Purse 2009 transitioned into smaller, more intimate "POP Parties" in women's homes helping to educate members of the community on how they can get involved.

"Membership has grown, support has increased and more women than ever are getting involved in helping other women on their journey to self-sufficiency," a fund press release stated.

These "POP Parties" enable HCWF to gain support year round creating the ability to involve members in more service projects assisting those in need in our area.

"Most recent successes in the community include helping to gain support for the showing of 'Beauty Mark,' a movie to educate the public on a healthy body image, working with other women in the community to proclaim October in the High Country as 'A Month to Celebrate You' and assisting with activities throughout the month promoting wellness," the release stated.

HCWF has also worked directly with Bald Guy Brew to import fair-trade Cafe Femenino coffee beans to support women's initiatives around the world for their Cafe Chica project.

"We work with many of the different agencies in the High Country and with the United Way," Lindsay Miller, a volunteer with the High Country Women's Fund, said.

"Instead of our usual annual luncheon, this year we decided to have multiple events to raise money. Last month we had a neighborhood party in Blowing Rock and Glidewell's Restaurant donated food for it."

"On Nov. 3, we will have an event at Fritz and Riley, an upscale consignment store in Blowing Rock. The owners of the store will donate a percentage of the proceeds from that day's sales to the fund."

The social and sale event at Fritz and Riley will take place from 5 to 8 p.m. at the store in the Food Lion Shopping Center in Blowing Rock. The event will include refreshments and a large tent at the back of the store for browsing and socializing.

Fritz and Riley specializes in high-end, eclectic fin home consignments, home furnishings and artwork, fund officials said.

Proceeds from High Country Women's Fund events will help assist women and families in the area with food, education, heating bills and other needs.

"With this area's high number of seasonal residents, we want to encourage people leaving for the winter to donate food and other supplies to the Hunger and Health Coalition," said Mary Jo Grubbs of the HCWF.

HCWF allocates funds to agencies three times a year. The process is currently going on and will be completed on Oct. 21.

Since January, HCWF has already given out more than $45,000, which includes addressing a wide range of needs.

Some of the funding has gone to support summer camps for young girls, High School GED programs and childcare for young moms and programs designed to empower and educate women.

A few individual needs that have been met are providing tires, eyeglasses and money for schoolbooks and gas.

This year's theme for Power of the Purse is "Simply Give so That Others May Simply Live."

For more information please contact Miller at (828) 264-4007 or (info@highcountrywomensfund.org)

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