$605,000 in Focus Area Grants Awarded

(August 2022) CFWNC recently approved four focus area grants totaling $605,000 in Early Childhood Development, Human Services and Natural & Cultural Resources. The grants are:

Eagle Market Street Development Corporation (EMSDC) as fiscal agent for the Catawba Vale Collaborative (CVC) was awarded $225,000 over three years to support capacity and staffing for the effort to bring equitable community development to Old Fort in McDowell County.

Funds will create a position of CVC Coordinator and provide a small amount of operating support to the two lead organizations, EMSDC and Camp Grier, that are experiencing rapidly increasing demands related to project management. The full CVC partnership includes EMSDC, Camp Grier, the US Forest Service, UNC Chapel Hill and People on the Move Old Fort. CFWNC has previously supported the CVC with a $52,500 grant to build cultural awareness along a 42-mile trail expansion on USFS land surrounding Old Fort. The Dogwood Charitable Endowment Fund and Stewart Fund for Life & Love co-invested to fund this grant.

A $200,000 grant to OnTrack Financial Education and Counseling will expand the SECURE program to help approximately 250 low-income people establish emergency savings accounts. SECURE participants learn how to manage cash flow, establish savings accounts and incorporate financial management skills into their lives to increase financial capabilities and stability.

The SECURE program is available to people with household incomes between 30% - 80% of Area Median Income. OnTrack depends on referrals from numerous partner agencies, including, YWCA, YMI Cultural Center, Pisgah Legal Services, Mountain Projects, Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church (Nurturing Asheville Area Families), Black Wall Street AVL, and Sistas Caring 4 Sistas. With this grant, CFWNC support for SECURE has grown to $753,000. The Rick and Bridget Eckerd Charitable Fund, Dogwood Charitable Endowment Fund and an anonymous fund co-invested to fund this grant.

Smart Start of Transylvania County was awarded $100,000 over two years to support efforts to create more spaces in childcare countywide. Early Childhood Education has experienced an exodus of qualified and experienced teachers, creating massive change in the local childcare landscape. Investments in both licensed and alternative childcare models will boost capacity to meet the needs of families during this unprecedented shortage. Key to the project’s success is hiring a part-time Project Leader to support efforts to open new centers, expand existing programs, stabilize the workforce and increase the quality of care. The Gretchen Batra Fund, Dr. Robert J. and Kimberly S. Reynolds Fund, Dogwood Charitable Endowment Fund and an anonymous fund co-invested to fund this grant.

Children & Family Resource Center will receive $80,000 over two years to open a regional Circles of Security program in Buncombe, Henderson and Transylvania counties. Circles of Security is grounded in attachment theory and offers clear, individualized pathways for creating a nurturing relationship and a secure attachment between parent and child. Research shows that secure attachments to early care providers have a significant positive effect on children’s school readiness and learning, support the resilience necessary for a child to cope with adverse life events into adulthood, and provide critical organizing principles for the development of teacher-child relationships. The Gretchen Batra Fund, Craig Family Foundation Fund and an anonymous fund co-invested to fund this grant.