Melvin R. Lane Fund Awards $900,000 to WNC Nonprofits

(June 2019) – Six nonprofits serving Western North Carolina will receive $900,000 over three years from CFWNC's Melvin R. Lane Fund.

The grant program helps human service organizations improve operations, become more collaborative and secure their future in order to better the lives of Western North Carolina’s disadvantaged citizens. The following 2020-2022 grant recipients will receive $150,000 each over three years:

Children First/Communities In Schools of Buncombe County to hire development staff and improve revenue diversity and operations to ensure that K-6th grade students have the resources they need to succeed in school and empower advocates for children and families.

Community Housing Coalition of Madison County to hire housing rehabilitation specialists and development staff to address a staffing shortage so that urgent repairs can be made to 45 low-income homes in Madison County currently on the waiting list.

Thrive to diversify revenue sources, increase administrative support, and strengthen the board to expand support and opportunities for adults with mental health and housing needs in Henderson, Polk, Transylvania and Rutherford counties.

St. Gerard House to hire development staff to grow and diversify revenue and to purchase fundraising software to strengthen programs for people with autism and their families in Henderson, Buncombe, Haywood, Jackson, McDowell, Polk, Rutherford and Transylvania counties.

Vecinos Farmworker Health Program to support a dedicated Executive Director position, improve community relations and diversify revenue streams to better serve farmworkers and their families with health care, education, community partnerships and advocacy in Jackson, Haywood, Transylvania, Macon, Graham, Cherokee, Clay and Swain counties.

Working Wheels to develop a branding strategy and marketing plan and to implement a data management system to support the repairs of donated cars for working families in Buncombe, Haywood, Henderson, Madison, McDowell, Polk, Transylvania, Rutherford and Yancey counties.

“The services that Thrive provides for adults with mental health needs are largely funded through governmental programs. With the Lane grant, we will diversify funding through expanding hours with experienced development staff, purchasing donor management software and training staff,” said Kristen Martin, executive director since 2011. “Additional increased administrative capacity will allow the management team to focus on planned expansion, quality of all programs, financial stability, increased advocacy and expanded use of interns and volunteers.”

The three-year grants are made possible through the Melvin R. Lane Fund, created by Melvin and Georgianna Lane, longtime residents of Henderson County. Lyn Fozzard, daughter of Melvin R. Lane, oversees the fund with her sons Peter and Richard, daughter-in-law Libby and members of the Lane Advisory Board. CFWNC President Elizabeth Brazas said, “The Lane Fund grant program builds capacity and improves operations so that human service nonprofits can help more people. This is important and necessary work in the region, and CFWNC is proud to support the Lane family in carrying on this legacy.”