The McDowell Endowment Announces $53,300 in Grants to Local Nonprofits

(April 2024) – The McDowell Endowment awarded twelve grants totaling $53,300 to local nonprofit organizations in its recent grant cycle. The McDowell Endowment, in partnership with The Community Foundation of Western North Carolina (CFWNC), has awarded grants totaling $1,348,016.

“Through its grant program, The McDowell Endowment supports local nonprofits doing work in our community,” said Advisory Board Chair Ryan Kelley. “Building an endowment for McDowell County has allowed us to give back to organizations that provide critical services and improve the quality of life for everyone who lives here. We hope that we can fund more programs with more dollars each year, which is why we continue to grow the Fund. We are grateful to our friends and neighbors who support us in these efforts.”

The 2024 grants are:

$2,000 to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Western North Carolina for a youth mentoring program that serves children from disadvantaged families.

$5,000 to Black Mountain Counseling Center to provide mental health services to people with low incomes.

$4,500 to CareReach for outreach events that help residents access health information, resources, and services.

$2,500 to Centro Unido Latino-Americano to provide crisis assistance to people with low incomes.

$5,000 to East Marion Pentecostal Holiness Church/East Marion IPHC en Español to purchase a van to provide transportation for bilingual students to attend classes.

$4,300 to McDowell Arts Council Association to teach piano to public elementary students.

$5,000 to McDowell County Emergency Medical Services to provide lockboxes and smoke detectors for elderly or medically-fragile people.

$5,000 to Mercy Fund Animal Rescue to provide veterinary care for pets of people with low incomes.

$5,000 to Mission Ministries Alliance for food and essential supplies for an overnight homeless shelter.

$5,000 to New HOPE of McDowell to provide housing assistance to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.

$5,000 to Pisgah Legal Services to provide free civil legal assistance to survivors of domestic violence.

$5,000 to YMCA of Western North Carolina to provide elementary-aged children access to day and afterschool camps.

In 1995, local residents established the Endowment as a permanent charitable fund to meet local needs. Gifts added to the Endowment’s principal are preserved and invested, while grants from the Endowment support nonprofits serving McDowell County. To make a tax-deductible contribution, donate online or by mail c/o CFWNC, 4 Vanderbilt Park Drive, Suite 300, Asheville NC 28803. Make checks payable to CFWNC, noting “The McDowell Endowment” in the memo line. Contributions of any size are welcome.

The local, volunteer Advisory Board includes: Jim Burgin, Vicki Burton (Vice Chair), Nakia Carson, Marsh Dark, Kimberly Effler (Secretary), Courtney Morris Gardner, Steve Jones, Ryan Kelley (Chair), Michael Lavender, Patt Medders, Rob Noyes, Sharon Parker, Arthur Parks, and Sandra Precoma.

In addition to the Endowment, the following CFWNC funds support grantmaking in McDowell County: Margaret Westmoreland Gibson Memorial Fund, Greenlee Family Fund, A.C. Hogan Family Fund and Daniel I. and Joy Q. Shuford Fund.

For more information about The McDowell Endowment, contact Chair Ryan Kelley at or 828-460-9239.