The Appalachian Women’s Fund has completed grant allocations with a record breaking $68,000 total to twelve non-profit agencies serving impoverished women and children. While funds were granted to agencies in four mountain counties, two of those recipients serve populations in seven nearby counties.
“That is a lot of bang for your buck,” said AWF President, Patti Turner. “Each grant cycle opens our eyes to both the growing need to help women and girls and the creative ways agencies on shoe-string budgets rise to the task” added Turner.
Monies raised at the 4th annual Woman of Vision Award luncheon held in June went to A.S.H.E. ( A Safe Home for Everyone), the ASU/ACCESS program educating female students whose families live at or below the poverty level, Blue Ridge Women in Agriculture helping female farmers and distributors with creative solutions for production sustainability, Community Care Clinic, D.A.N.A (Domestic Abuse is Not Acceptable), Hospitality House, Hunger & Health Coalition, New Day of Avery County (domestic and sexual violence shelter), New River Family Solutions, OASIS, Western Youth Network and WAMY.
Since its inception four years ago, the AWF has raised close to $250,000. In 2011 the group saw an 8% increase over results from the 2010 fundraising totals. The AWF has become a major player for fundraising and grant allocations in our area. “We have our legs under us now. We are very well established and supported. Donors appreciate our coming through the lean years and changing the landscape for disenfranchised women and girls,” said founding member Debbie Stevens.
Of the 12 recipients, two are new to the AWF. The Blue Ridge Women in Agriculture is a collective group of female farmers and distributors. BRWIA is dedicated to strengthening local food systems by supporting women and their families. Providing resources, education and skills related to sustainable food and agriculture, the BRWIA is supporting women in a traditionally male dominated field. “BRWIA fosters independence for women and solid solutions for the future which makes this an important grant and money well spent” said Turner.
New Day of Avery County is the new name of the domestic violence shelter, formerly known as ACADA (Avery Citizens Against Domestic Abuse). Feeling that victims of sexual violence should be included among the population they serve, the board voted on a new name. Serving victims of domestic and sexual abuse, New Day offers shelter, intervention, counseling, mentoring and educational opportunities to their clients.
Completely run by women for women, the AWF remains the only independent women’s fund serving the mountain communities in this region. If you would like to join, donate or learn more about the AWF, go to www.appalachinawomensfund.org or call 828-264-4002.