ECRS has announced the winning applicants for their 2019 Community Grant Program.

The local technology company selected causes that aim to make a major, positive impact on the lives of residents in the North Carolina High Country.

ECRS has elected to contribute to the following causes in 2019:

Spring 2019 Recipient: The Friends of Watauga County Public Library

The Youth Services Department at the Watauga County Public Library builds the necessary foundations for love of lifelong learning. One of their goals is to reach underserved populations and at-risk youth. ECRS recognizes the importance of an interest in science in technology and wants to encourage youth involvement in these fields. The Friends of Watauga County Public Library will receive funds for Science Technology Engineering Arts Mathematics (STEAM) materials that support the library’s many youth learning opportunities.

Summer 2019 Recipient: Blue Ridge Women in Agriculture

Blue Ridge Women in Agriculture is fighting food insecurity in the High Country; their mission is to increase the accessibility to healthy, fresh food for lower-resource individuals. They administer a Double Up Food Bucks program that enables food-insecure families to double their dollars at four of Boone’s Farmers’ Markets. ECRS is proud to support this cause as their point of sale software platform, CATAPULT, also helps retailers implement the Double Up Food Bucks program. The Blue Ridge Women in Agriculture will apply their grant toward sustenance and expansion of their operation.

Summer 2019 Recipient: Bradford Ministries Boys Night/Girls Night

Bradford Park Ministries serves at-risk youth in rural Appalachia who face social and cultural barriers. They will use ECRS’ contribution to support their Boys Night/Girls Night internship program for 9th and 10th graders. The internship helps youth discover passions, gain skills, stay out of trouble, and develop their potential to become greater assets in the community.

Fall 2019 Recipient: Hospitality House

Hospitality House is on a mission to rebuild lives and strengthen the community by providing a safe, nurturing, healthy environment for individuals and families experiencing homelessness and poverty-related crisis. They’re seeking to expand their food pantry operation, which currently assists more than 13,000 individuals who struggle with food insecurity. The average food box provided by Hospitality House serves families with about three day’s worth of food; they hope to extend that to six days. Hospitality House will put grant money toward the expansion of their existing Food Pantry.

Founder’s Gift: The Jason Project, Inc. / “The Grandfather Challenge”

The Jason Project administers a unique hiking program at Grandfather Mountain. Youth who suffer from mental and/or addiction disorders are able to build self-confidence and resiliency by completing “The Grandfather Challenge.” This program features four major hikes during a four-week duration. At the end of the challenge, youth accomplishments are recognized at a special Awards Dinner in their honor. A Founder’s Gift from ECRS’ Founder and CEO Pete Catoe, will be used to fund this program directly.

ECRS has long been active in the Boone community, creating jobs, offering educational opportunities to students, and contributing to local causes. The 2019 Community Grant Program is an extension of ECRS’ mission to improve lives in their home community.

The application process for next year’s program will begin in early 2020. Recipients will be selected and notified by Spring of 2020.

For more information about ECRS’ Philanthropic activities, go to: https://www.ecrs.com/go/philanthropy/