• Laurel Contributor

Foundation Awards Grants

by Luke Osteen

he $1.2 million in grants awarded by the Highlands Cashiers Health Foundation is a bonanza for local nonprofits serving the Plateau (and beyond).

The Highlands Cashiers Health Foundation has awarded grants totaling $1,287,260 to area non-profits and organizations.

Programs and Grants Committee Chair Stephanie Edwards began the committee soon after being appointed by Board Chair Dr. Walter Clark in early March. The committee is comprised of four board members and three community advisory members representing communities across the Highlands and Cashiers area.

“We are fortunate to have the talents of this dedicated committee who devoted extensive time and effort reviewing, scoring and evaluating the grant applications,” said Dr. Clark.

The committee identified four focus areas for grant funding: Access to Healthcare, Education, Economic Stability and Community Vitality. Grant workshops were conducted, and the first grant cycle opened May 15.

“The committee dedicated more than 1000 collective hours of intense analysis of each of the applications in a detailed grant review process that ensured accuracy, integrity, and transparency throughout consideration,” said Ms. Edwards.

Selected projects spanned all ages from early childhood to-end of-life care; and addressed a wide spectrum of solutions from on-site school nurses and social workers to equipment and technology upgrades, as well as capital improvements and critical support for our indigent population.

Health and Access to Healthcare - $488,220

Blue Ridge Free Dental Clinic – To support and strengthen dental health services for low-income and uninsured patients;

Cashiers Glenville Fire Department – To support the health of our fire fighters through new air pack replacements;

Clay County Public Health Department – To strengthen community emergency transport services by providing state of the art ambulance equipment, including automated CPR devices;

Community Care Clinic of Franklin – To support primary care services for low-income and uninsured patients;

Community Care Clinic of Highlands-Cashiers – To develop a program for access to diagnostic imaging, lab and other outpatient testing services recommended by the clinic’s medical professionals for low income and uninsured patients;

Counseling and Psychotherapy Center of Highlands – To expand capacity and increase access to critically needed behavioral health services;

Macon County EMS – To strengthen community emergency transport services by providing state of the art ambulance equipment, including automated CPR devices;

REACH of Macon County – To support Behavioral Health Therapy for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault;

and Vecino’s Farmworker Health Program - To provide a new mobile health services clinic for indigent and uninsured migrant farmworkers.

Education - $433,000

Advance Highlands Education Commission – To support immediate technology needs at Highlands School;

Blue Ridge School Education Foundation – To support school-based health through an onsite school nurse and social worker dedicated to serving the children and families of the Blue Ridge School District;

Cashiers Valley Preschool – To expand capacity to serve additional children ages 1-3 on the waiting list;

Hampton Preschool and Early Learning Center – To support recruitment and retention of educationally qualified teachers;

Highlands Community Child Development Center – To improve facilities for safe and healthy outdoor activities;

Southwestern Community College – To support student nurse training in a high technology simulation laboratory;

Summit Charter School – To support school-based health through an onsite school nurse dedicated to serving the children and families of the Summit Charter School;

Community Vitality and Economic Stability – $366,040;

AWAKE, Inc. – To support specialized medical examinations for child abuse victims;

Boys and Girls Club of the Plateau – To provide unrestricted operating support;

Cashiers Big Brothers Big Sisters – To strengthen the program through funding support for a full-time coordinator;

Fishes and Loaves Food Pantry – To support facility expansion and improvement;

HIGHTS – To expand the Inside Out program’s capacity to serve additional at-risk, vulnerable youth in Macon and Jackson Counties.

Hospice House Foundation of WNC – To support end-of-life care through completion of the hospice inpatient facility in Franklin;

International Friendship Center/Highlands Food Pantry – To develop support for vulnerable families through translation, programming and referrals to critically needed services;

The Literacy Council – To support the capital campaign to expand services through renovations and furnishings at their new location;

and The Peggy Crosby Center – To support facility improvements for handicapped accessibility.

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