BOONE, N.C. — Kaaren Hayes, director and coordinator of Appalachian State University’s Parent to Parent Family Support Network-High Country (FSN-HC), which is housed within Appalachian’s Reich College of Education, received a total of $45,778 in funding from seven organizations for Parent to Parent FSN-HC programs that support High Country families.
These awarded grants are:
- $1,191 in initial funding and $2,415 in additional funding from High Country United Way for Parent to Parent FSN-HC to provide caregivers with access to accurate, helpful information and support in a caring, compassionate manner. According to Hayes, the funds will be used to continue the core services of Parent to Parent FSN-HC, which include supporting groups and one-on-one support and conversations with caregivers and service providers, as well as helping to provide community workshops.
- $4,000 in funding from the High Country Charitable Foundation Inc. for Parent to Parent FSN-HC to establish a greater presence in Avery County. “The funds will allow Parent to Parent FSN-HC to provide core services to more families in Avery County, and to be more actively involved with service providers, community agencies and programs,” Hayes said.
- $4,000 in funding from The Valle Country Fair. Hayes said Parent to Parent FSN-HC will use these funds to support families who have children with special needs in Avery and Watauga counties.
- $1,500 from Rumple Memorial Presbyterian Church, in Blowing Rock, to provide support for the Sydney Powell Fund for Infants and Children who are Medically Fragile. This fund, according to Parent to Parent FSN-HC, offers financial assistance to families in need who have a child with a serious medical condition.
- $12,725 in funding from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC-Chapel Hill) that will allow Parent to Parent FSN-HC to support various programs designed to help families with children who have special needs. According to Hayes, Parent FSN-HC will use these funds to engage in collaborative activities with organizations and agencies; provide family members with information about local resources and/or disability-related issues individually; provide training workshops for family members who have children with special needs; provide support and crisis response activities to family members on a one-to-one basis; and facilitate support groups.
$10,947 in funding from Vaya Health for Parent to Parent FSN-HC to continue providing Parent Support Group Meetings for families who have children with special needs that meet Child Mental Health Seriously Emotionally Disturbed (CMMED) and Child Mental Health Seriously Emotionally Disturbed (CMSED) target populations, as well as other families of the Vaya Health Northern Region.
For these meetings, Parent to Parent FSN-HC provides childcare services, materials and refreshments to assist in attendance. Hayes said the Wilkes Support Group of Parent to Parent FSN-HC will also adopt the “Circles of Parents” model, and staff will provide intensive one-to-one support for 15-20 families. This support includes emotional support, a possible parent match, creative problem solving, locating emergency and other supportive resources, and ways to work collaboratively with schools and service providers.
- $9,000 in funding from The Health Foundation Inc. as matching funds for the seventh annual Spooky Duke Race and Costume Contest. The Halloween-themed fundraising and awareness raising event is a USA Track & Field (USATF)-certified 5K and 10K race with a free costume march and contest where children, adults and pets can all show off their unique costumes and share in the fun. The proceeds from the event benefit the work of Parent to Parent FSN-HC.
Various Appalachian students will be involved in these projects through internships and service-learning opportunities with Parent to Parent FSN-HC.
About Parent to Parent Family Support Network-High Country
Parent to Parent Family Support Network-High Country (FSN-HC) provides free support, caring connections, information and hope to families who have a premature baby, a child with a disability, an emotional or behavioral challenge, a mental illness or a chronic health condition, and to families who are grieving the death of a child. The program serves seven counties in Western North Carolina: Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Mitchell, Watauga, Wilkes and Yancey. Parent to Parent FSN-HC provides information and tools to help families see the possibilities for their children and turn that potential into reality. Learn more at https://parent2parent.appstate.edu.
About the Reich College of Education
Appalachian State University offers one of the largest undergraduate teacher preparation programs in North Carolina, graduating about 500 teachers a year. The Reich College of Education enrolls more than 2,000 students in its bachelor's, master's, education specialist and doctoral degree programs. With so many teacher education graduates working in the state, there is at least one RCOE graduate teaching in every county in North Carolina. Learn more at https://rcoe.appstate.edu.
About Appalachian State University
As the premier public undergraduate institution in the Southeast, Appalachian State University prepares students to lead purposeful lives as global citizens who understand and engage their responsibilities in creating a sustainable future for all. The Appalachian Experience promotes a spirit of inclusion that brings people together in inspiring ways to acquire and create knowledge, to grow holistically, to act with passion and determination, and to embrace diversity and difference. Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Appalachian is one of 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina System. Appalachian enrolls nearly 21,000 students, has a low student-to-faculty ratio and offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate majors.
About High Country United Way
High Country United Way is a community-based, nonprofit organization that develops human and financial resources to improve the quality of life of individuals of all ages in the High Country. The organization focuses on addressing critical needs, including basic needs such as food, clothing, shelter, medicine, fuel and more, as well as helping children and youth achieve their potential through access to education. Additionally, High Country United Way promotes ways to achieve better health and helps families and individuals reach financial stability and independence.
About High Country Charitable Foundation Inc.
The High Country Charitable Foundation Inc. is a nonprofit organization with a vision to help the Avery County, North Carolina, community by providing for neighbors and animals in need. The foundation does this by supporting local public charities and other private foundations.
About the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC-Chapel Hill)
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the nation’s first public university, is a global higher education leader known for innovative teaching, research and public service. Situated in the beautiful college town of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, UNC-Chapel Hill has earned a reputation as one of the best universities in the world. A member of the prestigious Association of American Universities, UNC-Chapel Hill regularly ranks as the best value for academic quality in U.S. public higher education.
About The Health Foundation Inc.
The Heath Foundation Inc. is a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the health and wellness of citizens in Wilkes County, North Carolina. The organization is committed to community engagement, health equity and addressing social determinants of health using a systems approach. Contributions to the foundation are invested in programs that promote health care through several projects, including a scholarship program for students entering health care fields, the renovation of the OB/GYN family center at Wilkes Regional Medical Center and the expansion of West Park, a medical park.
About Vaya Health
Vaya Health, headquartered in Asheville, North Carolina, is a public manager of care for individuals facing challenges with mental illness, substance use and/or intellectual/developmental disabilities (I/DD). The organization’s goal is to successfully evolve in the health care system by embracing innovation, adapting to a changing environment and maximizing resources for the long-term benefit of the people and communities it serves.
What do you think?
Share your feedback on this story.