Cullasaja Women’s Outreach recently visited the Highlands Emergency Council and dropped off several carloads of paper products including towels, tissue, and diapers.
“Paper products are always in need,” said HEC’s Coordinator of Grants, Programs, and Projects Mary Anne Cresswell. “It is so wonderful to have these things on hand, even diapers for new babies.”
HEC’s mission is to assist low-income residents in the area, including senior citizens, young families, single-parent families, those without a job, and disaster victims. There are no paid staff and HEC functions solely on donations and grants.
Creswell said CWO has supported HEC’s mission since they reached out over 10 years ago asking how to they could help.
“They’ve seen what we do, and they approve of it,” said Cresswell. “And they’ve helped support us ever since.”
CWO Members Dawn Van Fleet and Lindy Harrison dropped off the supplies and said at this year’s welcome meeting the Club choses a charity to help support and this year chose HEC.
“It feels good to give back and participate in the community we live in,” said Fleet. “There’s so much to enjoy living in the mountains and it hurts to see people in need. Mary Anne said they needed paper products and we were happy to help.”
This is but a fraction of the support CEO gives to charities throughout the Plateau.
Last year CWO awarded over $240,000 in grants to nonprofits in Highlands and Cashiers. Past recipients include Boys and Girls Club of the Plateau, Cashiers-Highlands Humane Society, Fishes & Loaves Food Pantry, and The Literacy & Learning Center.
Harrison said all of the money goes to a nonprofit after a rigorous vetting process.
“We are merely stewards of the donations,” said Harrison. “The Club donates and the grants Committee awards the grants in full. We are so blessed to live in the mountains, but these nonprofits need our help.”
The vetting process includes grant applications, site visits of all applicants, reports, and presentations to the Club before a grant is awarded, said Fleet.
TL&LC Board Member Jane Jerry said it’s an honor when TL&LC is chosen as a CWO grant recipient.
“I’ve been associated with several organizations that have received funding from CWO. We always felt so proud to get a grant letter because CWO provides the quintessential ‘stamp of approval’ from an extremely professional funder,” said Jerry. “After filling out the grant application and hosting a site visit by CWO members, we always learned something new and appreciated having taken a moment to take stock of our accomplishments. The CWO truly is a partner in our success and we are grateful to all the women, and their husbands, who support us with their time, treasure, and enthusiasm.”
Highlands Emergency Council is located at 91 Poplar Street. Visit HEC’s FaceBook page HERE for more information or call 828.526.4357.
Pictured at the top of the article from left are Lindy Harrison and Dawn Van Fleet dropping off paper supplies to the Highlands Emergency Council on June 1.