Mountain Projects, a Community Action Agency (CAA) headquartered in Waynesville, has launched its Holiday Emergency Fund Campaign. Mostly focused in Haywood and Jackson counties with some involvement further west, the organization operates 21 programs, from affordable housing and Head Start for young children to resource support and public transportation for seniors. “Our programs change lives for the better, embody the spirit of hope and community, and make our communities better places to live,” says Mountain Projects executive director Patsy Davis.
The Community Action Program was founded in 1964 by the Economic Opportunity Act. Mountain Projects was founded as a CAA in 1965 and now boasts 145 employees. While most of the organization’s broader initiatives are grant-funded, versatile, discretionary funds are required for smaller, community-centered emergencies. “We receive as many as a dozen emergency requests each day, particularly during winter months,” says Davis. “Many Mountain Projects clients work hard to transform their struggles into stability, but it’s often life’s emergencies that knock them off their paths. We’re able to keep small emergencies from becoming larger crises, but to do so we reach out to the mountain community for support, each holiday season.”
Some ways these funds are used include the purchase of heaters, blankets, winter clothing and food boxes, and sometimes assistance with heating bills. “These kindnesses can shape the next steps in a community member’s life, towards stability or achieving life goals after being set back in ways that many of us can’t imagine,” says Davis.
Learn more about the organization or donate at MountainProjects.org.