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Gateway Wellness announces grant recipients for McDowell, three other counties

Gateway Wellness announces grant recipients for McDowell, three other counties

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The Gateway Wellness Foundation has announced its grant recipients and the impact of its funding at the close of its 2021 grant cycle.

With a focus on grant making, leverage funding and collaborative strategic initiatives, Gateway Wellness Foundation mobilizes more than $30 million in funding and economic activity in the region to date.

Headquartered in Marion, Gateway strives to facilitate improved health and wellness for the residents of Burke, McDowell, Polk and Rutherford counties. From Aug. 1 until Aug. 31, the Foundation invited grant requests centered on access to care, childhood development, education, food insecurity, housing and other issues that impact wellbeing, according to a news release.

A total of 57 applications were submitted, totaling more than $2 million in requests for projects serving communities in all four counties that Gateway supports. Gateway’s Board prioritizes the decision-making process for grant funding as a special and important responsibility. Because of this, board members spent a great deal of time learning, understanding, and acknowledging the issues that grant applicants brought to the table, while focusing on solutions.

After much debate and discussion, the board granted 27 awards ranging from $2,000 to $49,000, allocating a grand total of $500,000 in support for the region. The funding was distributed evenly amongst projects serving Burke, McDowell, Polk and Rutherford counties, with 33% going to access to health care, 19% to food insecurity, 19% to childhood development, 7% to education and 7% to special projects.

Award recipients include:

Abounding Grace Ministry

Basics Christian Ministries

Burke County United Way

CareNet Counseling Services

McDowell Access to Care and Health (MATCH)

Community Health Council of Rutherford County

Crossnore Communities for Children

Enola Group, Inc.

Freedom Life

Henderson County Habitat for Humanity

Historic Carson House

House of Refuge Ministries

Housing Assistance Corporation

The Hub

MANNA Food Bank

McDowell County EMS

McDowell County Schools

Meeting Place One

New Dimensions School

PANGAEA Internet

Pregnancy Care Center of Burke County

Saluda Pop-Up Pantry

South Mountain Christian Camp

St. John’s Episcopal Church Community Garden

St. Luke’s Hospital, Inc.

Steps to H.O.P.E., Inc.

Yokefellow Service Center, Inc.

Leverage fund

In addition to grant funding, Gateway partners with Dogwood Health Trust on the Leverage Fund. Via this program, the two organizations commit financial resources and staff to identifying grant opportunities for local government organizations, municipalities, and nonprofits, then providing professional grant writers, free of charge, to apply for funding. The sole purpose of the Leverage Fund is to bring federal, state, and private grant dollars into western North Carolina.

In partnership with Dogwood Health Trust, to date Gateway Wellness Foundation has provided consultations and/or grant writers to 24 local organizations, resulting in nearly $6,000,000 in new grant funding for the region, according to the news release.

Collaborative strategic initiatives

As its third component of regional support, Gateway’s collaborative strategic initiatives build partnerships with other grant making foundations, nonprofits and city and county leaders to develop strategies for large initiatives, where working together achieves more impactful outcomes for the four counties it serves.

These strategic initiatives are focused primarily on increasing the stock of affordable housing in the region and will generate more than $20 million in economic activity. There are multiple projects currently underway, and without exception each project is characterized by community organizations that demonstrate truly exceptional teamwork.

The most recent partnership is with the city of Marion who generously donated land in West Marion to be used to build an affordable house. Gateway uses modular construction methods, and the house was placed on its new foundation this month. Final touch ups are underway, and it is hoped to be all wrapped up with a bow by Christmas, ready for a new homeowner early in the new year. Anyone earning $14 an hour or more, up to a maximum of $48,000 a year can apply to Gateway to get qualified for a USDA loan. No down payment is needed, and the mortgage should be around $700 a month. Contact Angela at for more information.

The board of Gateway Wellness Foundation is committed to its three-pronged approach to serving the people of this region. Through grant making, leverage funding, and collaborative strategic initiatives, it holds fast to the idea that obstacles can be overcome with support, collaboration, and perseverance, according to the news release.

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