The AMY Wellness Foundation launched its year-round funding opportunities in May and organizations are already starting to receive support.

The Foundation, so far, has received applications from organizations requesting COVID-19 Relief, Family Resilience, and Capacity Building support. “Our Foundation recognized the need to transform the funding areas and time frame in which organizations would receive funds,” said Luke Howe, Executive Director. “We held several community-wide meetings before the pandemic that helped shape our new grant framework funding areas and allow organizations to apply for funding when they need it most. It also enabled our organization to review and approve funding at a quicker pace to ensure the organization’s needs were met promptly.”

Through the new funding areas, designed to cast a wider net to reach more organizations, the Foundation is excited to have new community partners that did not apply in our 2019 cycle. Yancey County Schools received Family Resilience support to provide a comprehensive Mental Health program within the school system. “Mental and behavioral wellness is directly linked to overall positive student achievement, school climate, high school graduation rates, and the prevention of risky behaviors, disciplinary incidents, and substance abuse,” said Kristin Buchanan, School Social Worker. “Currently, mental health and substance use services across Yancey County Schools are fragmented, reactive, or non-existent. Too often, mental health and substance use needs are not addressed until the student and family are in crisis and academic progress is impacted. Through this grant, the school will be able to provide a continuum of mental health and substance use support necessary for all students to be fully engaged in the learning process.”

Other grantees included Hospice and Palliative Care of Blue Ridge, Neighbors Feeding Neighbors, and Mitchell Community Health Partnership. All organizations received COVID-19 Rapid Relief funding to support the growing needs of the people they serve due to unforeseen circumstances of the virus. “The Foundation Board was impressed with the level of thought and planning that went into each application to quickly address the growing needs of the community,” said Howe.

Additionally, the Foundation approved funding to support MY Neighbors and Williams YMCA of Avery County application for Capacity Building. The YMCA has shifted its programming to be more aligned with today’s climate of social distancing while still supporting health and wellness. “We are now planning for beginning the group exercise offerings outdoors, safely opening-up the Aquatics Center, virtual Evidence-Based Health Intervention (EBHI) programming and beginning Summer Camp,” said Trey Oakley, CEO. “To do that we needed the support to rebuild our capacity to meet new safety recommendations, retrain and rehire staff and adjust some of our programs.”

“The programs organizations were seeking funding for were all identified as community needs and we are proud to partner with each of these organizations on the great work they are doing to support our mountain communities,” said Howe.

Details on AMY Wellness Foundation funding opportunities and how to apply can be found on the AMY website. Visit


Grants May-June Totals:

Capacity Building – $80,000

COVID Relief – $80,000

Family Resilience – $75,000

Watch our 2020 Grant Video 

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