Wells Fargo check presentation

A group gathers on Aug. 8 for a check presentation from Wells Fargo to High Country United Way to be given to local nonprofits. Photographed are: Diane Creek, Louise Ham (Blue Ridge Opportunity Commission), High Country United Way Executive Director Marti Phillips, Mark Taggart, Melissa Soto (WAMY), Harley Atkins (Hospitality House’s RISE program), Taylor Vickery (Wells Fargo), Keith Shockley (Wells Fargo), Kate Gavenus, Tina Houston, Nancy Reigel, Tom Hughes, Allen Moseley, Joan Hearn and Susan Stuber.

BOONE — High Country United Way accepted a $52,500 donation from Wells Fargo on Aug. 8 in support of local nonprofits working to end poverty in the High Country.

The purpose of the Wells Fargo funding is to equip low income individuals and families with the tools necessary to break the cycle of poverty and achieve self-sufficiency, according to HCUW. High Country United Way commits 100 percent of the funding received to the work of three nonprofit programs: WAMY’s Total Family Development program serving Watauga, Avery, Mitchell and Yancey counties; Hospitality House’s RISE of the High Country serving Watauga; and Blue Ridge Opportunity Commission’s Family Self Sufficiency serving Ashe and Alleghany counties.

“These programs are instrumental in creating opportunities for economic mobility, and the Wells Fargo investment has the potential to transform future generations in our community,” said Marti Phillips, HCUW executive director, in a statement. “Wells Fargo is proud to support the High Country United Way and their efforts to provide support programs that help alleviate poverty,” said Karen Lambert, the region bank president for Wells Fargo in Western North Carolina. “Working to create a better financial outcome for individuals is one of the most important things we do at Wells Fargo. We want to do our part to help individuals succeed.”

Each of these programs are designed to help individuals and families reach self-sufficiency through focus on the areas of education, employment and life skills and strategies to establish financial stability, according to HCUW. According to American Community Survey data, the poverty rate in High Country counties ranges from 15 to 28 percent, and this funding ensures that local organizations have the resources to service those in need.

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