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CFF Awards $4.5 Million to 44 Local Nonprofits
Projects target elder care, wellness and youth development

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Representatives from Basics Christian Ministries Inc., Chase Corner United Methodist Ministries, City of Saluda, Dreaming Stone Arts and Ecology Center, Family Resources of Rutherford County, The Foundation for St. Luke's Hospital, Grahamtown Team, Hickory Nut Gorge Olympiad, Hickory Nut Gorge Outreach, Higher Academia Corporation, Isothermal Community College Foundation

Forest City, N.C. - June 28, 2023 - The Carolina Foothills Foundation (CFF) awarded $4.5 million in grants to 44 nonprofit organizations in Polk and Rutherford counties on June 27, 2023, as part of the foundation’s inaugural grant cycle. 


“Our foundation’s volunteer board members spent many hours carefully considering all of the proposals in this grant cycle, and we are all grateful for their diligence. It was evident from reading the many proposals that there are significant needs and challenges that these nonprofits are meeting daily,” said CFF President & CEO Rita Burch.


Per the grant criteria, the selected nonprofits must focus on the areas of elder care, wellness, and/or youth development. Of the 50 grants awarded to 44 organizations in Polk and Rutherford counties, 59% of the funds will serve the elderly, including CFF’s Carolina Foothills Eldercare. Youth development grants totaled 12% of overall funds awarded and wellness grants totaled 29%.


“We are very proud to partner with these organizations in their missions and we look forward to hearing about the impact these funds have in our communities,” added Burch.

Representatives from KidSenses, Mosaic Hope, New Beginning Soup Kitchen, Out of the Ashes, Pavillon Addiction Treatment Center, Pilgrims Pathway House of Refuge, Pisgah Legal Services, Polk County Council on Aging, Polk County Film Initiative, Polk County Public Libraries, Polk County YMCA

The nonprofit recipients are as follows:

  1. Basics Christian Ministries Inc.: $20,000 for food purchases and related costs 2023

  2. Blue Ridge Hope: $20,000 for HopeWorks

  3. Carolina Foothills Eldercare: $2,000,000 for elder care in both counties

  4. Chase Corner United Methodist Ministries: $78,519.35 for building updates

  5. City of Saluda, NC: $200,000 for an outdoor educational facility

  6. Dreaming Stone Arts and Ecology Center: $10,000 for bridging equity gaps in access to youth programs

  7. Family Resources of Rutherford County Inc.: $16,795 for Path shelter heating and air

  8. The Foundation for St. Luke's Hospital: $19,965 for creating access to preventative cardiac disease detection to reduce heart attacks and strokes in rural Polk & Rutherford County.

  9. Grahamtown Team: $120,000 for Grahamtown community programs

  10. Hickory Nut Gorge Olympiad: $5,000 for the Lake Lure Olympiad

  11. Hickory Nut Gorge Outreach Inc.: $48,000 for social services financial support

  12. Higher Academia Corporation: $25,000 for Polk County Community Learning Center

  13. Isothermal Community College Foundation Inc.: $15,000 for Patriot's Journey Summer Bridge Program

  14. KidSenses Children’s Interactive Museum: $29,500 for 2023-2024 Fantastic Fridays with the Be Smart, Eat Smart Program

  15. Leaders & Entrepreneurs for the Advancement & Promotion of Girls: $22,000 for LEAP projects and programs

Representatives from Rutherford County Habitat for Humanity, Rutherford County Public Libraries, Rutherford County Schools Education Foundation, Rutherford County Sheriff's Office, Rutherford Life Services, Rutherford Outdoor Coalition, Safe Kids Rutherford County, The Source Ministries/The Source Outreach Center, South Mountain Christian Youth Camp, Thermal Belt Outreach Ministry

16. Mosaic Hope: $10,000 for Rutherford County TBRI® Collaborative

17. New Beginning Soup Kitchen: $15,000 to provide meals to those in need

18. Out of the Ashes Inc.: $200,000 for program and operational support

19. Pavillon Addiction Treatment Center: $21,000 for Self-Care Retreat Series on Burnout for Healthcare and

      Education Workers

20. Pilgrims Pathway House of Refuge: $50,000 for new transportation and storage expansion

21. Pisgah Legal Services: $10,000 for healthcare and income security; $10,000 for Children's Law Program; 

     $40,000 for Elder Law Program

22. Polk County Council on Aging Inc.: $70,000 for Meals on Wheels funding

23. Polk County Film Initiative: $24,040 for Media Arts on the Move

24. Polk County Public Libraries: $16,500 for bridging the food insecurity gap

25. Polk County YMCA: $10,000 for Polk County YMCA youth programs financial assistance

26. Rutherford County Habitat for Humanity, Inc.: $125,000 for senior housing

27. Rutherford County Public Libraries: $18,716.40 for timely information; $50,000 for bookmobile to fully outfit the mobile library

28. Rutherford County Schools Education Foundation, Inc.: $22,500 for kitchen kits

29. Rutherford County Sheriff's Office: $50,000 for STAR Program Camp

30. Rutherford Life Services Inc.: $175,000 for health and recreation center; $31,895 for Polk County Adult


Representatives from Carolina Foothills Eldercare, Together Each Achieves More NC (TeamNC), Town of Forest City, Town of Rutherfordton, Tryon Seventh-Day Adventist Church, U & I Enrichment Center, Union Mills Learning Center, Unity in the Community, Washburn Community Outreach Center, Yokefellow Service Center

31. Rutherford Outdoor Coalition: $67,500 for outdoor adventure programs for youth and seniors

32. Safe Kids Rutherford County Inc.: $26,000 for traumatic injury prevention and education

33. The Source Ministries/The Source Outreach Center: $10,000 for community outreach and youth programs

34. South Mountain Christian Youth Camp: $49,100 for Joy Center roof and skylight repairs

35. Thermal Belt Outreach Ministry: $25,000 for quality-of-life enhancements for Polk County's most

      vulnerable residents

36. Together Each Achieves More NC (TeamNC): $10,000 for TEAM NC Tutoring Program; $47872.92 for

      Franklin Covey - 7 Habits of Highly Effective TEENS - Jim Clements - Director of Educational Youth

      Impact; $14,000 for Ramsey Education - Foundations in Personal Finance - High School edition

37. Town of Forest City: $5,000 for Forest City Parks and Recreation youth activities; $250,000 for Forest City

      Park Square Depot; $33,300 for Forest City Parks and Recreation Active Seniors

38. Town of Rutherfordton: $250,000 for Norris Recreation Complex Phase 1

39. Tryon Seventh-Day Adventist Church: $15,000 for Share Thy Bread Food Pantry

40. U & I Enrichment Center: $5,000 for community re-entry

41. Union Mills Learning Center, Inc.: $30,000 for CFF/UMLC Elder Adult/Youth/Wellness Program

42. Unity in the Community: $25,000 for Senior Citizen Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Delivery Program

43. Washburn Community Outreach Center: $15,000 for mobile food truck and local food purchases support

44. Yokefellow Service Center, Inc.: $35,000 for Generations


About the Carolina Foothills Foundation

The Carolina Foothills Foundation (CFF) is a community-based, 501c(3) charitable organization that provides funds and other support to meet the many health challenges that face people in Rutherford and Polk Counties. We provide direct support and empower carefully selected non-profits to impact individual and community wellness in the areas we serve, which are elder care, youth development, and wellness. Learn more at or call 828-222-4350.



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