Wee Kirk Outreach
Approximately 90% of our gifts and offerings go to our Outreach Program, focusing on serving the neediest children and families in Avery County. Our “Neediest Kids” Outreach Program continues to serve an urgent and growing need in Avery County, still one of the poorest counties in North Carolina. The original focus of the program was through the public school system but now has been expanded to other organizations that enables us to assist young people who, through no fault of their own, need assistance in reaching for their full potential. We continue to be impressed with the way in which all of our partners determine the needs, handle the expenditures and report back to us all on a confidential and as-needed basis. Individual needs are always sudden and unexpected, and working arrangements with these groups and agencies enable the Wee Kirk to work behind the scenes so we can respond quickly.
You can be certain that your financial gifts to the Wee Kirk “Neediest Kids” Outreach Program are being put to very good use, efficiently, and for deserving cases where other assistance options simply are not available or cannot be addressed in a timely manner.
We thank all of our members for their continued generous support of Wee Kirk and its mission in Avery County.
Wee Kirk Outreach Partners 2022
Avery County Schools
The school system provides quick response to needs of students. Including:
Clothing, particularly in the winter months. As fast as kids grow, many parents cannot afford new jackets and shoes each new school year.
Assist in medical expenses, vision care, dental care, personal hygiene and asthma and diabetic supplies and some Doctor’s visits. Also helps provide general medical supplies in each school.
Tutoring in Math and English is available to all students.
Transportation needs as well as help during the winter months with heating bills.
Avery County Schools provide a hands on relationship with all children in the county. They maintain the “Scottie Bus” (Supporting Children’s Opportunity Through Technology Innovation Education). A mobile Pre-k classroom with state endorsed Pre-K literacy classroom programs is offered to young children 3 and 4 years that are not enrolled in a Pre-K program. The Scottie Bus is a converted school bus designed to go where these pre K kids are on a weekly predetermined schedule.
Volunteer Avery County
Volunteer Avery principal effort is to match volunteers with opportunities to help in the community. Individuals and groups are linked to service projects that interest them and meets the needs in the area.
Our Outreach funds provide VAC the resources to aid families that do not qualify or have exhausted all other public assistance. Fuel bills, transportation, medical needs and clothing are just some of the emergency needs they provide. Local DSS personal have describes VAC as a “safety net” in Avery County. They service approximately 1,100 families with formula, diapers and food.
Our Outreach Support to the YMCA covers the SPLASH program which teaches all Kindergarten and 2nd graders, including home schooled, to swim. This program does not require YMCA membership. Kindergarten kids are taught not to panic and be able to blow bubbles and float on their back. Sounds easy but not so for 4-5 year olds. Second graders are taught basic water safety and principals of swim strokes and must pass a swim test, 25 yards, and tread water for 1 minute. Also 2nd graders are taught to put on a life jacket and using a paddle to propel an inflatable boat down and back in the pool.
Wonderful Opportunities Waiting is a summer camp program run by the County 4H. It runs from the time school is out until school returns in August with approximately 75 kids participating. Transportation and 2 meals a day are provided. They charge a small fee but approximately 67% receive full or partial support. Roughly 98% of the kids served are from working families that are dependent on summer care. They are provide with daily educational programs and ½ day at the Avery County Pool.
Reaching Avery Ministry (RAM)
Reaching Avery Ministry is more than just a esale outlet for donated “stuff”. They operate one of three food banks in Avery County and their “Time for a change” program supplies diapers and formula for many young mothers with babies. Our support goes to their Avery Project Christmas (APC). This program works with other county agencies to provide up to 600 children with a Christmas present they would otherwise not receive.
High Country Caregivers
MIssion Statement; “is to provide advocacy, support, and education for kinship caregivers and their families. Currently the many “foster kids” taken in by relatives, grandparents or aunts and uncles receive no support, monetary or otherwise, from the government as they are not official Foster Parents. HCC works through a variety of programs to improve the lives of these children.
Holston Presbytery Camp and Retreat
Located in Banner Elk, Holston Center provides an outdoor camping experience for kids who otherwise would not be able to afford that opportunity. Through our grant needy kids are identified and sponsered to attend the camp. The 5 day a week camp provides lunch and snacks as well as a devotional each day.
Feeding Avery Families
Feeding Avery Families is dedicated to providing supplemental and nutritional assistance to hungry people in need in Avery County. It is a Christian based organization that is dedicated to Jesus teachings “Feed My Sheep”. Feeding Avery is currently providing food for 1,500 people per month.
Additionally, Feeding Avery has adopted the back pack program for the Avery County Schools. Twice weekly, back packs are provided to those children in the school system who are designated as potentially “food deficient”.
Mayland Community College Wee Kirk awards 4 scholarships annually to needy Avery County High School graduates who otherwise may never have the opportunity to attend college. The awards are determined by collaboration between the guidance counselor at the High School and the Admissions department at Mayland.