What does a thriving community look like? And how does it happen? WNC Communities is a strong believer in grassroots initiatives. When neighbors help neighbors, anything is possible. 

The WNC Honors program aims to support community centers spread across 20 of our state's western-most counties. By maintaining this network, we are able to spread resources and information about community best practices, and enable communication between community centers that are located far apart. 

Read below to learn about some of the amazing work done by participating Honors communities:

Local scouts pitching in at Leicester Community Center

Community Impact Higlights

Shiloh community garden

Shiloh Youth Stipend Program

Through the Youth Stipend program, youth in Shiloh can receive quarterly stipends to support the community to grow food at the garden and distribute it in the neighborhood. These youth participated in educational field trips, menu planning, and preparation of meals based on what they have in season at the garden.

Holly Springs Lending Closet

With a grant from Dogwood Health Trust, Holly Springs community development club started a lending closet to provide medical equipment like canes, walkers, wheelchairs, and more. It is one of only a few locations in the area that can take and re-purpose these items from families or organizations who no longer need them.

Holly SPring Medical needs lending closet

Bethel Flood Relief

After Tropical Storm Fred caused detrimental floods to the area, particularly in the areas of Bethel and Cruso along the Pigeon River, the Bethel Rural Community Organization responded. BRCO organized relief and assistance efforts, helping families reach the resources that were needed. This effort was collaborative, with assistance from the Brasstown Community Civic Center, Cowee Community Development Organization, and the Cherokee Community Club Council, which represents all the communities of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.

Balsam Grove Flood Relief

The community building became a central location for collecting supplies and donations in response to Tropical Storm Fred. With outreach from local business, churches, and schools, Balsam Grove volunteers provided daily meals to about a hundred people for two weeks.  Once their needs were no longer dire, they donated the rest of their supplies to the Crusoe community.