Haywood Community College Foundation recently received a $20,000 People in Need grant from The Community Foundation of Western North Carolina. The funds will supplement The HCC Cares/Lavender Fund to provide emergency assistance to HCC students.

This fund provides assistance to overcome a crisis involving food, transportation, housing, utilities, or childcare. It provides grocery gift cards to students facing food insecurity, allowing them to purchase nutritious foods that keep them healthy and focused on their studies. In addition, it can pay for unexpected car repair bills or gas cards that mitigate travel to campus to attend classes. It can also help a student-parent place his/her child in childcare while attending classes.

Funding from the People in Need Grant helps the HCC Foundation provide these services to remove barriers and benefit students directly. When students of limited financial means encounter an unforeseen issue, with no savings available, it can be difficult for them to overcome the crisis. It oftentimes will negatively affect their ability to attend classes and stay on track to graduate. Without higher education credentials, finding a job that pays a family-sustaining wage can be challenging.

According to Pam Hardin, HCC Director of Institutional Advancement, “Students are not able to focus on their education unless their basic needs of food, shelter, and transportation are first met. Receiving this grant will make an impactful difference to the lives of these students, especially in the midst of a pandemic.”

The Lavender Fund at HCC was established with a $5,000 challenge gift from an anonymous donor. The campus and community responded by matching the challenge gift. During the 2018-2019 academic year, the Lavender Fund was able to provide more than $13,000 in assistance to forty-five students.

For more information about the HCC Cares/Lavender Fund or how to give to the HCC Foundation, please visit haywood.edu, email pahardin@haywood.edu or call 828-627-4522.