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  • Writer's pictureDiocese of WNC

Grant Help Supports Young Women's Health in Morganton

The Mission & Outreach team at Grace Episcopal Church, Morganton has been granted a much-needed boost in their effort to improve the menstrual health of young women in our community.

The Burke Women's Fund at the Community Foundation of Burke County, a charitable organization dedicated to empowering and supporting women in Burke County, awarded a generous $5,000 grant to the church's outreach program. The grant will predominantly be used to provide feminine hygiene products to young women through Burke United Christian ministries, as well as through local middle and high schools.

This will uphold the dignity of women experiencing ‘period poverty,’ a term denoting lack of access to menstrual hygiene products. The initial funds will provide for 600 feminine hygiene bags and 1,200 pairs of undergarments that will be distributed to women, and especially young women, in the community.

Lack of access to menstrual hygiene products not only adversely impacts the physical well-being of women and girls but can also result in increased absences from work and school, reduced self-esteem, and limited academic opportunities.

Dakota Duncan, a 7th-grade teacher at Table Rock Middle School and member of the Grace Mission & Outreach team, said, "A number of my students come to me often to ask if they can get hygiene products from friends or counselors. This is a basic need, which, not secured, can reduce their classroom instruction time by several hours each year. I can only imagine the courage required to ask for this kind of help in the middle of a school day, which is why I am glad to play a small part in this effort to empower young women to fully access their education."

Grace Episcopal Church and the Burke Women's Fund recognize the urgency of addressing this issue and seek to bring about change through this new partnership.

In the award grant letter sent to the Grace Episcopal Mission & Outreach team, Nancy Taylor, president and CEO of the Burke Women's Fund stated that she looks forward to a continuing partnership. The grant from the Burke Women's Fund will empower the Grace Episcopal Church Mission & Outreach team to establish a sustainable program that ensures a consistent supply of feminine care products to young women in the greater Morganton area.

The team has closely coordinated their efforts with local school counselors to identify the specific needs and tailor their support accordingly. Local educators have praised the Burke Women's Fund for its vision and commitment to uplifting women in the community.

The Burke Women's Fund, created in 2009, has been an instrumental force in supporting women's causes in Burke County. Since its inception, the fund has awarded over $370,000 to local nonprofits that support local women and their families. The organization has previously funded projects related to health, education, economic empowerment, and leadership development for women across all age groups.

Trish Keene and Kathy Peters, who worked together to spearhead the effort for the Grace Mission team, have expressed incredible gratitude both for the initial grant and for the additional ideas and funding it has garnered along its way.

Kathy is especially excited about the fact each bag will contain a personal note of encouragement from a caring member of the community. Trish, for her part, is dedicated to upholding the dignity of women in the community and looks forward to the future potential of the initiative. Both ladies are looking forward to providing educational resources and conversation spaces to reduce the social stigma around period poverty and ensure that all women have their basic health needs met.

The Rev. Dr. Marshall Jolly, Rector of Grace Episcopal Church, applauded the creative solution and the leadership of the Mission & Outreach Committee, saying, “This is what serving others as Christ serves us is all about.”

As the Grace Episcopal Church Mission & Outreach team begins to implement the project, the community is anticipating positive changes and enhanced community participation and involvement. With the support of the Burke Women's Fund, many local citizens are determined to make a significant difference in the lives of women.


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