Caterpillar Foundation Helps Make Academic Enrichment Program Possible

Posted by: swright 5 years, 1 month ago

The Caterpillar Foundation recently awarded a grant of $3,450 to Southmountain Children and Family Services to support a new academic enrichment program that began on campus this fall. “Imagine Miracles!” supports the academic success of elementary school children in the Foster Care Community by providing customized tutoring based on a nationally recognized educational program. Students participating will experience a love of learning and improved self-esteem as they become successful at school.

Founded in 1952, Caterpillar's philanthropic organization, the Caterpillar Foundation has contributed more than $600 million to help make sustainable progress possible around the world by providing program support in the areas of environmental sustainability, access to education and basic human needs. To learn more about the global impact of the Caterpillar Foundation, please visit

People In Need Grant Supports Much Needed Service

Posted by: swright 5 years, 1 month ago

Southmountain Children and Family Services was thrilled to learn the news that we have been awarded a People in Need Grant, with funding provided by a grant from The Community Foundation of Western North Carolina. The grant for $17,864 will support Southmountain’s new Crisis Bed service.
Southmountain has been aware of an immediate and critical need of children who have been removed from the home due to abuse and neglect when no placement can be found, and children have nowhere to go. These children have been sleeping on couches at their local Department of Social Services until placement can be found. This arrangement can continue for days for some children.
Southmountain recently began a “Crisis Bed” program to meet this need. We have converted an apartment on our Foster Community campus into an emergency, short term residential service and are accepting children from counties across Western North Carolina who need short term residence. The grant will help fund the salary of a Crisis Bed/Respite worker to provide care for these children.
The Community Foundation is a nonprofit serving eighteen counties in Western North Carolina. The Foundation is a permanent regional resource that facilitates more than $14 million in charitable giving annually. CFWNC inspires philanthropy and mobilizes resources to enrich lives and communities in Western North Carolina. More information can be found

Playground Dedicated to the Memory of Jon Jones

Posted by: swright 5 years, 1 month ago

Southmountain Children and Family Services recently honored the memory of long-time Trustee Jon Jones of Valdese by dedicating the new playground on the campus of Southmountain’s Foster Community in his name. Mr. Jones served on the Board of Trustees of Southmountain for nearly three decades. For much of that time, he served as Vice Chairman of the Board.
As an attorney and District Court Judge, Mr. Jones' knowledge and experience provided him with a unique perspective upon which to build his personal volunteer service. That knowledge and experience proved to be invaluable throughout his time on the Board of Southmountain. "Jon's personal experiences on the bench gave him a unique perspective that helped us to grow and improve Southmountain’s programs for children and families," said Executive Director Chris Jernigan. "He was a big proponent of the Residential Care Program of Southmountain and was instrumental in changing it into to the one-of-a-kind 'Foster Community' it is today." Mr. Jones was also a very strong advocate for Southmountain’s movement towards establishing four Children’s Advocacy Centers and Clinical Centers of Excellence serving Burke, McDowell, Yancey, Mitchell, Watauga and Avery Counties. "As a Judge, Jon saw firsthand how child abuse investigations can create additional trauma for children who are already traumatized by abuse," said Jernigan. Children’s Advocacy Centers help to reduce that trauma by creating a multidisciplinary approach among investigative agencies and by conducting interviews and medical examinations of children in a less threatening environment.
“Jon’s wisdom, dedication and guidance is greatly missed on our board,” said Board Chair Bill Brinkley, himself recently honored for his long-time service on the Board. "He was always our 'go to' guy when we needed legal advice or help in understanding the importance of our programs within the system." The new playground in the Foster Community was made possible in part by Morganton Savings Bank who was more than happy to see Jon's name go on it. “We are very grateful to Morganton Savings Bank for their generosity in building this beautiful playground for our children,” said Jernigan. "Like Jon, they have always been a strong supporter of our programs and our children." Jernigan and Brinkley both expressed their personal loss in the death of Jon Jones. "I will always be grateful for Jon's service and his friendship," said Brinkley. Jernigan echoed those sentiments. “ I am so thankful for his support, guidance, and friendship. He was always there for the children and families as well as for me personally. He made a tough job a lot easier throughout my 26 years."

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