Dear Irene Wortham Center Community:
All of us at Irene Wortham Center can't thank you enough for your continued generosity and support throughout the pandemic. If there's anything IWC can do to help you and your loved ones during this time please reach out . The staff have been unyielding in their efforts to keep the consumers safe and we are so grateful to say, with cautious optimism, that we have not had any cases of COVID-19 at our center. Our hearts are with those who have been less fortunate and we realize this is not a time to let our guard down. The community's support has strengthened our resilience and reinforced our ability to continue serving those who are especially vulnerable during this time. Please read below for most recent program updates, golf tournament information, and an exciting opportunity for IWC!
We continue adjusting programs in response to Governor's orders
The Early Learning Center is serving 33 children of parents working essential jobs and will continue caring for children ages 5-12 to help families continue working. In addition to effective drop off and pick up procedures, classrooms are maintaining social distancing and requiring all children older than 2 to wear masks. All staff must wear masks and only 1 staff is allowed in the hallway at a time. The Adult Day Activity Center has opened in Phase II to 10 consumers with 5 staff to allow for adequate care while distancing. There are 53 consumers enrolled at ADA and until the remaining consumers can safely return, ADA staff are helping in the Residential Homes. The 24 Residential consumers continue to do well under strict "stay at home" guidelines and have been enjoying safely getting outside during the nicer weather. The school-aged kids have been staying busy with Zoom learning. Our staff continue to go above and beyond. "I go to work, I go home, and I go to the grocery wearing a mask once every 2 weeks because I don't want to put our consumers at risk," said a Residential Home employee. Even before COVID-19 we were incredibly blessed with dedicated and caring staff and working together during the pandemic has illuminated the spirit of the IWC family. We are thankful to be able to offer either hazard pay or bonuses to all staff.
Thank you to the community partners who have donated various PPE items. Western Carolina University donated 500 bottles of hand sanitizer and Dogwood Health Trust donated masks, gloves, thermometers. If you can donate or know of resources, please reach out here .
The Early Learning Center is testing a new "no touch" thermometer to limit contact. The staff and kids simply stand in front of the machine and it tracks individual temps from day to day.
We were able to take advantage of the ADA closure to complete a floor renovation! Thanks to a grant from Dogwood Health Trust, the ADA floor is now safer and more effective for wheelchairs.
Golf tournament rescheduled for August 21st
The 20th annual golf tournament will be on Friday, August 21st at Mount Mitchell Golf Club. The itinerary will be adjusted to account for all necessary social distancing measures. Restrictions on shared carts, no sit-down dinner, and winners announced via email are examples of anticipated changes to make the event as safe as possible. Funds raised from this event are critical to our organization's work. Please contact Sydney at or 828-274-6053 for any questions or to register. Thank you!
Thank you to our community partners
Like so many others in the community, program closures have put a financial strain on our organization. The generosity of donors and partner funding agencies has enabled us to continue safely serving disadvantaged populations in our community during this time. Pisgah Health contributed an emergency grant to support our essential childcare program. Atlantic Bay Care Foundation generously donated to fund classroom resources for older children. Carolina Pediatrics Therapy group created digital therapy resources so the children and families in the Early Learning Center can continue receiving necessary services from their homes. We are working hard to return to payroll capacity to ensure the PPP loan can be entirely forgiven. We cannot thank our community enough for the incredible support.
We are excited to be a finalist in the Kudzu Brands $10K brand development giveaway contest! But we need YOUR help! The nonprofit and business with the most votes will each win brand and marketing development to help adjust and succeed. To vote for us, simply click here and select Irene Wortham Center in the top right corner. You can vote EVERY day through May 29th! It's a very close race - please VOTE and SHARE!
Any amount you are able to donate to our organization will help us continue providing much-needed resources to vulnerable populations and children of essential workers during this time.
We must continue working together as a community and supporting one another.
Matthew Henry
President & CEO
Irene Wortham Center