Section Navigation

Verizon Foundation grant supports Parent to Parent Family Support Network-High Country

BOONE—Verizon Foundation has awarded $23,000 to the Parent to Parent Family Support Network-High Country, a grant and donor supported program serving Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Mitchell, Watauga, Wilkes and Yancey counties.

The program is an affiliate of the Family Support Network of North Carolina, is part of Appalachian State University’s Reich College of Education, and also is supported by the Children’s Developmental Services Agency of the Blue Ridge and other area agencies.

“Through this award, Verizon Foundation is a key partner in helping Parent to Parent Family Support Network-High County provide individualized and personal support services to families who have children with special needs,” said Kaaren Hayes, director of Parent to Parent FSN-HC.

Children with special needs include those with behavioral and emotional challenges; children who have difficulties learning, hearing, seeing, moving or speaking; or those with chronic illnesses. Parent to Parent FSN-HC also assists families with high risk or premature infants and those who are grieving the loss of a child or infant.

“We do a lot of one-on-one work with families, such as problem solving and helping them connect to resources in the area,” Hayes said. “Because of Verizon Foundation’s support, many more families who have a child with a disability will know that they are not alone, they will know where to turn for information about their child’s special need, and they will be connected to other families for support.”

Parent to Parent services include:

  • Matching families one-to-one with a trained volunteer family who also has a child with special needs
  • Opportunities for families to give back and share their expertise by becoming a volunteer Support Family
  • Support groups for families of children with special needs
  • Workshops and educational opportunities for families and service providers
  • Family-friendly printed resources
  • Newsletters
  • Service learning and internship opportunities for college students
  • Liaison assistance for families whose children are hospitalized outside their home county

Last year, the program served over 700 contacts with families from its seven-county service area.

For more information about Parent to Parent Family Support-High Country, visit or call 828-262-6089 or 866-812-3122 (toll free).