Enquirer Herald

Tender Hearts to get cookin' thanks to grant money

YORK -- The women staying at Tender Hearts House of Hope have never been able to fry on the stove top. They can't cook bacon, burgers or anything with grease.

That will change soon, thanks to a $20,000 grant from the Carolinas Credit Union Foundation.

The foundation awarded the community grant on Tuesday to the Tender Hearts Ministries in York. The money will be used to purchase a fire suppression hood and stove for the residence building and partially fund upgrades to the electrical and HVAC systems.

"(The women) are so excited that in the near future they will be able to cook anything they like for their families," said Ainslee House, executive director of Tender Hearts. "We are very grateful for the generous donation."

Tender Hearts Ministries helps individuals in need receive food, clothing, shelter, access to local human services agencies, educational opportunities and compassion. Tender Hearts operates a thrift store to provide food and clothing to families in need. They also operate a shelter for up to 14 women and children in times of crisis, House said.

"Families in crisis need help accessing basic needs like food, clothing, shelter and help getting back on their feet," noted John Slack, the foundation's president. "Tender Hearts is a place where caring people help families during this time of need. With the holiday season approaching and the economy struggling, there are many families out there in need."

Slack added, "The credit union philosophy of giving people a hand up not a hand out is right in sync with Tender Hearts' efforts."

Tender Hearts originally requested $16,000 for a fire suppression hood and electrical/HVAC upgrades, which was approved. In addition, the foundation allocated an additional $4,000 for the ministry to purchase a new stove and equipment to improve conditions in the residence facility.

Thanks to the grant, the women won't have to rely solely on crockpots and the oven, House said.

Micro Community Grants allow credit unions in North Carolina and South Carolina to partner with local non profit agencies to bring community benefit. The Tender Hearts grant proposal was put together with the help and cooperation of the Catawba Chapter of Credit Unions and Family Trust Federal Credit Union.