The mission of the Rye Foundation is to make a life-changing impact on North Carolina children
by providing grants in the areas of Religion, Youth, and Education.

News from the Rye

Rye Hosts “Champions for Children Day”

Children’s Charities Outline Funding Needs During Pandemic

Part of our corporate culture at the Rye Foundation is to meet face-to-face with every organization which is being considered for funding support.

To achieve this ambitious goal, we frequently sponsor “Champions for Children Day,” when children’s charities make formal presentations on their mission, funding priorities, and current needs.

Recently, charities from across North Carolina traveled to the Historic Brookstown Inn in downtown Winston-Salem. They came from Hendersonville in the west, from Farmville in the east, and from throughout the Triad. During the informative sessions with Rye leaders, one theme rose to the top of the agenda.

“It was uplifting and encouraging to learn how child-focused charities are responding creatively to the global pandemic,” said Warren Steen, the President of the Rye Foundation. “During these challenging times,” he continued, “nonprofits are showing both creativity and resilience.”

One example is the excellent work of Young Life of Henderson County. Graham Wright spoke to foundation leaders about two brand new initiatives, “Quarantine Breakfast Club” and “Zoom Campaigners.”

According to Steen, the event is especially helpful for Board members, who receive detailed information on trends, programming priorities, and capital projects. Many of the groups are invited to submit formal requests during Rye’s next funding cycle.

Steen expressed his appreciation to all the participants and to Allison Watts, the director of sales at the Historic Brookstown Inn, who helped with planning for the statewide event. Established as the community of Salem’s very first factory in 1837, the renovated Inn is now recognized for its guest rooms and meeting space, all located in close proximity to Old Salem.

Over the years, a total of 124 charitable organizations have made presentations at the “Champions for Children Day” event.

Message of Encouragement to Friends and Supporters

FROM: J. Warren Steen, President

Annie Murray spoke for all of us when she sang these words in her hit song, “We sure could use a little good news, today.” As we continue to deal with the pandemic, I want to share some uplifting news about our faith-based philanthropy.

Positive Publicity on “Patriotic Partnership”
The current issue of Forsyth Family magazine contains a feature article on our $15,000 gift to Camp Hanes. Each summer the camp hosts boys and girls who have had a parent injured or killed on the battlefield.

Computers Helping Students in Catawba Valley
Another significant gift from Rye is helping to provide computers, musical instruction, and curriculum materials at the Mount Sinai-McCreary Community Center in Newton. Our leaders visited the Center, and learned that 20 former students now attend college.

Estate Planning Tip
My friend Mike Wells writes a column on legal matters for the Winston-Salem Journal. Recently, he emphasized the importance of reviewing and updating beneficiaries on retirement accounts and insurance policies. Our supporters are encouraged to include the Rye Foundation in their Christian stewardship.

Current Naming Opportunities
A key part of our mission is “matching great people with great projects.” There are naming rights in these areas: scholarship funds, camp lodges, a prayer garden, and STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) programming. Please contact me for details.

A Final Word: Message on a Church Sign
The sign in Guilford County contained four words: “Share Love, Not Germs.”

Funding Spotlight: Brighter Days Camp

MOUNY AIRY – One of the Rye Foundation’s recent philanthropic gifts is helping children who are grieving the loss of a sibling, parent, or grandparent.

Counselors and ministers help the children to express their feelings, and then share the great news that God wants them to enjoy “brighter days” in the near future.

Last summer, a total of 40 boys and girls participated in the Brighter Days Children’s Grief Camp. Sponsored by Mountain Valley Hospice, the innovative and upbeat camp included sessions held in Wilkesboro, Lowgap, and Mount Airy.

Every day featured significant time for reflection, writing, singing, and praying. Campers wore tee shirts with Bible verses from Ecclesiastes 3:1 and 3:4. That passage of Scripture talks about the seasons of life, and promises that there is “a time to weep and a time to laugh.”

A delegation from the Rye Foundation attended a Celebration of Life service held in the Surry County town of Dobson. Several children shared about their camp experiences, both through their music and poetry.

A moving and emotional moment occurred when each child released a balloon, and reflected upon a special memory of their loved one.

Leaders of the Rye Foundation are thankful for the opportunity to provide hope and healing to these special children.

Ribbon-Cutting Held for Prison Ministry in Columbus County

TABOR CITY  -  Friends and supporters from southeastern North Carolina participated in a festive dedication ceremony for the Matthew 25 Center, a 5,160 square foot structure built to provide overnight accommodations for family members of inmates at the nearby Tabor Correctional Institution.

The Rye Foundation made a $10,000 charitable gift for the project, and the children’s activity room has been named the Rye Children’s Room.

Retired banker Burnett Coleman led the region-wide campaign to raise funds from  businesses, churches, and individuals. He explained the purpose of the new ministry center in three words  -  “maintaining family relationships.” He said that the prison has a population of 1,750 inmates, and that children staying at the new center will receive love, support, and Christian hospitality.

Warren Steen, the President of the Rye Foundation, attended the ribbon-cutting event and spoke about the importance of the center. “Every child who comes here will meet positive role models who can share a message of encouragement,” he said. “It is vitally important for these children to learn that there is a much better life than a life of crime.”

Research studies have shown that children of prisoners face many obstacles, and need adult  role models who will provide guidance and stability. Helping children of prisoners is a top priority for the Rye Foundation, and substantial gifts have been made for similar projects in Taylorsville, Burgaw, and Winston-Salem.

5 Ways to Help Children

  • Make a gift of cash.
  • Make a gift of stock.
  • “Leave a legacy” by including the Foundation in your will.
  • Establish a family fund.
  • Take advantage of a “named gift opportunity” and place the name of a family member on a building or special fund.

Learn More