There’s a new nonprofit in town, but not one that will necessarily be competing for attention or detracting from funding provided to other organizations.
Waynesville resident Nicole Kott has a heart for those struggling with life’s challenges.
“I had been thinking about how to get skilled and talented individuals together to assist with smaller problems in life,” Kott said.
Kott organized Helping Hands, a nonprofit group on a mission to create a resource funnel to help people out in emergencies. The organization received its nonprofit status last month.
“There are lots of nonprofits and they are all helping with a small piece of the problem,” she explained. “We want to raise funds to help those nonprofits.”
In addition to Kott, those on the nonprofit board include Kasey Steffan Valentine, who will be writing grants; Chris Bolm, who will be the media director; and Andrew Koffron, who is an IT specialist and business consultant.
Helping Hands is in the process of becoming familiar with the agencies and nonprofits in the county who help those who are down and out. The intention is to help fund those who help others.
“We’re approching businesses and different groups of people,” Kott said. “Our goal is to start with $15,000.”
The group’s first fundraiser is from 9 to 11 p.m. Feb. 29 featuring music by The Remainders. The event will be at the UpCountry Brewing Company in Asheville.
The next event is a a St. Patrick’s Day celebration and drawing at Mad Anthony’s in Waynesville. Drawing tickets will be available for purchase from March 11 through 17 at Mad Anthony’s during business hours.
Tickets are $1 each or six for $5 for a night of good music, drinks, and prize drawings.
Kott lives near the Frog Level community where she bikes, walks and is out with her children.
“We’ve never had any issues with crime, harassment or anything,” she said. “I notice a sense of community, a sense of empathy and how they share all the have. It’s disheartening to see there’s an outlook that they don’t need to be there. We care, and we want to help.”
While there are no easy answers, Kott is convinced that more mental health resources, more funds to help in the aftermath of emergencies, or money to help with utility bills or vehicle breakdowns will help ease the burdens as people figure life out.
“When you remove the smaller problems, the bigger ones become easier to focus on,” she said.