SECU Foundation Provides $40,000 Grant for Animal-Assisted Therapy Program in Western North Carolina | Eastern North Carolina Now | SECU Foundation recently provided a $40,000 grant to TimberKnolls Spirit Cove (TSC), an organization that provides animal-assisted activities and therapy to veterans, military families, first responders, healthcare workers, and people battling illness or trauma.

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
Press Release:


TSC staff with therapy dogs, first row, left to right: Kelly Benton; Lisa Schiller, TSC executive director; Benita Edds; Patti Sutherland; and Brian Benton, surrounded by local SECU staff and advisory board members.

    ASHEVILLE, N.C.     SECU Foundation recently provided a $40,000 grant to TimberKnolls Spirit Cove (TSC), an organization that provides animal-assisted activities and therapy to veterans, military families, first responders, healthcare workers, and people battling illness or trauma. The grant will support TSC's expansion in Western North Carolina and help develop plans for a new campus. TSC and its therapy teams have helped over 37,000 healthcare workers, first responders, and patients since the start of the pandemic.

    "Animal-assisted therapy is a powerful tool in helping children and adults address physical or mental health wellness, everyday life stresses, and crises," said Kim Hollifield, SECU regional senior vice president. "TSC has an incredible program, and we hope that the Foundation's grant will create an awareness of their valuable work and encourage others to support their efforts."

    "The heroes of our state are struggling with trauma, depression, anxiety, and substance abuse at record-breaking levels. Veterans, first responders, and healthcare workers have protected our country and kept our communities safe and healthy, yet services to help them are limited. We are grateful to SECU Foundation for awarding us this Mission Development Grant," shared Lisa Schiller, co-founder and president of TimberKnolls Spirit Cove. "This grant will support strategic planning, marketing, and fundraising to establish a permanent animal-assisted therapy ranch that features giant Newfoundland dogs and Gypsy Vanner horses in the Asheville area, spreading hope and healing to those who need it the most."

    About SECU and SECU Foundation

    A not-for-profit financial cooperative owned by its members, SECU has been providing employees of the state of North Carolina and their families with consumer financial services for 85 years. SECU is the second largest credit union in the United States with $53 billion in assets and serves over 2.6 million members through 273 branch offices, over 1,100 ATMs, 24/7 Member Services via phone, www.ncsecu.org and a Mobile App. The SECU Foundation, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization funded by the contributions of SECU members, promotes local community development in North Carolina primarily through high impact projects in the areas of housing, education, healthcare, and human services. Since 2004, SECU Foundation has made a collective financial commitment of over $235 million for initiatives to benefit North Carolinians statewide.


   Contact: Jama Campbell
   Executive Director
   Phone: 919-839-5562
   Email: secufoundation@ncsecu.org
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