Last Updated on December 18, 2023 10:15 am
Seasoned non-profit leader Melissa Soto stepped out of retirement and is now the new executive director of Quiet Givers — a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization in the High Country that seeks to meet the needs of people in the community that existing agencies are unable to address.
Quiet Givers, which began as a grassroots effort in 2010, serves approximately 1,000 needs per year through anonymous donations of funds, services, and materials. In collaboration with other area nonprofits, the organization launched the annual Back 2 School Festival to provide school supplies to students, the “Heat Up the High Country” campaign to help families afford heating fuel, and the High Country Transportation Fund to assist with emergency car repairs. Quiet Givers also raises funds to help individuals or families with other urgent needs.
Clients must be referred to Quiet Givers through approved agencies such as homeless shelters and food pantries, Department of Social Services (DSS) personnel, school counselors or other area nonprofit organizations, Soto explained.
“These agencies ensure the needs are valid before sending them to us and verify there are no other social resources available to meet the needs. Quiet Givers is the last stop to fill the gap,” Soto said.
In 2021, Quiet Givers received the Dan Meyer Community Partnership Award from the Boone Area Chamber of Commerce — in recognition of its provision of rent support and heating assistance, and its role in addressing families’ education and transportation needs brought on by pandemic-related restrictions.
“I just love the concept of this organization,” Soto said. “We post needs on our website and social media, and our donors contribute to help in situations they are personally touched by. Some people love to give to children. Others want to assist senior citizens. Some are inspired to help in situations they can personally relate to.”
Soto herself was first motivated to give after seeing a posting about a young single mother whose transmission needed to be replaced in her car. “She couldn’t afford the repair, and without it she was unable to get back and forth to her job. Well, the same thing happened to me when I was in my twenties. I knew exactly what she was going through, and wanted to help,” Soto shared.
Soto spent the past three decades working for W.A.M.Y. Community Action in Boone and retired as its executive director in July. While at W.A.M.Y., she occasionally referred clients to Quiet Givers.
Allison Jennings, director of development at W.A.M.Y and a member of Quiet Givers’ Board of Directors, said, “Having Melissa Soto step into this part-time director position at Quiet Givers was a dream come true. With her vast experience as W.A.M.Y., Melissa has her finger on the pulse of the community and understands its needs and the resources available. She was the perfect choice for this position.”
Soto said she is grateful to have found a way to serve that uses both her skills and her heart, and hopes to increase community awareness about ways to be involved with Quiet Givers.
“I am excited to be able to make the connections between people who want to give and people who need some help,” she said.
When donors select a specific need on the Quiet Givers website, 100% of the contribution goes toward funding that need, Soto said. “All of the contributions are anonymous. The giving model is a great way for people to give and make a difference. Most of our recipients’ needs are met with less than $500, so even if a someone can donate just $25, it goes a long way to help meet a person’s need.”
Want to learn more? Please visit www.quietgivers.org or call 828-355-5046.