Irene Wortham Center is our Non-Profit of the Month for November

November 17, 2021

For 60 years, the Irene Wortham Center has been helping children and adults in our community with developmental and/or socioeconomic challenges lead healthy, happy and more independent lives.

This November, we recognize Irene Wortham Center as our non-profit of the month.

Tell us a little about the history of the Irene Wortham Center. 

“The IWC opened its doors in May of 1961 at the Queen Carson school in Asheville and in 1970 the BOD of the IWC center finished construction on our current site of the Early Learning Center.  We have been a part of the Shiloh community for over 50 years.  We serve children and adults from 6 weeks old to 70 yrs old and above in 6 plus programs.”

What’s a little known fact or trivia about IWC?

“Irene Wortham was the 1st special education teacher in NC but has no direct affiliation with the center outside of being a great example of an educator who cared for the most venerable children in NC.  Also, we have no affiliation with the Diana Wortham Center.”

What are you most proud of about your company? 

“We provide a safe and supportive environment where children and adults are able to become as independent and active as their abilities allow in an inclusive environment.”

Best advice you’ve gotten for operating a non-profit.  

“There is no mission without margin.”

Tips for other non-profits?  

“Always keep clear lines of communication open and active with your customers or those you care for day to day.  Get to know people and their lives”

What’s next on the horizon? 

“We are hoping to start a capital campaign to build a new Early Learning center. This will be an almost 9 million project.”

Our tagline is “Together, We are More”. How does that apply to your business or what does it mean to you?  

“In our line of work this tagline reminds us of the importance of individuals with Intellectual Developmental Disabilities being able to be active participants in our community and to be welcomed by our community as equal members of the community.”