‘Tis the season for giving, and a local foundation has been generous with holiday gifts to make life better for people and animals in Avery County.
This December, gifts from the High Country Charitable Foundation have enhanced the efforts of four Avery County based nonprofits. Food insecure individuals will receive hams for their Christmas dinner tables, through Feeding Avery Families. Needy children will find toys, educational supplies and clothing under their Christmas tree thanks to the Avery County Sheriff’s Office program of Christmas for Kids and the efforts of Reaching Avery Ministry and Avery Project Christmas. Even the dogs and cats at the Avery Humane Society will benefit from a commercial clothes washer and dryer to keep their bedding clean and fresh.
Avery County Humane Society Shelter Manager Charlene Calhoun and board officer Jesse Pope accepted a grant last week from the High Country Charitable Foundation. “We at the Shelter are thrilled to receive support from the High Country Charitable Foundation to purchase and install a commercial washer and dryer to provide clean bedding and supplies for our animals,” said Calhoun. “On behalf of the board, we are incredibly thankful and honored to receive this support,” Pope added. The Avery County Humane Society is a 501 (c) (3) not-for-profit organization which no longer receives county funding for operations.
Dick Larson of Feeding Avery Families (FAF) proudly accepted a grant Saturday from the High Country Charitable Foundation (HCCF). Spawned from philanthropic desires of members from the Elk River Club in Banner Elk, the foundation awarded funds to purchase Christmas hams for the FAF December food distribution. Some 500 families in Avery County will have ham for Christmas! Larson noted that the special contribution will free budgeted funds to provide other holiday foods to those who otherwise might go hungry. “This would be a wonderful gesture at any time, but it is especially meaningful during the holiday season. We are blessed to have this support, and to be able to share it with the people we serve,” said Larson. Operating since 2005, the mission of FAF is to provide supplemental food to hungry people in need in Avery County.
Amy Ward of Reaching Avery Ministry (RAM) stands among the many gifts that will be under family Christmas trees this year, thanks to Avery Project Christmas. A 2018 grant from the High Country Charitable Foundation will assist RAM and Avery Project Christmas this year to benefit Avery County children in need. Again this year RAM will provide Christmas gifts to Avery County children who live with families experiencing hard economic times. Many of these boys and girls live with a single parent or grandparents. The family income may be impacted by a fixed income, unemployment, underemployment or only seasonal employment.
The RAM Christmas Store, supported by Avery Project Christmas, has long been supported by churches and individuals. Historically up to 400 children receive new toys at Christmas thanks to RAM. The children’s families are referred by local school counselors, mental health and social services employees.
Sheriff Kevin Frye accepted a 2018 grant from the High Country Charitable Foundation to support Christmas for Kids. Before Christmas a dozen employees of the Sheriff’s Office will take children shopping for personal toys, clothing and gifts for family members. The shopping concludes with a pizza dinner for the children and law enforcement personnel. Boys and girls are identified with the help of the Avery County Schools. Major objectives include some adult-child mentoring and lessons on the value of giving to others.