Helping those in need in Avery County, N.C.

Community Stories

The High Country Charitable Foundation awards grants to organizations making a difference in the Avery County community. Here are some of their success stories.

The Avery County Humane Society recently (in 2020) placed a rescue dog named “Tank” with an organization in Illinois that, after hearing his story, fell in love with him. The co-director of the rescue is going to foster Thank for at least six months and have a trainer work with him during this time. Then she will either decide to keep Tank or the organization will try to find the right home to adopt him. “Our staff has done an amazing job with Tank and we will all be keeping him in our hearts and prayers hoping that his new home is the chance at life that he so deserves,” said Gwynne Dwyer, Executive Director of Avery County Human Society.

Watch a Short Video of Tank

Yellow Mountain Enterprises is an HCCF grant recipient. The 2015 grant award helped them to purchase a new van. Their old van had more than 289,000 miles on it!  Yellow Mountain Enterprises is an adult day vocational program and operates under the umbrella of Avery Association for Exceptional Citizens. AAEC is a 501-C3 Non-profit organization for developmentally disabled adults. AAEC also operates the Avery County Group Home, an adult supervised living facility.

IMG_3159Avery High Key Club officers Veronica Clark (left) Alexis Hayes (middle) Allison Gregory (right) spent all of December 12th filling “Operation Christmas Child” shoeboxes with small Christmas gifts for needy children throught the world.  The High Country Charitable Foundation awarded a 2015 grant for “enhanced leadership skills” to help these student leaders grow and develop.
Humane Society picHarris give ACHS new leash

By Garrett Price, Avery Journal (photo credit: Garrett Price)

“There is something missing at Avery County Humane Society. It takes a minute to place it. The shelter is full of dogs and cats and even a pair of rabbits, all of that is in order. It’s the smell, or rather, the lack of one. If anything, there is vaguely pleasant aroma that settles over a tour of the shelter. For new ACHS Executive Director Susan Harris and shelter manager Charlene Calhoun, that is a point of pride.” (read the entire article here)

Feeding Avery Families article photo“Feeding families is what we do…”
By Garrett Price, Avery Journal

“John Cox bounds around Feeding Avery Family’s downtown Newland office shaking hands and making small talk. He is excited, and he has good reason to be. The nonprofit recently was the recipient of a large grant from Food Lion to the tune of $4,000, in addition to $4,000 in food donations.” (read the entire article here)

DSCN3673John Cox, President of Feeding Avery Families, and Reagan Dellinger, Avery High Key Club member, join forces on September 12, 2015 for the Empty Bowls event in Banner Elk. As a fundraising event, Empty Bowls symbolically helps fill empty bowls for the hungry in Avery County. Participants purchase handmade clay bowls and dine on donated soups made by members of local churches. Both Feeding Avery Families and the Avery High Key Club were granted 2015 awards by the High Country Charitable Foundation.
Key club from web site-page-001

Celebrating the Avery High Key Club

by Gene Ormond and Jim Swinkola / Avery Journal

“In the heart of Avery County, a group of adolescents is joining hands to make the community a better place. Last year, more than 4,000 volunteer hours enhanced local gatherings, festivals and events. In addition to “giving,” members of this group benefit from “getting.” The getting comes in the form of leadership development. Each meeting starts with a pledge: ”I pledge to build my home, school and community; to serve my nation and God; and to combat all forces which tend to undermine these institutions.” (Read the whole story here)

Read more about the Avery High Key Club below (and here).

AHS Award Winning Key Club

2015 AHS Key Club Conference Reps

Why We Do What We Do

Watch our new video about the mission and purpose of the High Country Charitable Foundation.

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Grants

The goal of the Foundation is to support local Avery County charitable services.

Check back for information about the 2021 grant application.

View Grants

Annual Dinner Dance Fundraiser


HCCF holds an annual Dinner Dance Fundraiser each summer at Elk River Club in Banner Elk, NC. 2021 marks our SEVENTH year serving Avery County! We look forward to many more.

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Santa’s elves could take a lesson! The elves at High Country Charitable Foundation have been busy so that as many families as possible could experience some happiness during this Christmas season.

Avery County’s elves hauled and toted heavy loads—loads of surprises for Avery residents who needed some extra cheer this year.

Gifts galore for families and kids, coordinated by elves through Reaching Avery Ministry and Avery Project Christmas. Groceries galore, collected and distributed by the elves at Feeding Avery Families. And elves with sheriff’s badges from Cops for Kids, armed with gifts, friendly smiles and very special friendships.

All of these happy activities have taken place for a number of years—but this year the elves had to repack the sleigh and route the reindeer around the COVID grinch lurking in the shadows.

The well-oiled machine that delivered Avery Project Christmas formerly brought parents into a well-stocked Christmas store, allowing them to choose gifts and wrapping for their children. This year, school counselors worked with families to create wish lists. The counselors and staff members then shopped the lists and prepared to deliver gift bags to the families.

“Imagine in your mind the smiling joy of children who might have been anxious about what would arrive at their house for Christmas,” commented Avery Project Christmas volunteer Susan Carter. “Create in your mind the faces and appreciation of parents, and grandparents serving as parents, as they feel the excitement of being able to give the children they love a few gifts from their wish list.”

Feeding Avery Families (FAF)continues to feed growing numbers of folks: 600 families or 1,500 individuals a month, plus school backpacks and in-school pantries, plus six Community Pantries.

In addition to ramping up the numbers, FAF has volunteers who deliver to families who are unable to get to the outdoor distributions. “Families and friends become lifelines, just as High Country Charitable Foundation has been, in helping us provide these special meals,” according to FAF director Dick Larson.

“How wonderful it is to be able to celebrate over a special meal together,” Larson said. “What a blessing it is to be able to help.”

Sometimes changes are especially hard on elves. “Cops for Kids,” a special creation of the Avery County Sheriff’s Office, had to postpone a great mentoring experience, in exchange for a distant substitute. In previous years, a sheriff’s officer would go shopping with a child, purchase family gifts, have lunch together, and get to know each other. This year, according to the Great Elf, Sheriff Kevin Frye, officers collected wish lists and purchased gifts—then distributed them through drive-in delivery. The mentoring or bonding between officer and child was mostly lost.

The High Country Charitable elves know that changes are hard, and COVID and its problems and prohibitions are harder. But knowing that the Avery County elves are really hard workers, improvising to make it all worthwhile—they provided the funds to keep the Christmas joy alive in many Avery County homes.

Since 2015. The High Country Charitable Foundation has awarded financial grants to local public charities and other private foundations whose mission is to provide for needy Avery County residents and animals. Selected nonprofit organizations must be appropriately recognized by the IRS. Grants are not given to individuals and other restrictions apply. For more information visit highcountryfoundation.org.

Kali Sullins picks up food for family members, a couple with two young children. “At Feeding Avery Families, we have many instances like this, where the people needing assistance aren’t able to get to our facility by themselves,” according to director Dick Larson. “Families and friends become lifelines, just as HCCF has been, in helping us provide these special meals,” he said.

Avery County Sheriff Kevin Frye (left) and Lauren Mauney of the EAC Employee Action Committee stand side-by-side as they accept the High Country Charitable Foundation grant for the 2020 Cops for Kids program.
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Santa’s elves could take a lesson! The elves at High Country Charitable Foundation have been busy so that as many families as possible could experience some happiness during this Christmas season.

Avery County’s elves hauled and toted heavy loads—loads of surprises for Avery residents who needed some extra cheer this year.

Gifts galore for families and kids, coordinated by elves through Reaching Avery Ministry and Avery Project Christmas. Groceries galore, collected and distributed by the elves at Feeding Avery Families. And elves with sheriff’s badges from Cops for Kids, armed with gifts, friendly smiles and very special friendships.

All of these happy activities have taken place for a number of years—but this year the elves had to repack the sleigh and route the reindeer around the COVID grinch lurking in the shadows.

The well-oiled machine that delivered Avery Project Christmas formerly brought parents into a well-stocked Christmas store, allowing them to choose gifts and wrapping for their children. This year, school counselors worked with families to create wish lists. The counselors and staff members then shopped the lists and prepared to deliver gift bags to the families.

“Imagine in your mind the smiling joy of children who might have been anxious about what would arrive at their house for Christmas,” commented Avery Project Christmas volunteer Susan Carter. “Create in your mind the faces and appreciation of parents, and grandparents serving as parents, as they feel the excitement of being able to give the children they love a few gifts from their wish list.”

Feeding Avery Families (FAF)continues to feed growing numbers of folks: 600 families or 1,500 individuals a month, plus school backpacks and in-school pantries, plus six Community Pantries.

In addition to ramping up the numbers, FAF has volunteers who deliver to families who are unable to get to the outdoor distributions. “Families and friends become lifelines, just as High Country Charitable Foundation has been, in helping us provide these special meals,” according to FAF director Dick Larson.

“How wonderful it is to be able to celebrate over a special meal together,” Larson said. “What a blessing it is to be able to help.”

Sometimes changes are especially hard on elves. “Cops for Kids,” a special creation of the Avery County Sheriff’s Office, had to postpone a great mentoring experience, in exchange for a distant substitute. In previous years, a sheriff’s officer would go shopping with a child, purchase family gifts, have lunch together, and get to know each other. This year, according to the Great Elf, Sheriff Kevin Frye, officers collected wish lists and purchased gifts—then distributed them through drive-in delivery. The mentoring or bonding between officer and child was mostly lost.

The High Country Charitable elves know that changes are hard, and COVID and its problems and prohibitions are harder. But knowing that the Avery County elves are really hard workers, improvising to make it all worthwhile—they provided the funds to keep the Christmas joy alive in many Avery County homes.

Since 2015. The High Country Charitable Foundation has awarded financial grants to local public charities and other private foundations whose mission is to provide for needy Avery County residents and animals. Selected nonprofit organizations must be appropriately recognized by the IRS. Grants are not given to individuals and other restrictions apply. For more information visit highcountryfoundation.org.

Kali Sullins picks up food for family members, a couple with two young children. “At Feeding Avery Families, we have many instances like this, where the people needing assistance aren’t able to get to our facility by themselves,” according to director Dick Larson. “Families and friends become lifelines, just as HCCF has been, in helping us provide these special meals,” he said.

Avery County Sheriff Kevin Frye (left) and Lauren Mauney of the EAC Employee Action Committee stand side-by-side as they accept the High Country Charitable Foundation grant for the 2020 Cops for Kids program.Image attachmentImage attachment

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I am honored to be on the Board of this caring organization. Most of live elsewhere in the winter, but appreciate our summer neighbors and all they do. We are proud to give back to you and wish you Merry Christmas and a much better New Year.

Executive Director Tina Krause of Hospitality House displays the 2020 grant from the High Country Charitable Foundation.

"Hospitality House of Northwest North Carolina is grateful to receive this grant from the High Country Charitable Foundation.

Last year, Hospitality House provided 2,739 (out of a total 39,754) nights of shelter services to 35 Avery County individuals for a total cost of $87,658 at an average of $32.00 per day.

As the largest contributor from Avery County, the HCCF grant accounts for 11% of the total needed to house and support Avery County residents.

The continued support of HCCF will allow us to continue safely and stably housing homeless individuals and families in Avery County."

--
Todd Carter
... See MoreSee Less

Executive Director Tina Krause of Hospitality House displays the 2020 grant from the High Country Charitable Foundation.

Hospitality House of Northwest North Carolina is grateful to receive this grant from the High Country Charitable Foundation. 

Last year, Hospitality House provided 2,739 (out of a total 39,754) nights of shelter services to 35 Avery County individuals for a total cost of $87,658 at an average of $32.00 per day. 

As the largest contributor from Avery County, the HCCF grant accounts for 11% of the total needed to house and support Avery County residents. 

The continued support of HCCF will allow us to continue safely and stably housing homeless individuals and families in Avery County.

--
Todd Carter
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