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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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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Avery County Manager Phillip Barrier is rightfully proud of his county’s efforts in getting COVID-19 vaccines out to several thousands of county residents. He also is rightfully saddened by the illness and death the virus is causing, and the bitter feelings breaking friends, families and even churches apart because of misinformation about both the virus and the vaccine. “It’s individual choice to get the vaccine,” Barrier said, “It’s the same with masks, you can’t send anyone to jail for not wearing a mask.” He noted that many Avery residents are waiting to get vaccinated--“it’s a trust issue.” Barrrier spoke Tuesday to members of the Kiwanis Club of Banner Elk at the club’s regular monthly meeting held at Holston Presbytery Camp. The collection of Kiwanians, visiting members of the Avery County Rotary Club, other guests, and a whole cadre of Zoom participants listened hard to Barrier’s evaluation of Avery’s COVID progress.“Together we are Avery County,” he said, and “together we are strong!” Barrier described the county’s success in getting more vaccines than it was originally allotted, and said he planned to make a similar appeal again soon. From the lines of cars waiting at the new Agriculture Extension Center vaccination site, to the crowds of volunteers helping the process along, Barrier described the processes of ordering, receiving and administering the drug, Barrier beamed with team pride. Some 2418 doses were delivered through January 27, Barrier said, noting that everyone who got the first dose is guaranteed to get the second. The Avery County Health Department started with front line workers, and began administering vaccines to residents 75 an older on January 12, Barrier said. Some 710 shots were given that week. A total of 1275 vaccines were given January20th, 21st and 22nd to those 65 and older. The county has gone to requiring appointments, he noted, to better manage the line of folks waiting for attention. Barrier urged everyone to watch the Avery County website, , for updates on vaccination availabilities and schedules. Volunteers to help would be appreciated, he said, “and cookies are always welcome!”
Provided by Jim Swinkola Feb. 3, 2021
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