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.


View Grants

Annual Dinner Dance Fundraiser

HCCF holds an annual Dinner Dance Fundraiser each summer at Elk River Club in Banner Elk, NC. 2022 marks our EIGHTH year serving Avery County! We look forward to many more.

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4 weeks ago
James Nipper

As our Fall Hiking Season comes to an end, we are so very thankful to those friends who have supported us through their prayers, encouragement, and monetary contributions. We are very blessed and thankful to have broad community support for our program from local Avery County charitable organizations such as the The High Country Charitable Foundation, Inc. , the AMY Wellness Foundation , Run For Holland Foundation, Valle Country Fair, Grandfather Community Foundation, together with many private donors and personal friends who have provided generous support and encouragement.
Bravery. Courage. Commitment To Purpose.
The Jason Project's "Grandfather Challenge" strives to teach Middle School and High School students to face their struggles head-on, and learn to overcome them. We teach this through mentoring, leadership, adventure, and an organized wilderness challenge. It is impossible to know the impact that this experience has on these kids unless you could be at the awards ceremonies and personally witness the remarks of school principals, teachers, chaperones, hike leaders, and the kids themselves. It is a blessing beyond measure to know that these kids learn priceless lessons of leadership, introspection, self-esteem, and respect for teamwork, all while immersed in a magnificent place of God’s handiwork called Grandfather Mountain.
During the off-season, we will stay busy organizing, planning, and meeting with schools and other program partners. We are firmly committed to do our very best as we move forward, and we do ask our friends to continue praying that God will lead this effort to where he would have it go, and also please pray for all of the kids who have participated in our program this year.
“Great leadership is about inviting people to discover themselves while they follow you!!”
We have hundreds of wonderful pictures of our hikes, but those included in this post are some of our favorites this year !
(For those who may not know about The Jason Project and “The Grandfather Challenge,” please go to for more information. )

Jamie Johnson Mason Morris Kim Hussey Morris Kevin Hagan Juliana Sproles Dan Donnellan MaryGrace Werner Bill Hoag
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1 month ago
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