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Community almanac

KARE Festival of Trees goes virtual

This year, the Forga Family KARE House Festival of Trees will be held virtually with 17 trees available for auction, as well as an opportunity to bid on additional auction items.

The opportunity to begin bidding will start at 5:30 p.m. Nov. 19 and ends at 9 p.m. Nov. 30. Trees will be delivered Dec. 2.

Trees will be on display for public viewing across Haywood County at Laurel Ridge Country Club, Beverly Hanks, Champion Credit Union, and Legacy Dance Studio. Normally pictures do not do them justice but there will be pictures available on the bidding site.

KARE’s child medical evaluation numbers have doubled and case numbers have increased by 37 cases in the last quarter. Visit to give a direct donation to the agency.


Drop off Operation Christmas Child boxes

More than 4,000 locations will now offer a curbside drop-off option for the Samaritan’s Purse project, Operation Christmas Child. Volunteers are preparing to collect shoebox gifts during National Collection Week, Nov. 16-23.

Operation Christmas Child has been collecting and delivering shoebox gifts — filled with school supplies, hygiene items and fun toys — to children worldwide for more than two decades. 

There’s still time for individuals, families, and groups to transform empty shoeboxes into fun gifts. Find a step-by-step guide on the How to Pack a Shoebox webpage, visit

Drop-off locations nearby include Waynesville First Baptist Church, Bethel Baptist Church and Ochre Hill Baptist Church in Sylva.


Baptist Children’s Homes expands

Baptist Children’s Homes of North Carolina is adding a key and historic component to its already comprehensive array of services to children and families.

The 135-year-old nonprofit is assuming ownership of Christian Adoption Services, giving BCH the ability to aid families with domestic and international adoptions.

“This is an extraordinary way for Baptist Children’s Homes to celebrate its 135th anniversary,” said Michael C. Blackwell, who has served as BCH President/CEO since 1983. “Now more than ever, boys and girls need to be cared for by dedicated families who can give them the love and protection they deserve. Bringing in the proven expertise of Christian Adoption Services expands our ability to offer children hope.”

Together, BCH and CAS have almost 176 years of experience in providing compassionate services to bring help, hope and healing to vulnerable children.


Raffle to benefit homeless families

On Saturday, Nov. 21, a local nonprofit focused on providing assistance to the unsheltered will hold a charity raffle — with a little help from Haywood County’s own bluegrass super-group Balsam Range.

Helping Hands of Haywood is currently offering raffle tickets for $1 each, or 6 for $5. Winners will be drawn by members of Balsam Range at 7 p.m. live on Facebook. Prizes include photo sessions, quilts, artwork, dining, pet grooming services, retail gift cards, greens fees at area golf courses and more. All proceeds will be used to help a family experiencing temporary homelessness through the EACH initiative, another local nonprofit charged with mitigating homelessness. For more information on prizes or to purchase tickets, visit or call 828.508.3420.


Health Foundation NIMble grants

More than 30 Western North Carolina nonprofits and public service agencies have been awarded Needs Immediately Met, or NIMble, grants from Nantahala Health Foundation in support of programs designed to achieve better health outcomes for regional residents.

Organizations located in Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Jackson, Macon, Swain counties, and the Qualla Boundary, many with immediate needs as a result of COVID-19’s impact on the region, were awarded a total of $272,882.

“The primary goal of our NIMble grant program is to ensure our quick response to meet our partners’ most crucial needs,” Nantahala Health Foundation Executive Director Lori Bailey said. “In addition to meeting these urgent needs, NIMble has helped us identify and work with organizational leaders who have developed innovative ideas for addressing the social determinants of health in our region.”

According to Bailey, more than 75% of awarded NIMble grants, or $212,499, will support regional recovery efforts.

For more information about Nantahala Health Foundation, visit


Evergreen Foundation awards grants

The Evergreen Foundation recently awarded $173,000 in second quarter funding to six nonprofit agencies providing programs and services for individuals with Behavioral Health, Substance Abuse and Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities throughout Western North Carolina.

• The Arc of Haywood County — $25,000 to replace security cameras in their group homes serving individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

• Hawthorne Heights — $79,551 in funding as a match for a Juvenile Crime Commission grant to resume respite services at the WNC youth shelter in Bryson City.

• Youth Villages — $30,000 in match funding to provide post foster care services in WNC. Services include assisting youth with employment, housing and higher education opportunities.

• Macon Citizens Habilities — $15,115 to purchase supplies to repair the roof and skylight at their day services facility, which serves individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

• LifeSpan Services — $13,326 to create welcoming outdoor spaces and install an automatic door at their campus in Cherokee County.

• Life Challenge — $10,000 to make repairs to their sewer and water system for their program serving women with Substance Use Disorders in WNC.

To learn more, visit the web site at or contact Denise Coleman at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Haywood Hospice hosts memorial

Haywood Hospice & Palliative Care recently hosted its annual Memorial event outside the Lake Junaluska Chapel. 

This year’s theme was “Creating Memories and Leaving a Legacy.” The event was open to families and friends whose loved one was in Hospice care, as well as others in our community who had lost a loved one in the past year. 

Melanie Seeger, bereavement coordinator for Haywood Hospice, welcomed guests to the event and spoke on the importance of sharing stories and memories of a loved one.

“With all that has gone on this year, it was encouraging to see a good crowd come and meet outside for our memorial service,” said Chip Wheat, executive director of Haywood Hospice. “We appreciate everyone who helped make this event possible” 

Haywood Healthcare Foundation sponsors the memorial event. 


Macon not testing during holidays

Due to upcoming holidays, Macon County Public Health will not be conducting COVID-19 testing the weeks of Thanksgiving and Christmas.

For those who are asymptomatic, and believe they have been exposed to COVID-19, follow CDC and NCDHHS guidance of quarantining for 14 days after exposure. Those who have been exposed and are experiencing symptoms should reach out to their primary care provider or seek emergency help.

For other testing sites in the area, visit: testing-place.


Haywood Foundation grant recipients

The board of advisors of the Haywood County Community Foundation recently announced $4,090 in local grant awards from its community grantmaking fund.

• $1,500 to Clothes to Kids of Haywood County, Inc. for the Bottoms Up program

• $910 to The Community Kitchen for feeding the needy of Haywood County

• $1,000 to the Haywood County Gleaners for general operating support

• $680 to the Haywood Habitat for Humanity for the Homebuyer Education for Low-Income Homebuyers program

For further information, contact NCCF Community Leadership Officer Colby Martin at 828.358.0030 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit the NCCF website at

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