Community Resources and Volunteer Opportunities
In Henderson County, a strong sense of community is evident by the many social, civic, charitable and religious organizations here and in the large number of newcomers and natives who volunteer their time to enrich lives all over the county and beyond.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Henderson County
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Henderson County is one of 11 branches of BBBS WNC. The organization offers one-on-one mentoring programs for youth with the assistance of community volunteers. Last year, the nonprofit served about 100 young people across Henderson County, partnered with 24 local schools and worked to build new relationships with the community.
Blue Ridge Humane Society
Since 1950, Blue Ridge Humane Society has been dedicated to ensuring a safe environment for homeless, injured and abused domestic animals awaiting adoption. BRHS works to reduce the overpopulation of companion animals and to improve their quality of life through adoption, collaboration and community education. The nonprofit’s services include SNIP (Spay Neuter Incentive Program), a community pet food pantry, veterinary medical assistance, re-homing listings, behavior training and education and outreach.
Blue Ridge Literacy Council
Blue Ridge Literacy Council is dedicated to transforming lives through improved literacy and English communication skills. Volunteer tutors work directly with adult learners to increase their basic literacy skills, learnEnglish as a Second Language, prepare for citizenship, obtain their GEDs or reach self-sufficiency through improved work literacy.
Boys & Girls Club of Henderson County
TheBoys & Girls Club of Henderson County provides high-quality after-school and summer programming to more than 1,300 youth annually. These programs help young people achieve in school, prepare for careers, serve the community and stay active and fit while choosing positive personal actions. The club serves children ages six to 18. An all-inclusive membership costs $5 per child per year.
Children and Family Resource Center
The Children and Family Resource Center improves children’s lives through parent education, quality childcare resources and leadership on children’s issues throughout our community. It also provides an array of programs and services to parents and caregivers of young children in Henderson County.
Community Foundation of Henderson County, Inc.
Since 1982, Community Foundation of Henderson County has been helping people who care make lasting contributions to causes that matter. This past fiscal year, the Foundation received more than $7.7million in new charitable contributions and distributed more than $3.5million in grants and scholarships. Currently, the Foundation has more than $108.3 million in assets and is the steward of more than 550 funds and trusts. Ninety-five percent of these funds are endowments that provide philanthropic support forever.
Conserving Carolina is a land trust dedicated to protecting land and water, promoting good stewardship and creating opportunities for people to enjoy nature. The organization serves Henderson, Polk, Rutherford and Transylvania Counties and parts of neighboring counties in North Carolina and South Carolina. Conserving Carolina has helped protect more than 45,000 acres of natural places from the waterfalls of DuPont State Forest to the rock faces of the Hickory Nut Gorge to the farms and rivers that provide food and clean water.
Council on Aging for Henderson County
Celebrating 50 years of service in Henderson County, the Council on Aging continues to engage, connect and support adults in our community as we age. This mission is achieved through programs such as Meals on Wheels, Liquid Nutrition, Caregiver Services, Congregate Nutrition at the Sammy Williams Center and Resource Coordination. In addition, the agency operates two thrift stores which provide valuable financial support.
Crossnore School & Children’s Home
For more than 100 years, Crossnore School & Children’s Home has provided a Christian sanctuary of hope and healing for children in need from North Carolina. Foster care, adoption services and clinical services are offered out of its Hendersonville office. Crossnore’s holistic model of care allows for the care and nurturing of each child’s mind, body and spirit.
Henderson County Habitat for Humanity
Henderson County Habitat for Humanity builds homes with low-income families who are living in substandard housing, working and can pay an affordable mortgage, and are willing to spend “sweat equity” hours helping build their homes alongside Habitat volunteers. Habitat has built homes with almost 200 families so far and is currently building energy-efficient homes in Habitat’s Dodd Meadows neighborhood in East Flat Rock. Habitat also has several home repair programs.
Henderson County Public Library
With the main library downtown and five branches throughout the county, the Henderson County Public Library makes available to all county residents tens of thousands of books, movies and music in both physical and digital format. Each location offers free Wi-Fi to all visitors and public computer access for those with a card or guest pass. The library offers engaging programs for all ages as well as study rooms and event space for the community.
Hendersonville Rescue Mission
Serving the hungry, addicted, homeless and poor in our community, Hendersonville Rescue Mission offers overnight shelter, an addiction recovery program, the Good Samaritan Clinic and more. What began from a tailgate in 1981 today gives shelter to more than1,000 people and provides more than 60,000 meals each year from its facility on Maple Street. The mission has been helping those in need 365 days a year for 38years.
Houses of Worship
Henderson County has hundreds of houses of worship representing both nondenominational and denominational congregations. Several churches in the area provide full-time childcare or half-day preschool programs. Henderson County also is home to two Christian-affiliated conference centers – Bonclarken Conference Center and Kanuga Conferences, Inc. – and Heartwood Refuge, a Buddhist retreat center.
Housing Assistance Corporation
A private, non-profit organization, the Housing Assistance Corporation is committed to providing safe and affordable housing for persons of limited income living in Henderson County. Housing Assistance Corporation also provides health and safety home repair, apartment communities, owner-built housing, farm-labor housing and home-ownership education and counseling.
Interfaith Assistance Ministry
Interfaith Assistance Ministry provides emergency relief for Henderson County residents who are in financial crisis. IAM helps with food, clothing, heat, utilities, rent, medication, school supplies and other basic needs in an atmosphere of compassion and respect. Founded in 1984, IAM is supported by local congregations, civic groups, businesses, individuals and grants.
Safelight offers free, confidential help for adults and children affected by domestic violence, sexual assault or child abuse.Safelight’s services include a 24-hour crisis line, an emergency shelter, therapeutic counseling, support groups, victim advocacy, community education, job training and more. Safelight and its partners operateBelieve Child Advocacy Center which cares for child victims of physical and sexual abuse. The Henderson County Family Justice Center is a Safelight partnership which helps guide survivors through the judicial system while assisting them in accessing other services they may need after interpersonal violence has occurred. Dandelion Eatery and Safelight Resale Store are components of Safelight’s job training program, helping trauma survivors build the confidence and skills necessary to obtain employment that leads to self-sufficiency. By removing barriers to getting help, Safelight’s programs heal lives and create a safer, healthier community.
Formed in 2000, The Storehouse is a Christ-centered food and hygiene pantry for the needy in Henderson County. The nonprofit’s main project is an ongoing program to feed the hungry in Henderson County by providing an assortment of dry groceries. The Storehouse also provides cleaning, hygiene and personal care items. The food program feeds 462 families a month and constantly receives new referrals from other agencies in the community. At Christmastime, The Storehouse also serves more than 2,000 children through its Blessings in Boxes program.
United Way of Henderson County
United Way of Henderson County mobilizes people and resources to change conditions in our community and create a better life for everyone. United Way fights to improve education, financial stability and health – the building blocks for a good quality of life. Henderson County residents can get involved through financial gifts, special initiatives and volunteering. UWHC’s Volunteer Hendo shares volunteer opportunities throughout Henderson County through volunteerhendo.org where residents can search by agency, interest or cause to find opportunities that fit their schedules and interests.
Vocational Solutions of Henderson County
Vocational Solutions of Henderson County, which has served the community since 1967, provides career and life skills training for adults with disabilities or vocational barriers to employment. Clients participate in academic classes, training to promote independent living, community inclusive activities and work projects provided by local business partners.
WCCA, or Western Carolina Community Action, provides many life-changing resources and serves thousands of people striving to improve their self-reliance. In a culture of respect, WCCA assists low-income and underserved people in Henderson County and throughout Western North Carolina with achieving their potential through advocacy and quality services such as Head Start and Early Head Start, housing programs, public and human services, transportation that includesApple Country Transit, programs for older adults and self-sufficiency programs.
NC 2-1-1 is an information and referral service provided by United Way of North Carolina and supported by local United Ways and public and private partners across the state.This free service connects callers to a network of more than 18,000 resources in Henderson County and across North Carolina. By dialing 2-1-1 from any landline or mobile phone 24 hours a day, seven days a week, callers are connected to trained referral specialists. Services also can be accessed at nc211.org.
Henderson County has multiple civic clubs for community members to connect and work together on volunteer efforts.
Hendersonville Kiwanis Club
Kiwanis International is a global organization of volunteers whose goal is to improve the world one child at a time. The Hendersonville Kiwanis Club meets at The Chariot at 715 N Church Street every Thursday at 11:30 am for lunch with the meeting beginning at noon. The Service First Kiwanis Committee meets the first and third Wednesday of each month at 5:30 pm at various locations around the Hendersonville area.
The Hendersonville Kiwanis Club sponsors several Service Leadership Programs
including five K-Kids Clubs serving elementary age students (ages 6-12); Terrific Kids Programs in seven elementary schools (ages 6-12); two Builders Clubs serving middle school age students (ages 12-14); five Key Clubs serving high school age students; and the Aktion Club serving adults with disabilities (age 18 and older).
LIONS CLUBS INTERNATIONAL
Edneyville Community Lions Club
The Edneyville Community Lions Club meets the second and fourth Mondays of each month at 7 pm at the Southern Trust Estate and Auction Company at 1050 7th Avenue E in Hendersonville.
The club accepts old eyeglasses, hearing aids, soda can tops and new toys as donations. The Edneyville Community Lions Club recycles eyeglasses and hearing aids for reuse here in the United States and abroad. Soda can tops are recycled to help fund the club’s seeing eye dog program. New toys collected are for the club’s Christmas program benefiting children in Edneyville and other parts of Henderson County and are distributed at the club’s annual Christmas party at the Southern Trust Estate and Auction Company.
The Edneyville Community Lions Club has a Spot Vision Camera for vision screening for toddlers through older adults that is available for use at daycare centers, schools and elsewhere.
The club also hands out Christmas bags to homeless individuals, sponsors visually impaired people to go to summer camp at Camp Dogwood on Lake Norman for a week, gives school supplies to local elementary schools at the beginning of the year and partners with other organizations for service activities.
Etowah Lions Club
Lions Clubs International members are service-oriented men and women. The Lions Club in Etowah meets at the Etowah Lions Den at 447 Etowah School Road the second and fourth Tuesday at 6:30 pm.
The Etowah Lions Club is community-minded, concentrating on the needs of sight and serving the sight impaired and blind in the local area. The club concentrates on youth eye screening in Henderson County and surrounding areas to try to catch eyesight issues early.
The Etowah Lions Club owns and operates the Etowah Lions Services, Inc. garbage service. This allows the club to give back to the community and maintain the projects currently on the slate and future projects. Programs and services supported by this company include but are not limited to Etowah Lions Club, Henderson County Youth Baseball, youth programs at West Henderson, Rugby and Etowah Elementary, and District and State Convention support.
Hendersonville Lions Club
Serving the Hendersonville area since December 1938, the Hendersonville Lions Club meets weekly at noon on Fridays at The Chariot at 715 N Church Street. The club’s major activity is sight conservation, including providing eye exams and eyeglasses to those in need. Helping children with health-related issues is an important club focus. Financial support has been given to a child in need of a prosthetic eye, a child undergoing cleft palate reconstruction and a child awaiting a kidney transplant. The Hendersonville Lions also provided a guide dog to a visually impaired Iraqi War Veteran and helped furnish a hearing dog to a woman deaf since birth.
The Hendersonville Lions Club supports other local causes such as scouting, 4-H programs, youth baseball, Future Leaders, food banks, hunger walks, services for the blind, VIP Christmas Party, Henderson County Education Foundation and the BRCC Scholarship.
The club has helped fund international projects supplying drinking water to a village in the Honduras and constructing a water treatment facility in Moldova. The Hendersonville Lions major fundraisers are a Children’s Film Festival, the Big Apple Country Breakfast, Golf Outings and NCAA final game night.
Mills River Lions Club
The Mills River Lions Club meets the first and third Fridays of the month. The main mission of the organization is supporting people who are visually impaired (VIPs). The club does this by providing canes and glasses to people in need in our community. The Mills River Lions Club provides support to Camp Dogwood and the Marjorie McCune Center. The club also supports local schools and local nonprofits such as Project Dignity of WNC. It also sponsors an Easter Egg Hunt and Trunk or Treat annually in the Mills River Park.
Mountain Home Lions Club
828-693-4814 or 828-712-9049
Chartered in 1979, the Mountain Home Lions Club meets the first and third Tuesdays of the month at 7 pm at the Lion’s Den at 23 Pinellas Street in Mountain Home. The club has a roadside clean-up program and a Neighborhood Watch program. It received a first-place North Carolina Community Service award in 2002 and 2003. The Mountain Home Lions Club provides assistance with eyeglasses and other community service projects. The club owns its own concession stand. The Mountain Home Lions Club has been active in the Eliada Home auctions and received a first-place award four times for the most sale items collected.
Rotary Club of Hendersonville
Rotary is an organization of business and professional leaders united worldwide
who provide humanitarian services, encourage high ethical standards in all
vocations and advance goodwill and peace around the world. The Rotary Club of Hendersonville meets at noon on Tuesdays at The Chariot at 715 N Church Street. The Hendersonville club’s service projects include the annual Clean Sweep clean-up of Mud Creek in September and the annual dictionary project in October through which every Henderson County third-grader receives their own dictionary regardless of whether they are in a public, private or homeschool. The Hendersonville club also gives Community Service grants to nonprofits. Through their annual Educational Grants to local teachers, the club funds activities to enhance learning in classrooms.
Rotary Club of Hendersonville-Four Seasons
Rotary International is a global network of 1.2 million neighbors, friends, leaders and problem-solvers who see a world where people unite and take action to create lasting change. The Hendersonville-Four Seasons Rotary Club meets Mondays at 5:30 pm at Olive or Twist at 121 W Barnwell Street. The Rotary Club of Hendersonville-Four Seasons hosts a community awareness event annually on World Polio Day (Oct. 24) to raise funds and provide information. The club’s signature fundraiser is the Tour d’Apple bike ride (tourdapple.com) held annually on Labor Day. Each spring, the club also hosts Zero-K, a fundraiser to support The CART (Coins for Alzheimer’s Research Trust) Fund.
The club’s signature community service project is sponsorship of Special Needs Sports in WNC, including baseball, basketball and martial arts, as well as an annual Valentine’s Dance and holiday craft expo. The club also partners with the City of Hendersonville to sponsor Four Seasons Rotary Park and the City’s annual Arbor Day ceremony. Other projects include support for scholarships at Blue Ridge Community College and annual food drives and book donations for Henderson County Public Schools.