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Resolve to Make 2017 a Year of Giving

 
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There’s that moment each year after all of the gifts are unwrapped and the last of our Christmas dinner leftovers have been put away that I find myself alone in our living room. “The children are nestled all snug in their beds,” the multi-colored tree lights bounce off the hardwood floor in a cheerful rainbow, and I’m flanked by a snoozing dog and cat, thinking to myself, “Is Christmas over already?” Within days, I’m preparing for the new year and am faced with a new set of questions: “What will 2017 look like?” “How and where will I invest my time in the New Year?”

As we look ahead to another revolution around the sun, now is the perfect moment to shift from a season of gifting to a season of giving. Below, you’ll find information about non-profit groups in each of our Mast Store communities. These organizations are doing impactful work to benefit folks who could use a little extra help in the New Year. You just might find an organization that will inspire you to invest your time in 2017.
 

giving-1.jpgNORTH CAROLINA
High Country
F.A.R.M. Café - Feeding All Regardless of Means (F.A.R.M.) Cafe is a pay-what-you-can community kitchen that aims to build an inclusive and healthy community. They provide high-quality, delicious meals produced from local food sources, when available, and served in a restaurant where everybody eats, regardless of means. F.A.R.M. Cafe relies on a 90% volunteer staff to feed its customers. There are three ways to volunteer: First, “pay it forward” by helping out as F.A.R.M. Cafe staff and assisting in providing meals to those in need. Second, work an hour in exchange for a meal. Or, become a cafe intern and help with the administrative processes of running a non-profit restaurant. There’s more volunteer information HERE.


giving-2.jpgAsheville
Habitat for Humanity - Mast Store associates from the High Country helped build a Green Valley Habitat for Humanity House in 2011. This past year, women from the Waynesville Store volunteered their time to assist in constructing a house in Haywood County during the National Women Build Week. In the Asheville area in 2015, more than 2,000 volunteers contributed 60,000 hours of service, helping to carry out Habitat’s vision of a safe and decent home for every family. Whether sorting donations in the ReStore, hammering on the construction site, or assisting families in the administrative office, there’s plenty of opportunities to get involved. For information about how you can help in the Asheville area, click HERE.


giving-3.jpgWaynesville
Friends of the Smokies - Friends of the Smokies assists the National Park Service in its mission to preserve and protect the Great Smoky Mountains National Park (GSMNP) by raising funds and public awareness, and providing volunteers for needed projects. You can get involved by maintaining a trail in the GSMNP park or along 40 miles of the Appalachian Trail within the park. Volunteers work side-by-side with the National Park Service to make lasting and important improvements throughout the Great Smoky Mountains. After the devastating fires this past fall, the GSMNP needs your help now more than ever. To assist in preserving this beautiful place and help restore the Chimney Tops Trail, click HERE.


giving-4.jpgHendersonville
Girl Scouts Carolinas Peaks to Piedmont - With the support and guidance of nearly 6,400 volunteers, over 14,000 girls in kindergarten through 12th grade are given opportunities for fun and friendship, while fostering the development of leadership skills and self-esteem. Girl Scouts of the Carolinas is seeking adult volunteers to serve as outreach leaders, troop leaders, and event coordinators. Outreach leaders serve 8 weeks for 2 hours each week. Troop leaders are also needed to guide groups of girls through badge earning and community service projects. Lastly, event coordinators plan and implement events for girls in Henderson County. Find out more by clicking HERE.


giving-5.jpgWinston-Salem
SECU House - Winston-Salem is a medical community with two nationally-ranked medical centers and limited affordable lodging for adult patients and their families. Caregivers often must camp out in hospital waiting rooms, hallways, and in their cars. Hospital personnel observe that many patients are more concerned about their family’s living situation than about their own recovery. The SECU Family House provides affordable lodging and support services in a caring environment for referred adult patients and their caregivers, who travel to Winston-Salem for medical treatment. House volunteers play a key role in providing a homelike environment for patients and caregivers. Staff and volunteers are on site at all times to assist more than 2,000 families each year, who stay at the House, as well as the outpatients, who come for day respite in between treatments such as radiation and chemotherapy. House volunteers may offer guest and administrative support, general housekeeping, or maintenance. If you would like to become a house volunteer, click HERE for more.


giving-6.jpgSOUTH CAROLINA
Greenville
Meals on Wheels - Meals on Wheels provides nutritious meals to homebound and incapacitated citizens of Greenville County. Whether you give your time once a week, once a month, or once a year, volunteer support is invaluable to fulfilling the Meals on Wheels mission and impacting the lives of thousands each day. In addition to their need for daily meal pickup and delivery, volunteers help with meal packaging and special events. To find out more about how you can become a Meals on Wheels volunteer in Greenville County, click HERE.


giving-7.jpgColumbia
Harvest Hope - With over 35 years of service as a hunger relief agency, Harvest Hope is a regional food distribution organization that collects, stores, and distributes food and related items that assist families and children throughout 20 counties in central South Carolina. Harvest Hope Food Bank utilizes more than 8,000 volunteers a year in order to keep operations running at their various facilities. Last year, volunteers invested more than 63,000 hours of service, saving Harvest Hope over $1 million in staffing costs. If you’d like to contribute your time, click HERE.


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TENNESSEE
Knoxville
H.A.L.T. - Celebrating their 30th anniversary in 2017, the H.A.L.T. Program (Humans and Animals Learning Together) provides therapeutic intervention for at-risk adolescents through dog obedience training. Dogs are rescued from area shelters for the class, and then adopted after the class is complete. While the dogs are learning basic obedience from their adolescent handlers, the kids are learning about teamwork, self-respect, patience, and understanding from their dogs. There are many opportunities to volunteer with H.A.L.T., including helping out at training classes with dogs and children, educating the public at adoption events, and special events and fundraising. There's more information HERE.

From the beginning, Mast General Store has been committed to investing its time and money in each of its home communities. Mast Store encourages employees to give of themselves and to make monetary donations through paid volunteer time and our matching gifts program. Full-time and part-time employees can take advantage of these benefits to give back to their communities and what's important to them. It's looked upon as carrying forward the traditions of an old country general store.