The Ashe County Sharing Center has started a new fundraiser designed to make the holiday season a little easier for those who donate.
For a donation of $10 per card, the Sharing Center will provide “Honor Cards” where members will personalize and mail out Christmas cards to the donor’s mailing list.
“This is the time for a lot of Christmas parties and other events, so people want to pick up a card to take with a bottle of wine or home-baked good,” said Michael Sexton, program facilitator for the Sharing Center. One of these cards would make a great hostess gift.”
Kelly Vannoy, chairperson for the Sharing Center said the cards will work as hostess gifts and stocking stuffers.
“A lot of times businesses will make a donation to a charity of choice in lieu of buying a gift for someone,” she said. “This is a wonderful option.”
Those who donate will be recognized by having their names on snowflakes placed throughout the Sharing Center through January.
Sexton said in their first day of offering the cards, the Sharing Center had already sold 45. The personalized cards do not have to be written out by the Sharing Center, for those who prefer to write the notes themselves.
“If you want to personalize the card with your own handwriting or message, you can just pick up the cards at the Sharing Center and mail them out yourself,” Sexton said.
So far in 2013, the Sharing Center has provided food assistance for 18,000 people. Donations made to the Sharing Center will be tax-deductible.
Looking for land
The Sharing Center continues to look for land in the vicinity of Jefferson or West Jefferson to construct a new building.
“The sooner we can find (the land), the sooner we can start construction,” Sexton said.
Plans for the new building would include a back area for food truck deliveries, which will help keep the center open during deliveries and provide protection from inclement weather on delivery days.
“(Right now) we have to bring food in through the front door, which forces us to be closed on Wednesday morning,” Sexton said.
The Sharing Center’s Third Ave. location has limited space. The new location plans to have an area for a walk-in freezer, walk-in refrigeration space and a commercial kitchen.
“One of our goals at the Sharing Center is not only to provide food, but to promote healthy food and healthy living,” Vannoy said.
The kitchen would be connected to an education space so the Sharing Center can provide on-site meal preparation training and cooking classes, because occasionally the center is given food, such as leg of lamb, that clients might be unfamiliar with cooking.
“We want to train the clients and teach them how to cook healthy meals,” Sexton said.
Sexton said their current building provides several limitations, which is why there is a strong need for donated land.
“This will be a customized building that will be set up to meet our needs,” Sexton said. “Our current facility barely meets our needs for distribution. It doesn’t meet our needs for intake of food, our need of space and it certainly does not meet our need for educational purposes.
Those who have land available to donate or want to purchase honor cards can call Vannoy at (336) 977-8980 or Sexton at (828) 773-0041.