Monday, May 11th Transylvania Times

The line of cars snakes out of the parking lot and into the street with patient drivers waiting their turn.

Change the World is but one of several nonprofit agencies that Lake Toxaway Charities has assisted by providing funds in these troubled COVID-19 times. It operates out of Anchor Baptist Church in Pisgah Forest and provides free curbside pick-up meals and groceries for the Transylvania County elderly, who are the most vulnerable and cannot risk grocery shopping on their own. Since the onset of the virus, Change the World has tripled the number of its usual client base. It approached Lake Toxaway Charities with a request for emergency funds to meet this need and received a check immediately.

“The agencies Lake Toxaway Charities supports are anchored in the community,” said Carroll Summerour, Grant Committee chair of Lake Toxaway Charities. “Our goal is to connect neighbors with neighbors, and we are blessed that through the generosity of our donors, we are able to give back.” In addition to Change the World, Lake Toxaway Charities recently supported The Sharing House, which is currently navigating a 45 percent increase in need. Shelly Webb, director, told Lake Toxaway Charities that many hurting families have come to them.

“We didn’t know where else to turn,” Webb said. “Thank you for being here.” These connections are vital to providing aid to neighbors, Summerour agreed.

Lake Toxaway Charities is a nonprofit established over 40 years ago and supported solely by donations from property owners in Lake Toxaway Estates. It currently serves 46 nonprofit organizations in Transylvania County, providing annual grants to assist in funding their programs.

In response to the pandemic crisis, the Lake Toxaway Charities sent an urgent appeal in March to 800 property owners asking for donations to support local agencies providing much needed food, medication and shelter to neighbors affected by the state’s stay-at-home policy, as well as business, restaurant and school closings. Over $142,000 has been raised so far from generous donors, and $77,000 in relief funds have been distributed to date.

Chip Brown, co-chair of Lake Toxaway Charities, said, “We are pushing through the wave to increase assistance in Transylvania County as unemployment mounts and food distribution is hampered. The Charities foresees the need to continue to provide this support through the summer and into the fall, with additional emphasis on helping Transylvania County Schools as their students, teachers and staff return to their classrooms.”

Another agency providing immediate needs is God’s Way Food Pantry in Balsam Grove, run by Lydia and David Perry. It served a record 225 families during their last food distribution. The Perrys say their partnership with Lake Toxaway Charities has “enabled us to meet increased food needs, and we thank Lake Toxaway Charities for its continuous support in our communities.”

Lake Toxaway Charities has also been able to triage food needs for Transylvania County Schools while the school system navigated funding at the state-level. Carolyn Barton, director of School Nutrition Services, expressed her gratitude to Lake Toxaway Charities: “Many blessings and thank you’s to Lake Toxaway Charities for supporting thousands of school children in Transylvania County.”

Donors, volunteers and recipients know so many needs are being met as goodwill and generosity spread throughout the county in this most unusual time. The Lake Toxaway Charities is blessed to be part of this effort. For additional information, contact http://www.laketoxawaycharities.org. or call Chip Brown, co-chair, at (704) 560-3175.

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