As we enter a new normal, we are discovering ways to support our neighbors during these trying times. We feel it’s essential to stay connected and to share information about ways our community can give and receive support. We have created this community resource list and will continue to update it as we learn new information. If you know of other resources or of ways to give back locally, please leave a comment below, and we’ll include it on this list. We encourage you to share this list on your websites and personal pages. You can also check out our COVID-19 Resources for Artists list here, where we talk about opportunities for artists during this time. If you have any additional community-related questions, contact our Outreach Coordinator Barbie White here.
We are so looking forward to seeing everyone back at the Folk School when it’s appropriate and safe to do so—hopefully soon!
Community Resource List
Small Business Assistance
- Tri-County Community College’s Small Business Center is offering counseling services for any business impacted by COVID-19. If you’re interested in receiving counseling from an advanced business specialist, click here for more information. You can also visit Startup Tri-County’s website for additional resources for small business owners and entrepreneurs.
- The Cherokee County Chamber of Commerce has information regarding COVID-19 relief for small businesses and qualified organizations, as well as openings for member support appointments. For more information, email Sherry Raines or visit the Cherokee County Chamber website. Cherokee County Chamber of Commerce also has resources for welcoming and reassuring summer visitors to your business during COVID-19 here.
- The state of North Carolina through the Golden Leaf Foundation is offering rapid recovery loans. To learn more and apply, click here.
- Mountain Bizworks has developed a list of COVID-19 Rapid Recovery Financing Options. To view this list, click here.
- The Community Foundation through the Emergency and Disaster Response Fund has awarded over $1 million in grants toward relief efforts. To learn more and apply for a future grant, visit this link.
- The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Resources is offering flexible funding for Community Action Agencies. This funding will be used to help low-income individuals and families meet a variety of needs caused by the economic disruption of the pandemic. Find and contact your local CAA to find more information on funding here.
- Nantahala Health Foundation has announced a call for grant proposals from regional non-profits and governmental agencies with immediate needs magnified by the COVID-19 pandemic. Applications for Needs Immediately Met, or NIMble grants will be accepted through August 5. These grants of up to $10,000 are intended to support one-time critical purchases, as well as immediate needs for stabilization or crisis response. For more information, visit this link.
- State Farm is offering their Neighborhood Assist Grants to 40 non-profits for their neighborhood improvement projects. These grants will be $25,000. To learn more and apply, click here.
- The Federal Reserve has established the Main Street Lending Program to support lending to small and medium-sized businesses and non-profit organizations that were in sound financial condition prior to COVID-19. For more information regarding eligibility, visit this link.
- The Cherokee County Community Foundation is now accepting grant applications for non-profit organizations serving needs in the local community. Grants typically range from $500-$1,000. The deadline for applications is noon, August 18. To learn more, call 828-772-1886 or email Program Officer Tyran Hill here.
- The North Carolina Healing Communities fund provides critical resources for nonprofit organizations in North Carolina that have been impacted severely by COVID‐19 through revenue loss and increased demand. Currently, NCCF is in the process of raising funds from philanthropic partners and finalizing the process for grant distribution. To stay updated on this fund, visit this link.
- Pharus Group is offering help to businesses on strategic planning, financial planning, and other areas that may have been impacted by the pandemic. To learn more, visit their website here.
- To set up an account to file for unemployment, visit this link.
- North Carolina’s Department of Commerce is offering assistance and resources for those who have questions about filing for unemployment benefits. Visit this link for more information.
- Georgia’s Department of Labor has resources available on how to claim weekly unemployment benefits, find a job, check your claim, and more. Click this link for more information.
- Those impacted by furlough can visit NC Works to find job postings, create their resumé, and locate education opportunities near them. Visit NC Works website to learn more.
- You can receive local employment help by contacting Paul Worley here.
- Mountain Credit Union has Certified Credit Union Financial Counselors on staff to provide financial wellness checkups if your employee’s health or benefits have been delayed due to COVID-19. These checkups explain how to build a wellness fund, start a budget and build strategies for how to eliminate debt. To schedule an appointment, click here.
- All library locations within Nantahala Regional Library will have free Wi-Fi in their parking lots. To view other community Wi-Fi locations, click here.
- The Clay County Health Department is posting videos to their YouTube account with helpful information on general hygiene, wellness, breastfeeding, and more. To watch, visit this link.
- The World Health Organization is offering resources for how to address coronavirus concerns with kids. Visit this link to view their recommendations.
- Anyone can access NCDHHS recordings of their COVID-19 webinars and calls held for communities and stakeholders. Webinars and calls can be found here.
- The NC Cooperative Extension of Clay County is offering a variety of online programs for youth ages 5 to 18. For more information, visit the link here.
- Bridge Academy at Tri-County Community College is offering college and career readiness assistance for those who may have lost their job due to COVID-19. This assistance includes obtaining a GED, brushing up on job skills, and resume building. For more information, call 828-835-4322 or email the Bridge Academy here.
- Cherokee County Schools can be reached at 828-837-2722, and Clay County Schools at 828-389-8513.
- Polk County Libraries are offering one-on-one computer training sessions through the month of August. To reserve your slot, call East Polk Public Library at 423-548-4004 or West Polk Public Library at 423-338-4536.
- Matt’s Ministry Food Bank will have food distribution every Saturday in Hayesville. For more information, call 828-361-9083.
- The NC Cooperative Extensions of Clay and Cherokee counties have compiled a list of local food options. For more information, click the link.
- Cherokee County Food Bank will have food distribution every Tuesday and Saturday from 10 a.m. until noon. For more information, call 828-321-5512.
- Clay County Food Bank will be offering food distribution. Call 828-389-1657 for more information.
- For a full list of local food assistance, visit this post by WKRK.
- MANNA HelpLine 1-800-820-1109 in operation Monday-Friday from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Callers can get help signing up for food stamps over the phone, including applications with stickers where they need to sign and a postage-paid envelope included for their local DSS. To view upcoming local markets, visit this link.
- A new app from the North Carolina Department of Agriculture is connecting farmers to consumers. The Visit NC Farms app showcases farms and fisheries, pick your own produce/fruit, farmer’s markets, local food and drink, shop local, farm stays and lodging, tours and trails, and special events. This app is helping to promote agritourism in local counties and other parts of the state. If you believe your business may fall into these categories, visit this link. To learn more about the app, click here.
- North Carolina has been approved for the new Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) program. This program will provide extra help buying groceries for the families of the more than 800,000 children who normally receive free and reduced lunch at school. P-EBT eligible families currently receiving Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) benefits will automatically receive an additional benefit on their EBT card. To learn more, visit this link.
- Governor Roy Cooper announced that parents who need food assistance for children 18 and younger can text FOODNC to 877-877 to locate nearby free meal sites. Parents need to enter their address + receive the location + serving times for nearby pick-up free meal sites. The service is also available in Spanish if you text “COMIDA” to 877-877.
- The U.S. Department of Agriculture through the Farm Service Agency will be accepting applications from agricultural producers who have suffered losses. Visit this WKRK link to learn more.
- The Center for Environmental Farming Systems has a variety of resources available for those impacted by COVID-19. Click here for information on events and training, announcements, and educational material. You can also view their EmPOWERing Mountain Food Systems page to learn more about future paid apprenticeship programs, grant and loan opportunities, and scholarships here.
- The NCDHHS Division of Public Health, Nutrition Services Branch announced its annual participation in the USDA’s Child and Adult Care Food Program to ensure children and adults continue to have access to good nutrition. The CACFP provides reimbursements for nutritious meals and snacks to eligible children and adults who attend qualifying non-residential care facilities. To learn more about this program, visit this link.
- Blue Ridge Mountain Electric Membership Corporation is offering free children’s Eye Spy Energy Kits that include activity sheets, games, and stickers. You can order yours here.
- The Still Place is offering virtual mini-retreats for the public to enjoy. Visit this link to watch.
- For additional resources on community, individual, or business resources, visit the USDA Federal Resource Guide for Rural Communities here.
- Pisgah Legal Services has a listing of COVID-19 resources. To learn more, click here.
- You can now view COVID-19 information based on zip code. To learn more, visit this link.
- The COVID Mobilize app is providing businesses the ability to give support to local non-profits, health professionals, and governments. To learn more, click here.
- Cherokee County residents and EBCI of Graham or Cherokee counties are eligible for COVID-19 relief funds through the United Methodist Ministries Network. Those interested can receive funds for past bills due if they can prove residence and income loss since March 2020. For more information, call 828-361-9367.
- North Carolina has created the nation’s first statewide technology platform, NCCARE360 to coordinate whole-person care. This care will unite traditional healthcare settings and organizations with other non-medical drivers of health, such as food, housing, transportation, employment, and interpersonal safety. Those in North Carolina can search more than 10,000 local services and access resources. For more information, call 2-1-1 or visit this link.
- The Cherokee County Health Department can be reached at 828-837-7486, Erlanger Western Carolina Hospital at 828-837-8161, and N.C. Department of Health & Human Services at 866-462-3821.
- Veterans can contact Cherokee County Veterans services at 828-835-8663.
- Cherokee County Senior Services can be reached at 828-837-2467.
- Funding is now available to help North Carolina residents in crisis pay cooling or heating bills, or secure cooling or heating resources. The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Resources provides this assistance to qualified, low-income households who are experiencing a cooling related crisis, or a heat-related crisis in the winter. To find full eligibility details, visit the NCDHHS website here.
Looking for a way to give back?
- Consider giving blood through the Red Cross. To find a blood drive near you, visit this link.
- Give back to a local food bank. View our Food section above to find contact information for local food banks.
- Eating and shopping locally is a great way to give back. View your favorite local restaurant’s website or Facebook page to find information on their modified hours.
- Continue watching church services online or any online offerings through your favorite local organizations to play an active part from home.
- REACH of Cherokee County’s thrift store will be accepting your donated items. For more information, visit their website.
- Consider donating to a cause close to your heart. View your local non-profit’s website or Facebook page to find more information on how you can support them during this time.
- MANNA is looking for volunteers. Click here to learn more.
Barbie is the Outreach Coordinator for the John C. Campbell Folk School. She joined the Folk School staff in 2020 and enjoys connecting with the local community, engaging prospective students, and building relationships with makers. In her spare time, you can find her hiking, painting, or cooking a new recipe.