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.
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 Small Business Center will be hosting free webinars for small businesses. You can register for an online webinar here. 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. An open meeting session is also available every Tuesday from 12:30-2:30 p.m. for members. For more information, email Sherry Raines or visit the Cherokee County Chamber website.
- To set up an account to file for unemployment, visit this link.
- 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 grant, visit this link.
- The Southwestern Commission has created a survey to track how COVID-19 is affecting local businesses. Click this link to take the survey, or visit this link to view their list of resources westernmost counties in North Carolina.
- The Asheville Impact Micro Grant is awarding $5,000 to early-stage start-ups in Buncombe or Haywood counties. To learn more about how to apply and qualifications, visit this link.
- 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.
- Golden Leaf is offering a scholarship fund to support rural community college students in North Carolina. The deadline to apply for scholarships is June 2020. Visit this link for more information.
- 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.
- Matt’s Ministry Food Bank will have food distribution every Saturday in Hayesville. For more information, call 828-361-9083.
- 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.
- MANNA drive-thru food distribution will be on Wednesday, May 27 from 12 p.m. until 1 p.m. at the Hiawassee Dam Senior Citizens Community Center. Additionally, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals will be distributing pet supplies to families in need. For more information on MANNA food distributions near you, call the MANNA HelpLine number above.
- 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.
- Keith Wood with N.C. Cooperative Extension, Cherokee County is hosting online vegetable gardening classes through May 28, 2020, every Tuesday and Thursday morning. The sessions start at 9 am and will go no longer than 30 minutes to an hour. Visit this link to tune in.
- 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 is offering advice on how to avoid eviction. 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.
Looking for a way to give back?
- Consider giving blood through the Red Cross. To find a blood drive near you, visit this link.
- Murphy Elementary School is accepting non-perishable items that a child could prepare. Donated items can be dropped off at the school.
- Give back to a local food bank. View our Food section above to find contact information for local food banks.
- Murphy School of Dance and BlueBird Designs is selling t-shirts – where each shirt sold will get two business donations. A portion of donations will go to First United Methodist Church in Murphy. If you’d like to purchase a shirt, visit this link.
- 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 Cherokee County needs microwavable food of any kind, such as meats and sides. Their thrift store will also 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.