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Stricker-Alderman Fund Launched

Stricker-Alderman Fund Launched

In an effort to provide additional support to TVS employees, TVS is proud to implement the Stricker-Alderman Fund. This resource is intended to help those in times of crisis.

The Stricker-Alderman Fund is named in honor of Nancy Stricker, former TVS CEO, and Becky Alderman, former TVS COO, for their long-term commitment to individuals in Transylvania County.

“The Stricker-Alderman Fund is built on the idea that life happens and sometimes all we need is an extra life-line and a helping hand-up when times get tough,” said TVS Employee Support Specialist Kyle Ridgley. “TVS wants to serve its employee’s well and show each employee that we value them. We know that things arise that need extra assistance and having this resource available helps make TVS what it is.”

A recent survey indicated that TVS employees have experienced lack of basic needs in some of the following areas within the last 5 years: housing, transportation, utilities, and medical care. The Stricker-Alderman Fund advances the TVS mission of providing services and employment opportunities for adults with disabilities and other barriers to employment, but it also extends beyond the normal work day and assists employees with basic life needs.

“The Stricker-Alderman Fund was needed at TVS,” said Ridgley. “It all comes back to the Trust, Value, Serve model of TVS. We ‘value’ our mission and you can ‘trust’ us to be by your side as we continue to provide ‘services’ and other avenues of assistances as needed.”

The fund is a taxable event. Individuals can receive one grant per year with a maximum of $3,500.

To be eligible, an individual must be a full-time or part-time employee of TVS and the individual, or an eligible dependent (18 years or younger), must have experienced a qualifying event in the past 90 days. A qualifying event is an event that affects your ability to pay for basic living expenses such as utilities, mortgage/rent, food, or transportation.

Events that might be considered eligible for qualification for the Stricker Alderman Fund could include: a serious illness or injury, unexpected medical or dental visits, death of a family member, extreme circumstances such as homelessness or fire, natural disasters, and others.

The application is completely confidential. Usually, within 10 days of submitting the application, a response will be issued. While not all submissions are guaranteed to result in a grant, all submissions are reviewed on a case by case basis, and if necessary, other local resources/assistance options will be provided.

“I am honored to be able to have the opportunity to partner and support TVS employees,” said Ridgley. Looking ahead, TVS hopes to add to Transportation and Personal Advancement assistance tiers to the fund.

For more information about the Stricker-Alderman Fund or to receive a copy of the application please reach out to Kyle Ridgley at (828) 884-2052 or email strickeralderman@tvsinc.org.

 

TVS “Give Back, Get Back” 2021 donation drive ends with 100 shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child

TVS “Give Back, Get Back” 2021 donation drive ends with 100 shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child

The final event of the TVS “Give Back, Get Back” donation drive continued the pattern of exceeding expectations! TVS employees donated more than expected and blew the donation goals out of the water!

For the final drive, TVS employees brought in 2,500 items to be stuffed into shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child. This year’s goal was to stuff 75 shoeboxes, and TVS employees actually helped fill 100 boxes! The boxes were evenly divided into 50 for girls and 50 for boys in the year range of 5-9. Last year, TVS employees filled 50 boxes.

“The best part is seeing how TVS employees come together for a good cause. Our employees never cease to amaze,” said TVS Benefits and Recruitment Specialist Catherine Tinsley. “As I was stuffing the boxes, all I could think about was how excited a child is going to be when they get to open their box.”

Each shoebox was able to include: a toothbrush, hair brush, wash cloths, tissues, Band-Aids, Chapstick, socks, pencils, glue sticks, and a colored writing item. In total, each box has 20-25 items!

“It was really neat to see what different items employees would bring in,” Tinsley said. “You could tell by the donations that some people really wanted to make sure that the children had clothes and some really wanted to make sure they had school supplies, so it was just cool to see what each person thought was important.”

On top of the generosity of TVS employees, one TVS individual pledged to cover the shipping cost for the original 75 shoeboxes. TVS happily stepped in to cover the extra 25 boxes. “Although this individual wants to remain anonymous, TVS is extremely grateful for this person’s willingness to give back,” said Tinsley.

The shoeboxes were dropped off at Wesleyan Church before being going to Charlotte, NC and finally shipped out to their final destinations. All the extra items that did not fit into the boxes are being donated to SAFE, Inc of Transylvania County.

 

Steven Mitchell celebrates 20 years at TVS

Steven Mitchell celebrates 20 years at TVS

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, Steven Craig Mitchell began his career at TVS. It has been two decades since Steven started working at TVS. He is one of the ‘original 2nd shift crewmembers’ still here putting both ‘pride and potential’ in all that he does. 

Steven was a TVS client in 1989. TVS Employment Specialists helped him secure a job with General Electric before they closed and Steven ended up moving to South Carolina.

He would move back to North Carolina to be with his grandmother before returning to TVS as an employee in 2001.

When not at work, Steven enjoys playing video games, hanging out with coworker and roommate Robbie Wright, or watching a classic Star Wars or Superman movie.

Steven still works on the 2nd shift, but has been promoted from a production worker to a material handler at the warehouse location. He loads and unloads trucks and bring products from the warehouse location to the main facility to help keep production moving smoothly.

Warehouse Manager Shannon Merrill says, “I haven’t worked with Steven long, but I have really noticed his growth as a Material Handler.”

Steven says, “This is the best job I have had at TVS. I enjoying talking to the truck drivers and hearing their different stories.”

Looking ahead, Steven is excited to begin his certification in forklift training. The “Train the Trainer” certification will allow Steven to teach other individuals at TVS how to drive a forklift.

“I am impressed with his attention to safety and his desire to be all he can be,” said Safety and Security Manager Jackie Compton. “He has come a long way here at TVS and he operates a forklift exceptionally well.”

Talking about the forklift certification, Steven laughs and says, “May the fork be with you.” Steven gives credit to Jackie and Dean Chapman, the former Warehouse Manager, for teaching him the secrets of the trade years ago.

“He is what TVS is all about and what it has been about from the beginning from corn shuck flowers to now,” said Dean. “It was an honor to me to have a friend like Craig [Steven] along my 24-year journey at TVS.”

With all the ups and downs in life, Steven reflects on the hard life moments where TVS pulled him through. “TVS has always been a family to me. They opened their arms to me, even when my momma died. They helped me get a car to go see her one last time,” Steven says. “It is a good place to work, they are always there to help.”

A Letter of Appreciation

A Letter of Appreciation

A nice surprise popped into the TVS email last week, a letter of appreciation from Allison Snyder. Allison is an Inclusion Education Major at Western Carolina University (WCU) who graduated from Rosman High School in 2019.

The letter is a nice reminder that our mission is visible in the community and how important our work is. Thank you to all TVS employees working to support our mission, and thank you to Allison for your kind words.

Click here to read the Letter of Appreciation.

TVS employees donate 1700 hygiene items to SAFE

TVS employees donate 1700 hygiene items to SAFE

In the second donation of the 2021 ‘Give Back, Get Back’ event, Transylvania Vocational Services (TVS) employees collected over 1,700 hygiene items to donate to SAFE of Transylvania County.

“We are really touched by this donation,” said Director of Human Resources at SAFE, Patience Camp. “It is the smallest things that mean so much when you have very little or nothing. The people we help appreciate these items and it means a lot to know that people care, even though they cannot voice it.”

SAFE is a community leader in eliminating domestic and sexual abuse through support, prevention and outreach. The SAFE team knows that ending domestic and sexual abuse builds stronger families, economies and communities.

Items donated included hundreds of tooth brushes, deodorant, hair brushes, soap, body lotion, feminine products and more.

“This donation will allow us to use funds for other things needed such as food in our food pantries and operational items,” said Camp. “It is just amazing and we truly appreciate this.”

Currently, this hygiene donation event has collected the most items ever in a TVS donation.

“It makes me super proud to work at TVS and watch employees give so generously,” said TVS Administrative Assistant Kayde Hopkins. “I am ecstatic with the donation and have enjoyed giving back to SAFE the way they give back to the community.”

The annual ‘Give Back, Get Back’ donation event also donated 1,300 food items to Life Changers Outreach of Pisgah Forest in early October and is currently collecting items to package 75 shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child.

Halloween Scares at TVS

Halloween Scares at TVS

The spooky season was celebrated with festive outfits, hygiene care, and a spooky bake off at TVS this year.

TVS employees and program participants dressed up for the holiday for a chance to win two zero-gravity chairs or a double gravity chair. All individuals who dressed up were displayed on the break room TV for employees to vote on their favorite costume!

Congratulations to Sara Gibbs for winning the Halloween contest! Her scary clown costume spooked the most employee votes.

To complete the holiday, there was also a scary bake-off on Sunday, October 31st for TVS “C” shift employees.

“The Halloween bake-off was an easy idea. We had already been cooking for each other once a week prior to the holiday,” said “C” shift Supervisor Mitchell Rapp. “It brought the staff together and set a good tone for the rest of the day.”

On the menu were multiple items: edible intestines (Sara Gibbs & Devin Stepp), cut-off hand meatloaf (Esther & Charlie Parker), cut-off fingers and toes (Mary Larkin & Eric McGahee), baby fingers (Angie Ludy), candy corn (Will Coleman), stuffed hearts (Esther & Charlie Parker), and candy (Mandy Mathews).

Contestants were judged on taste and overall appearance. The judges were Production Supervisor Brian Wilson and his wife Lee Wilson, along with Supply Chain Manager Justin Frady.

“It was fun seeing the creative and demented ideas,” said Judge Brian Wilson. “I could tell that everyone was enjoying themselves which really made the experience that much more fun.”

But the overall winners were first place – “Edible Intestines” by Sara Gibbs and Devin Stepp, second place – “Cut-off Hand Meatloaf” by Esther and Charlie Parker, and third place – “Cut-off Fingers and Toes” by Mary Larkin and Eric MaGahee.

The top three winners earned a gift card to Hotels.com, Waffle House and Taco Bell.

Along with the holiday cheer, TVS employees were also gifted Halloween goody bags filled with floss, tooth paste and a tooth brush from the TVS Wellness Committee. October was National Dental Hygiene Month and with the trick-or-treating it was a healthy reminder for TVS employees to keep up with dental hygiene, in between pieces of candy!