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TVS packs 50 shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child

TVS packs 50 shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child

For the final donation event of the TVS season of giving, TVS employees collected over 700 items for Operation Christmas Child. Toys, health and hygiene items, and school supplies were all collected and stuffed into shoeboxes for children in need around the world.

TVS requested that the shoebox donation items were all for children ages 10 to 14. This is the oldest age group in Operation Christmas Child, and it is also the group that normally receives the least amount of gifts.

TVS had preordered 50 shoeboxes directly from the Operation Christmas Child site and by the end of the two-week donation period all the boxes were filled. The collected items remaining were donated to help fill more boxes.

 “I have never done this project before,” said INTERACT participant Taylor. “I think my favorite toy that I put in a box was the Hot Wheels cars.”

All the boxes were stuffed with health and hygiene and school supply items by Human Resources (HR) staff before being having the “Wow” items added by INTERACT participants. These “Wow” items are the larger items such as toys, dolls, and sport balls.

At the end of the box stuffing, all boxes had around 10 to 15 items.

INTERACT participant Laura said, “It’s fun to help the children. I love it.” Not only did Laura help stuff the boxes, she also donated personal care items for the donation and prayed over the boxes for their safe travels and the joy they are bringing to the children.

To help cover the costs, an anonymous TVS employee donated the nine-dollars per box fee needed for shipping and other project costs.  

“Those who donated truly gave with their full hearts for this donation,” said Kayde Hopkins, Administrative Assistant. “I personally love Christmas and the thought of children being excited as they receive these gifts is what this is all about.”

All the shoeboxes were dropped-off at Brevard Wesleyan Church on Thursday, Nov. 19.

The Samaritan’s Purse project Operation Christmas Child has delivered more than 178 million shoebox gifts around the world since 1993 and collected more than 10.5 million shoeboxes for the 2019 initiative.

They collect shoebox gifts and deliver them to children in need around the world to demonstrate God’s love in a tangible way. For many of these children, the gift-filled shoebox is the first gift they have ever received.

 If you are interested in donating requested items, the Operation Christmas Child national collection week is from Nov. 16-23 and donations can still be locally dropped off at Brevard Wesleyan Church or Little River Baptist Church.

You can also build a box online at Learn more about Operation Christmas Child at

TVS employees clean out closets for winter clothing drive

TVS employees clean out closets for winter clothing drive

Winter Clothing Drive

Immediately following our recent food donation, TVS began collecting winter clothing for the Life Changers Outreach. TVS employees cleaned out their closets and collected 200 winter clothing items for the donation. The donation was delivered to Life Changers Outreach on November 2.

With cold fronts moving in and chilly weather in the air, the collection included gently used coats, jackets, jean, and hoodies. Due to COVID restrictions, Life Changers also requested that some of the items be new, such as, gloves, socks, scarves, and beanies.

Life Changers Outreach focuses on helping men and women struggling with various types of bondages or life-controlling issues through Biblical studies, Christian counseling and worship. They offer a non-medical, non-psychiatric approach that focuses on achieving inner-healing for deep rooted issues that are often at the center of addiction.

You can learn more about the program at

Pre-ETS program continue assisting local high schools with a virtual curriculum

Pre-ETS program continue assisting local high schools with a virtual curriculum

In response to the dramatic changes in high school operations due to COVID-19, the TVS Pre-ETS team has been working virtually to continue assisting local high school students with job preparation skills.

The TVS Preparation for Employment Success team works with the North Carolina Department of Vocational Rehabilitation Pre-Employment Transition Services (Pre-ETS) program to assist students with an IEP or 504 plan in Transylvania and Henderson County High Schools. Since the beginning of the school year, Pre-ETS has worked with each high school to best allow for the easiest and safest collaboration.

TVS Pre-ETS Team Lead Jessica Casey and TVS Pre-ETS Program Specialist Montana White, have been working with almost 160 students in six separate high schools within the two counties via computer screens.

“With the semester being virtual, we have actually been able to meet with classes more often and offer extra help when students need more discussion,” said Casey. All the high schools are organized differently to best accommodate social distancing and health safety. Currently, Pre-ETS teachers are teaching a total of 24 classes and are in the process of adding one more to their schedules.

To best accommodate the virtual world, Pre-ETS teachers have changed their education tactics. In the past Pre-ETS has used games and interactive activities, which are no longer options. Instead worksheets, videos, reflections and discussions have become the daily activities.

“We have been very successful transforming our curriculum for a virtual platform,” said White. “The students are actively participating and fully engaged in our activities.”

The virtual curriculum changes have the Pre-ETS team planning some fun new experiences. Casey and White are in the beginning stages of planning virtual tours of local businesses. The tours will be recorded and posted on the students Google Classroom for students to get an idea of what working in that specific location would be like.

Looking ahead, Casey says, “we are happy and excited to deliver whatever the schools need from us as decisions are made about the Spring semester.”

TVS donates over 800 items to Life Changers Outreach!

TVS donates over 800 items to Life Changers Outreach!

During the first two weeks of October, TVS collected over 800 items to donate to the Life Changers Outreach program in Pisgah Forest. This is TVS’ largest donation of canned food in recent history.

“The canned food donation was an absolutely overwhelming response,” said Life Changers Program Director Aaron Britt. “It is all about community and what we can do to help each other.”

The items included boxes of macaroni and cheese, soups and broths, rice and beans, cereals, and much more. Even as the last day for donations was ending, employees were still showing up with items to donate leaving an exact number unavailable.

The event was organized by TVS, Benefits and Recruitment Specialist Catherine Tinsley and TVS Administration Assistance Kayde Hopkins.

“It was so great seeing the employees of TVS come together in just two short weeks to support such a great cause,” Tinsley said. “I am so thankful to be a part of such an amazing company that gives back to the community I am excited to see how our next few drives go!”

Life Changers Outreach is located in Pisgah Forest, North Carolina at the River Church and has been in operation since 2015.

These donated items will be use to feed the men and women that are currently housed and enrolled in the program to better their lives and build a relationship with Christ.

Life Changers Outreach focuses on helping men and women struggling with various types of bondages or life-controlling issues through Biblical studies, Christian counseling and worship. They offer a non-medical, non-psychiatric approach that focuses on achieving inner-healing for deep rooted issues that are often at the center of addiction.

From now until the end of October, TVS will be collecting slightly worn winter clothing, along with new scarfs and gloves, to donate to the nonprofit as well.

You can learn more at

Celebrating Becky’s 45 years at TVS!

Celebrating Becky’s 45 years at TVS!

Becky Alderman and Nancy Stricker standing in front of wall of TVS celebrations and awards.

After 45 years of dedicated service to TVS, COO Becky Alderman retired on October 2 following a surprise retirement celebration that honored her hard work, friendships, and impact throughout the community.

“Using the mission as her compass, Becky always lead TVS, its mission, and its people to a better place,” said TVS CEO Jamie Brandenburg.

In 1975, Becky was hired as the Program Director after graduating from UNC – Chapel Hill with a degree in Sociology. Over the years, Becky had been promoted and grown into the Chief Operating Officer (COO).

“I never planned to do the work I’ve done, but was unexpectedly led to TVS and have never looked back,” Becky said. “What I hope is the key accomplishment in my career, achieved through years of small and large actions, is helping to increase the stature of people with disabilities and other challenges in our community.”

Her determination and hard work have been some of the leading factors in helping grow the company into what it is today with contracts with the USDA, DLA Troop Support, USAID, and other commercial businesses.

It has also led for countless success stories assisting adults with disabilities and other barriers to employment find jobs, both in the community and at TVS.

“Becky’s dedication and perseverance are evident in all the lives she has changed, including mine,” said Lauren Hayes, Human Resource Director. “I am thankful to have worked beside such a great role model.” 

Just before Becky’s last day, TVS held a surprise retirement party in her honor. The spacious company cafeteria was transformed with floral lanterns, balloons, a large cake, and the smiling faces of coworkers, families, and community members. Becky is not an easy person to keep a secret from and it took everyone to help keep Becky occupied while the party planning committee finished decorating and welcomed Becky’s family, friends and other special guests.

The event definitely caught her off guard as she was greeted by cheers and almost endless applause when she entered. After the shock, Becky was presented with a lovely gift basket filled with various gifts and a celebratory shirt for her 45 years at TVS. A special treat was a personalized photo album/memory book complete with personal wishes for a happy retirement from dozens of TVS team members and other close colleagues. Following this, a series of special awards were presented to Becky.

Celebrating her achievements one award at a time, Lauren Hayes presented the first award, a SourceAmerica Certificate of Recognition. 

TVS has been a member of the SourceAmerica network for 20 years, beginning with the contract for packing instant non-fat dry milk for USDA. Source America’s mission is to protect and increase employment opportunities for people with disabilities by collaborating with policymakers in the U.S. Congress and other Federal government leaders and connecting them with goods and services from their member NPAs.

In a farewell to Becky the SourceAmerica Product team said, “We are so thankful for all of the support you have given to people with disabilities, TVS, and SourceAmerica.”

The next award was a Certificate of Appreciation from the Mountain Area Workforce Development Board, presented by Derrick Edwards, the Business Services Representative for the Land of Sky Regional Council, for Becky’s many years of engagement with the Board.

The Mountain Area Workforce Development Board is a partnership of private business executives and leading workforce development organizations in Buncombe, Henderson, Madison, and Transylvania County. The purpose of is to provide policy, planning, oversight and funding for local workforce development programs and address any workplace issues as they emerge.

The last award of the day was the most significant and memorable. Brevard Mayor Jimmy Harris surprised the group by presenting Becky, on behalf of North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper, The Order of the Long Leaf Pine award.

This prestigious award is among the Governor’s highest honors, reserved for persons who have made significant contributions to the state and their communities

through their exemplary service and exceptional accomplishments. Becky was nominated by her husband, Jim Alderman, with letters of recommendation from close friends and colleagues.

The celebration was not all awards and public figures.

The No Limits artists performed a new song, “Rise Up” by Andra Day, in sign language outside of the TVS building. The Life Skills group presented Becky with a handmade piece of artwork. The acrylic art piece was framed and the floral watercolor image contained the names of all the Life Skills participants and the Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) that work in the program.

As one of the last events of the day, TVS held a Flowering Cherry tree planting ceremony out front near the road. The tree represents all the growth that Becky has cultivated for TVS and is a reminder to continue to grow the mission through the many seasons ahead.

The bittersweet celebration was a beautiful way to celebrate all the achievements Becky has accomplished in her career. As she begins a new chapter in retirement, enjoying her garden, traveling, and spending time with her family and friends, TVS wishes her the absolute best.

Becky Alderman with husband, Jim Alderman
TVS Celebrates National Disability Employment Awareness Month

TVS Celebrates National Disability Employment Awareness Month

Brevard, NC (October 6, 2020) – TVS (Transylvania Vocational Services) today announced its participation in National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM), an annual awareness campaign that takes place each October. The purpose of National Disability Employment Awareness Month is to educate about disability employment issues and celebrate the many and varied contributions of America’s workers with disabilities. This year’s theme is “Increasing Access and Opportunity.”

The history of National Disability Employment Awareness Month traces back to 1945 when Congress enacted a law declaring the first week in October each year “National Employ the Physically Handicapped Week.” In 1962, the word “physically” was removed to acknowledge the employment needs and contributions of individuals with all types of disabilities. In 1988, Congress expanded the week to a month and changed the name to National Disability Employment Awareness Month.

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