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Community partnerships work together in supporting local children during pandemic

Community partnerships work together in supporting local children during pandemic

TVS has been assisting with the delivery of meals from Brevard High School to the Cindy Platt Boys & Girls Club and the Boys & Girls Club’s Teen Center in an effort to help the community navigate the struggles of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Boys & Girls Club was providing an average of 75 meals a day at the beginning of the school year in August 2020 and is now providing over 100 meals a day to children. In the past, the Boys & Girls Club has been able to provide the needed transportation, but this school year presented different challenges.

When TVS was asked if they could provide any assistance, there was no hesitation.

“We have all been going through challenging times with the pandemic,” said TVS CEO Jamie Brandenburg. “While the challenges may be different for each individual or organization, the fact remains that these are unprecedented and difficult times for us all.”  

TVS employee, Daniel Rothe has been driving a TVS company van to deliver nutritious meals prepared at Brevard High School to the children at the Boys & Girls Club. This service is helping to continue a sense of normalcy and balance while contributing to healthy lifestyles for local children.

“This has been a huge blessing for us and helps in continuing our mission in the community,” said Sarah St Marie, Executive Director at the Boys & Girls Club. “It’s neat and encouraging to see how our community has come together during this pandemic.”

Historically, this food assistance program was only available to students whose parent’s income allowed for qualification. However, the impacts of COVID-19 have lessened restrictions of qualification allowing all students a free, nutritious meal during school hours. The Boys & Girls Club began supporting lunch for all the children at the center, along with the normal snack and dinner meals that were previously provided.

Looking forward, local middle and high school students are on track to be back on Plan A, a more full-time on-site schedule, after spring break. As the local school system continues to adjust and best accommodate, Rothe continues to provide the food transportation service as needed.

“It is rewarding,” said Rothe. “I love being able to give back to the community.” As long as there is a need in food transportation from the high school to the Boys & Girls Club, TVS is happy to be providing a helping hand.

“We must remember that we aren’t alone and being able to work together with each other’s strengths makes us all stronger,” said Brandenburg. “This is exactly what the partnership between TVS, the Boys & Girls Club, and the Transylvania County Schools has done.”

TVS Artists continue statewide success!

TVS Artists continue statewide success!

Brevard, NC (March 15, 2021) – Program participants at Transylvania Vocational Services (TVS) have been selected as featured artists in the Art Unblocked 2021 exhibit for the second year in a row!

“The TVS artists were very excited about submitting their artwork to the Art Unblocked show. They welcome any opportunity to share their art with others, but this show offered the additional benefits of a much larger virtual audience,” said INTERACT Supervisor Jeanette Wayne. “It means a great deal to the artists to see their work displayed alongside other talented artists from all over the state. Seeing their biographies added a personal touch to the exhibition.”

Art Unblocked is a part of Arts Access’ A Series of Fortunate Events (SOFE) located in Raleigh, North Carolina. Arts Access is NC’s only non-profit organization dedicated solely to making the arts accessible to children and adults with disabilities.

This year, three TVS program participants had submitted artwork accepted into the exhibit.

“My art makes me feel happy and joyful inside,” said Amber reflecting on her work titled, The Art of Sunshine.

“Putting my art in the show means a lot to me.  It made me feel good,” said Andrew. His work, Bach in D Minor, shows three colorful flowers and reminds him of springtime and dandelions.

NBC Peacocks by Kristen features two glittery peacocks. She said, “I painted the NBC Peacocks for my mom because she used to work as an assistant manager at NBC in New York City. I could feel my mom’s presence in my heart as I painted. I would do anything for her.” 

Click here to read the full PDF or to view the Transylvania Times article.

A Virtual ‘Night to Shine’ 2021

A Virtual ‘Night to Shine’ 2021

The 17th annual Night to Shine prom was held on February 12. In contrast to previous years, it was a virtual experience that live-streamed for 40 minutes.  It may not have been the traditional version of the event, but it was still a night to remember for all TVS supported residents.

Historically, Night to Shine is an evening for dressing to the nines with tiaras and bow ties. However, this year TVS supported residents decided to celebrate in their pajamas! A fun twist on the evening.

Residents also spent the evening with their housemates recreating the menu from last year’s Night to Shine, which included chicken sandwich sliders, fruit/vegetable trays, cookies, and bags of popcorn that were filled and decorated.

The virtual prom greeted viewers with paparazzi and a red carpet that welcomed everyone to their special night. Tim Tebow and his wife, Demi-Leigh, hosted the event and there were cameos from several celebrity guests.

This year was the first ever “Night to Shine” dance lead by Demi-Leigh Tebow. She uploaded sneak peeks of the dance moves ahead of time to teach participants. This dance allowed for all prom attendees to dance together in unison across the globe.

Night to Shine is an unforgettable prom night experience for people with special needs (ages 14 and older) that is “centered on God’s love.” Hundreds of thousands of individuals come together from all over the world to honor and serve those with disabilities. You can learn more at https://www.timtebowfoundation.org/ministries/night-to-shine

 

TVS celebrates International Day of People with Disabilities

TVS celebrates International Day of People with Disabilities

TVS is celebrating International Day of People with Disabilities! This year, IDPWD is focusing on bringing awareness to Invisible Disabilities with the 2020 theme: “Not All Disabilities Are Visible.”

The campaign is spreading awareness and information on invisible disabilities to help fight the stigma and discrimination still associated with these disabilities.

They can include mental illness, sight or hearing impairments, cognitive dysfunctions, and more.

We invite you to learn more about people with disabilities, both visible and invisible, at https://idpwd.org/.

 

For voice recognition accessibility, the following text duplicates the information on the infographic. 
  • 15% of the world’s population is living with a disability
    • This is more than 1 billion people
  • 450 million people live with mental or neurological conditions
  • 2/3 of these individuals will not seek professional help
    • In part due to stigma, discrimination, and neglect
  • Some disabilities may not be immediately apparent, including:
    • Mental illnesses
    • Chronic pain and fatigue
    • Sight and hearing impairments
    • Diabetes
    • Brain injuries
    • Neurological disorders
    • Learning differences
    • Cognitive dysfunctions
  • Every year: 69 million individuals are estimated to sustain Traumatic Brain injuries
  • Every year: 1/160 children are identified as on the autism spectrum
  • “A reminder of the importance of removing barriers for all people living with disabilities, both visible and invisible.”
  • Source: The International Day of People with Disabilities
  • Data from: The World Health Organization (WHO)
  • #NotAllDisabilitiesAreVisible #NothingAboutUsWithoutUs

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 https://www.samaritanspurse.org/operation-christmas-child/buildonline/. Learn more about Operation Christmas Child at https://www.samaritanspurse.org/what-we-do/operation-christmas-child/.

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 http://lifechangersoutreach.com/home