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Youngsters at Black Mountain Home for Children, Youth and Families come from situations of abuse, abandonment and neglect where they haven’t been able to count on a happy Christmas. But while they are in care, their house parents and other staff strive to make sure their holidays are full of engaging activities, plenty of holiday treats and Christmas wishes come true.

Black Mountain Children’s Home seeking SantasYoungsters at Black Mountain Home for Children, Youth and Families come from situations of abuse, abandonment and neglect where they haven’t been able to count on a happy Christmas. But while they are in care, their house parents and other staff strive to make sure their holidays are full of engaging activities, plenty of holiday treats and Christmas wishes come true.

Donors are needed to help supply the items listed on each child’s letter to Santa and to help fund special outings and activities for youth over the school break. Each child has created a list of up to seven items they hope Santa Claus will leave for them to find Christmas morning.

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Outdoor 76 in Franklin helped Boy Scout Troop 407 acquire 15 new Mountain Hardwear tents. The tents were purchased with the funds raised from the spaghetti dinner the Troop held in September and a grant through the Clay County Juvenile Crime Prevention Council. Pictured above (L-R) is Cory McCall, owner Outdoor 76; Scoutmaster Robert Thomson and Rob Gasbarro, owner Outdoor 76.

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Plans are for center to be self-sustaining in three years.

The community effort to preserve a piece of history is taking shape, according to Stacy Guffey who is coordinating the Cowee School heritage center transformation project. Guffey, who gave a presentation during the League of Women Voters’ November meeting, explained that preliminary plans have been drawn up and monetary contributions are actively being sought to ensure that the historic Cowee School receives proper preservation.

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Every year, more than 103 children are abused and neglected in Jackson, Swain, and Macon County. Abused and neglected cases often result in the children being placed in foster care where they remain without a voice and may become lost in the child welfare system.

Judges depend on testimony and reports from interested parties to inform them on how to protect each child from further harm. The Guardian Ad Litem Program, affiliated with the National CASA Association, is a nonprofit organization that trains community volunteers to be the voice for these children.

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