March 8 This Week in the Swannanoa Valley

Black Mountain News
This Week

Ten Thousand Villages to help Helpmate

On Saturday, March 10 from noon-6 p.m., Ten Thousand Villages Montreat will donate 15 percent of sales to Helpmate.

For more than 30 years, Helpmate ( has served as Buncombe County's primary provider of crisis-level services designed specifically for - and offered exclusively to - victims of domestic violence and their children.   

In honor of International Women’s Day, Sahara Peace Choir will present a free concert at 2 p.m. March 10, in the Huckleberry Café adjacent to Ten Thousand Villages in Montreat.  The Sahara Women's Choir was founded in 2008 by Annelinde Metzner with Roberta Newman to support peace among Muslims, Christians and Jews via the Friendship Force.

Ten Thousand Villages is at 303 Lookout Road, Montreat, in the Moore Center.

Parenting grandchildren and creating a budget

Black Mountain Counseling Center beside Swannanoa Valley Christian Ministry has a workshop and the beginning of a support group coming up. 

The Budgeting and Cash Flow Workshop will be from 6-7:30 p.m. Monday, March 12 in the Swannanoa Valley Christian Ministry lobby. The counseling center is partnering with the ministry and OnTrack to provide this free workshop. Childcare and dinner will be provided. Registration is required at 669-9798 or A budget plan is one of the best tools for financial empowerment. Learn how to create a realistic budget and how to use a cash flow plan as a temporary alternative to a budget.

The Grandparent/Kinship Parenting Support Group meets 9-10 .m. Wednesdays, March 7–April 11 at the counseling center. Parenting a grandchild or relative can be harder than being a parent.  Meet others in your situation to learn skills to simplify your daily routine. Facilitator Ilene Procida is a licensed professional counselor with 30 years working with families and children. To register, contact the counseling center at 669-9798 or

Eblen Charities still helping with heating bills

Eblen Charities in Asheville still has federal heating funds for families seeking help in keeping warm this winter and in need of utility assistance.

The Low Income Energy Assistance Program funds that Eblen Charities administer assist households that are vulnerable because of heating costs and unexpected crises. Individuals and families are encouraged to apply at the Eblen Charities Waddell Client Service Center at 50 Westgate Parkway in the Westgate Shopping Center between 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Mondays-Fridays.

A photo ID or Social Security card are not required. The application process includes verification of employment and a valid social security number, when available, for each household member (people applying for CIP funds should bring a photo ID and Social Security card, however). Applications can also be taken at 828-255-3066. For more, call the phone number or visit and click on the LIEAP link.

Duplicate bridge group posts Feb. 27 results 

The Lake Tomahawk Duplicate Bridge Group played at the Lakeview Center on Lake Tomahawk in Black Mountain and had a great time. Coming in first were Betty Gibson/Rosalie Phillips. Coming in second were David Hirsch/Roger Fenna. Coming in third were Liz Ream/Hubert Ream. If you would like to join in, whether you are local or from out of town, email for information.

Ministry seeks community’s help to keep neighbors warm 

Swannanoa Valley Christian Ministry needs the community’s help to keep neighbors warm. The bitterly cold weather at the beginning of winter led to some unexpected surprises and consequences for the ministry.

Swannanoa Valley Christian Ministry in Black Mountain is hoping the community’s benevolence will help it provide money for the heating and power bills of clients who have already used their LIEAP allowance for the year.

Eblen sent a representative to the ministry’s office six times in January and February and helped 92 clients receive heating money that Eblen administered. The representative’s last day at the ministry was Feb. 9 when that pot of money ran out. Eblen has since gotten a bit more money for heating assistance.

During one January snow, a disabled mother and her child lost power and had no oil for their furnace when the power came back on, Cheryl Wilson, ministry executive director, said. Because the woman doesn’t drive, she had no way to get to the ministry or Eblen Charities. The ministry was able to order 75 gallons of oil for the family.

“The ministry is seeing many new clients and current clients who do not typically ask for financial assistance with their electric and heating bills. And the bills have been enormous,” Wilson said. Power bills have increased substantially, due in part to the cold weather in January and a recent rate increase imposed by Duke Energy. 

If you would like to contribute to the SVCM Fuel Fund, donations may be sent to SVCM, P.O. Box 235, Black Mountain, NC 28711. Or go online to

Swannanoa Valley Christian Ministry continues to work with Eblen and other organizations to help residents with their heating and power bills. Cheryl Wilson, ministry executive director, said.

And coming up ...

UR Light Center puts on self-healing event

On Saturday, March 17, starting at 6 p.m. Zach Evans will present "The Art of Self-Healing: Breath, Body, and Sound" at UR Light Center. For more and ticket prices, contact the nonprofit prayer center at or 828-669-6845.