Samaritan’s Purse is an international relief agency headquartered in Boone. It is known for its annual Operation Christmas Child, which sends gifts to children around the world. The organization is also a lightning response unit for disasters worldwide, including the recent devastation in Japan. Days after the earthquake and tsunami, Samaritan’s Purse was on the ground there.
A Samaritan’s Purse disaster response team is in Sendai, the city nearest the epicenter of the earthquake and tsunami that devastated the northeastern coast of Japan on March 11. Every day, they distribute more of the 93 tons of emergency supplies from the airlift that arrived in the country March 19.
“We’re moving supplies out through mostly local partners,” said Paul Chiles, a team member who arrived in Japan within days of the disaster. “They take the supplies out to the local church leader, and the church knows who around in the surrounding communities needs help. They go out and provide that help. It’s effective.” …
Yet as our teams continue to work through our church partners, they see glimmers of optimism.
“We’re hopeful,” Chiles said. “Every day there’s a little more hope.”
One week and a day after the official start of spring, snow made its annual March appearance today. It was a light lazy snow, which decorated the budding trees and awakening daffodils. The absence of wind and temperatures expected in the low 40s combined to make it one of the most gentle snow shows of the year.
Counting up the infinite reasons to call the High Country of North Carolina home
The beautiful view from the famous Mile High Swinging Bridge at Grandfather Mountain. You can hear the gentle creaking of the bridge as it sways from pedestrians and the wind. The view includes much of the High Country area.
John Volpe, a long-time real estate agent in the area who has represented his local industry at the state level, was recently awarded the 2010 High Country Association REALTOR® of the Year.
Volpe is also currently serving another term as the state director of the High Country Association of REALTORS®. In this capacity Volpe is a member of the NCAR Board of Directors. He also attends legislative sessions in Raleigh to discuss REALTORS’ concerns with state legislators and other officials who have authority in real estate laws and policies.
A graduate of Florida State, Volpe worked in the restaurant and oil business before moving to the High Country area in 1986. He awarded the HCA REALTOR of the Year award during the group’s February meeting.
“John has spent many of their free hours promoting the REALTOR® interests both locally and at state and national levels representing us at meetings and conferences,” said HCAR president Hope Harvey. “Even though he has received numerous other honors and awards through the franchise real estate company, we certainly hope this will be one of the most honored.”
The REALTOR® of the Year award is given annually in recognition to REALTORS® who have served well not only their profession, but also their communities.
More than $30,000 was distributed to more than a dozen area organizations by the High Country Association of REALTORS® in 2010, continuing a strong tradition of philanthropy by the group.
The High Country Association of REALTORS® unites real estate professionals within Watauga, Ashe and Avery counties for the benefit of REALTORS® and their clients. It also seeks to support and grow various non-profits and community organizations in the three-county area.
Recipients of 2010 donations include:
Hunger and Health Coalition
RAM in Avery
Watauga Backpack Program
Avery YO Backpack Program
Habitat for Humanity
Watauga Humane Society
Avery Humane Society
OASIS, Inc. (Opposing Abuse with Services, Information, and Shelter)
Hospitality House, with both gift cards for individuals and cash donation for new shelter
Assisted Living Centers for Avery and Watauga
Grandfather Home for Children
Christmas Child Program, with sponsorship of 69 children
Avery schools Christmas program
Appalachian Kids Program
Homes for NC
There were also other miscellaneous donations in the total of $30,117 given in 2010. In 2009 the High Country Association of REALTORS® donated more than $27,000 to local organizations.