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Join our 'Reader Challenge' and house homeless children

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Two years ago The Mountaineer readers overwhelmingly blessed this community. We asked you to help furnish one unit in the new 10-unit family dormitory at the Haywood Pathways Center, by matching a $15,000 donation from an anonymous donor, and you more than stepped up.

The challenge was quickly accepted and another $15,000 donor issued a second. Ultimately more than $150,000 was raised and the entire project was completed, providing a safe place for homeless families and facilitating their path to recovery.

It is your generosity that has inspired this year’s Holiday Challenge — to eliminate childhood homelessness in Haywood County.

Many local mothers and their children have to deal with unimaginable circumstances. One family became homeless when a spouse went to prison; another had to leave her home and job out of fear for her life; yet another had battled addiction and is now on the road of recovery.

Transitional housing is needed once these women get out of crisis, and that’s why The Mountaineer’s 2020 Reader Challenge is to double the size of the EACH Initiative.

Their mission of Ending Area Childhood Homelessness is accomplished by providing a free transitional home for a family to live in, up to two years, while a team of mentors helps the parent establish a plan for family self-sufficiency, including getting a better job, improving their education and lessons in financial management.

Five families are currently being helped under the program, and a successful reader challenge will double that impact.

Here’s how you can help.

Donate money

Our goal is to raise at least $50,000 to support the casework and other administrative costs of increasing the program.

Make your check out to the EACH Initiative, Inc., and mail it to The Mountaineer, 220 N. Main St., Waynesville, NC 28786. We will publish the name and amount of each contributor in the paper and deliver the checks to EACH.

If you donate to the organization directly, make sure to note the contribution is part of The Mountaineer Holiday Challenge so they can forward the information to us for recognition.

Sponsor a family

This is a critical need and a three-part commitment. Provide a house; pledge $15,000 annually for two years to provide supplemental family support and put together a group of five to seven committed volunteers, who will be trained and monitored by EACH, to mentor the family throughout their journey.

Churches or civic groups that want to sponsor a family should contact Paul Butler at the EACH Initiative at (828) 246-8881 or email him at

God asks us to ‘look after the widows and orphans in James 1:27, and we hope you will be inspired to give the ultimate gift to a homeless child this Christmas and help find them a home.

1 John says, “Let us not love with words or speech but with actions and truth” and in The Mountaineer’s efforts, to inform, inspire and engage our readers, we implore everyone who heeds the call to give generously. There are more than 150 children in our community who are considered homeless today and they need your support.

When a need arises, our community always exceeds expectations when lending a helping hand to their neighbor.

This has been a tough year for many local families and we can serve others who have lost everything by sharing the resources many of us have been blessed with this year.

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