‘Tis the Season to Give

November 20, 2008

With so many people losing their jobs or barely making ends meet, local charities are reporting record numbers of requests for help in the community.  Now is a great time to reach out and help your Hendersonville neighbors.  Here are just a few examples of how you can make a difference in someone’s life this holiday season:

The Henderson County Courthouse (200 N Grove St, Suite 46) is hosting a Santa Star tree, sponsored by Guardian ad Liteum of Henderson County.  Children’s Christmas wishes have been added to each star.  Simply pick a star, purchase the gift mentioned on the star and bring the gift back to the office (Monday-Friday, 8am-5pm) by December 12th.  The presents will be wrapped and delivered to the waiting arms of the needy children.  For more info, please call 694-4215.

Donations of clothing, blankets, coats, gloves, scarves, hats, food (such as ham, whole turkeys, canned items, pie fillings, etc) and even laundry detergent, shampoo, toothpaste and other toiletries are being accepted at the Interfaith Assistance Ministry (210 Ehringhaus St) from 9am-3:30pm Monday-Friday.  IAM is a faith-based non-profit organization helping families in need in the Henderson County community.  Duke Engery’s Share the Warmth fund for Henderson County is distributed through IAM and is in desparate need of money.  Duke Energy will match each $50 donation by Henderson County residents that utilize the Share the Warmth envelope provided in your bill.  Make sure to write Henderson County on the back flap of the envelope so that Duke Energy knows to keep it local.  Any donation check can be sent to IAM’s offices (210 Ehringhaus St, PO Box 2562, Hendersonville, NC 28793).  Everything is appreciated.  For more info, please call 697-7029.

The Hendersonville Police Department is collecting unwrapped toys and clothing donations for children ranging in age up to 16 years old and the elderly for their Needy Persons Fund.  Donations can be dropped off at either the Times-News office or Denny’s restaurant on Four Seasons Boulevard.  Checks can be sent to the HPD Needy Persons Fund at PO Box 1670, Hendersonville, NC 28793.  For more info, please call Melissa Justus at 697-3031. 

Bounty for Bethlehem, a non-denominational church, offers a Bands for Bounty performance on December 5th to help raise money for their Christmas day banquet.  They also collect new, unwrapped toys, wrapping paper, ribbon and tape at the Immaculata Catholic School (711 N Buncombe St).  Volunteers for the banquet can call 693-5115.  Donation checks can be mailed to Bounty of Bethlehem, PO Box 883, Hendersonville, NC 28793.

Other great charities in the area that can be contacted about their holiday drives are:

Operation Christmas Child, First Presbyterian Church of Hendersonville, 800-597-6910.

Hendersonville Rescue Mission (Thanksgiving and Christmas meals), Deana Shelton, 697-1354.  Cash donations can be mailed to PO Box 1512, Hendersonville, NC 28793.

Shoeboxes for Seniors, Times-News/Council on Aging, 694-7831.

Bell Ringers & Angel Trees, Salvation Army, 693-4181.  Cash donations can be sent to PO Box 2387, Hendersonville, NC 28793-2387.

Community Food Distributions, The Storehouse, 692-8300.  Cash donations can be sent to PO Box 6146, Hendersonville, NC 28793.

Toys for Tots, US Marine Corps, 698-5684.  Drop-off points include: Toys for Tots Headquarters in Highland Square Shopping Center, Walmart, United Community Bank (2520 Chimney Rock Rd), BB&T Bank (6526 Hendersonville Rd, Fletcher), Blue Ridge Community Health Services (2579 Chimney Rock Rd), Park Ridge Hospital (100 Hospital Dr, Fletcher), Fatz Cafe (Henderson Crossing Plaza), Mac Easler Ford (601 Duncan Hill Rd), Bryan Easler Toyota (1409 Spartanburg Highway), Big Lots (next to Epic Theater off Thompson St), Expressions Photography (Singletary Center, Flat Rock), Wachovia Bank (Laurel Park), UPS Store (Highland Square Shopping Center), Mountain Credit Union (5010 Hendersonville Rd, Fletcher), Hendersonville Eye Care (1401 Haywood Rd), Dixie Diner (1724 Brevard Rd, Laurel Park), Mountain View Tire (Linda Vista Dr), Outback Steakhouse (250 Mitchelle Dr) and any Dollar General Store.

Santa Paws, Henderson County Animal Shelter (828 Stoney Mountain Rd, Hendersonville).  This fundraiser helps raise money for Henderson County Animal Services by providing photos with owner and pet for $15 each.

Tree of Lights, Four Seasons Hospice & Palliative Care at the Historic Courthouse on Main Street.  For more info, please call 692-6178.

Of course, this is just a small sampling of what’s going on in Henderson County this holiday season.  For those fortunate enough to be able to help in any way possible, now is the time to do it!

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Sunny News in Real Estate

November 6, 2008

It's still a buyer's market out there!Despite the ups and downs on Wall Street, the US housing market has looked promising over the last couple of months.  In fact, just last week, sales figures of existing homes across the country were up 5.5% (the highest jump since the middle of the housing boom in July 2003).  Many of these sales were foreclosures, meaning a lower sales price.  New construction was up 2.7% nationwide last month as well.  Since many people are gobbling up the lower priced homes (especially those in foreclosure), the former glut of inventory now seems to be getting smaller, indicating the beginning of a possible leveling out of the housing market.  Mortgage applications were on the rise as well thanks largely to the decreased rate of 6.26% for 30-year fixed rate loans and 6.1% for 15-year loans.  Conventional loan mortgage applications were up 7.9% and FHA insured loan applications were up by 10.1%.  As the real estate outlook continues to look better, it is important to keep in mind that now is still a great time to buy a home or investment property.  Don’t miss out!