BANNER ELK – From animal services to county jail return rates, Avery County community members are always looking for ways to work together to improve themselves. Jim Swinkola, Community Liaison Officer for the High Country Charitable Foundation, brought together a large group of residents of Avery and more to discuss the issues facing the county and to network solutions together.
Jim Ward, director of the High Country Charitable Foundation, spoke about the HCCF and its other organization, Advocates for the Care of Animals in Avery County, and their efforts to support animal services in the county. He said his organizations would be interested in helping anyone else in the county looking to make policy changes and have an impact on the animal services situation.
Avery County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Chief William Lee Buchanan spoke about Freedom Life, a McDowell County program that he and other members of the Avery County Sheriff’s Office and Jail are hoping for to throw. Freedom Life Ministries uses faith as a means to help those who are or have been in prison. Buchanan said the county needs to find volunteers who are willing to give of their time and who can lead program clients to meetings or appointments as well as charitable donors.
Marisa Mecke is a Report for America Corps member for Mountain Times Publications. Report for America is a national, nonprofit service program that places reporters in local newsrooms to cover undercover issues.