Category Archives: News

Sprout’s Fairy Garden Looking to Relocate

Our Etowah Thrift Store has a fairy tenant looking to relocate. There’s a silent auction going on at their store which will close next Wednesday, June 29th. Bids are already rolling in. Check out Sprout’s story below.

Meet Sprout, a friendly fairy who tends his lovely garden with a lot of hard work and a sprinkle of magic. He is looking for the perfect spot to settle down, preferably with a sunny site, at least 4-6 hours of sun a day. A spot on a sunny porch would be ideal, although gentle rains won’t hurt him or his house. Help him care for his garden by watering it every 1-2 days and pinching back the plants as needed to keep them from becoming a jungle. His garden includes sweet potato vine, polka dot plant, purslane, succulents, sedums, caladiums, million bells, and mosses. He amended the soil with extended release fertilizer so hold off on adding any extra for a few months. This is a summer garden and will need to be brought indoors for winter, or replanted in the spring.

Etowah Thrift Store for the Council on Aging
97 Etowah Center Drive
Etowah, NC 28729

Tuesday – Friday: 10AM – 4PM
Saturday: 10AM – 1PM

Community Hero

Richard-snowplowhero-RDLast weekend, after the first big snow of 2016, Richard, a Henderson County resident, was out removing the 12″+ around his residence. After finishing his own driveway, he remembered his neighbors down the road in the St. John’s Commons community, many of whom had no way of digging themselves out without some help. He took himself and his plow down to St. John’s and just started clearing driveways. When people came out to offer him payment he told them he wouldn’t accept payment, but anything they wanted to give, he would donate to Meals on Wheels.

After John’s mother passed away, his father received Meals on Wheels and he said it kept his father alive. This is why he chose to donate the $375 he collected to our Meals on Wheels program. May Richard be an inspiration to us all to consider our neighbors. He’s a real community hero!

Thank You Henderson County!

holidaythankyou2015Our volunteers and community go above and beyond at the holidays. From fulfilling client Christmas wishes through our Angel Tag program, to shoe boxes, and food donation and delivery, you help us brighten the lives of at-risk elders in Henderson County. Many of you wished to remain anonymous, and simply gave in the spirit of the season—this thank you is for you as well!

Holiday ornaments for our Meals on Wheels clients. 

From time to time, we have groups drop off little goodies for our Meals on Wheels routes. This season, the Boy Scouts of Henderson County and East Hendersonville High School Life Skills students both dropped off beautiful ornaments to help spread holiday cheer!

Angel Tag Gifts

Starting in October, we send out surveys and make calls to clients  asking what their Christmas wishes are. Many say they want nothing at all, and some are as humbling as a warm coat or toiletries. Anonymous donors, Immaculate Conception Parishioners, Retired Teachers Association of Henderson County, and First Baptist Sunday School Class helped fulfill the wishes of 169 elders!

Christmas Day Food Boxes

The Elks Lodge #1616 has a long running program that delivers food boxes complete with turkeys and other holiday food items. They’ve been delivering boxes to many of our clients on Christmas day for over a decade.

Shoe Box Gifts

Shoe Box gifts are a long running tradition for Christmas. The idea is that you take a shoe box and fill it with gifts for someone in need. This year the Times News collected over 600 shoe boxes for our clients and others in need.  Henderson County Crafters, Park Ridge Medical Association Billing Department, and Hendersonville Women’s Club also donated shoe boxes at our office.

Meals on Wheels Christmas Dinner Delivery

The American Legion Post #77 delivers Christmas dinner the Sunday before the holiday with a turkey or ham and all the trimmings needed to make a yummy Christmas dinner.

Meal Deliveries and Christmas Day Community Dinner

Bounty of Bethlehem is a community effort that began in 1983 and is run completely by volunteers who donate their time before and on Christmas day to provide meals for the community, including our Meals on Wheels clients!

Thank you all for everything you do!



Recording Our History: The Great Thanksgiving Listen

Oral history is a human tradition. StoryCorps is a nonprofit committed to archiving real-life stories of our time. Anyone can participate. In fact, they want everyone to participate. This Thanksgiving, StoryCorps is featuring “The Great Thanksgiving Listen” where contributors interview elders in their families and communities. You could finally ask your Uncle Steve about that time he saved a man’s life at the State Fair or ask Grandma to tell you about what Thanksgiving was like when she was a kid!

Each story submitted will be archived in the Library of Congress. That’s right! Your stories will be archived in our nation’s national library! We’d like to encourage you to participate. If you submit a story you’d like us to share from the holiday, please email us at [email protected]

Do they have an app you ask? Why, yes, yes they do. Whether you’re on an iPhone or an Android, you can use their smartphone apps which can be found here:

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Prep on Wheels, Emergency Preparedness Kits

The Henderson County Department of Public Health and Council on Aging partner on “Prep on Wheels” Emergency Preparedness Kits for High-Risk Homebound Seniors


Terri Arrington, Henderson County Public Health Preparedness Coordinator and Sierra Arant, a Hendersonville High Senior & Health Education Intern drop off more bags at the Council on Aging in preparation for Hurricane Joaquin.

 Hendersonville, NC, October 1, 2015 – The Henderson County Department of Public Health was selected as a Bright Ideas $10,000 grant recipient from the NC Public Health Preparedness Branch. With the funding, the health department partnered with the Council on Aging for Henderson County to provide 175 senior emergency kits for the highest risk homebound clients. For the Prep on Wheels project, a backpack with emergency supplies was assembled and is being distributed by the Meals On Wheels volunteers. Supplies include flashlight, AM/FM radio, fleece blanket, emergency water and food, first aid kit, hand/foot warmers and sanitation items. Seniors are encouraged to add personal items like medications, phone numbers, and important papers.

“We wanted the kits to be senior friendly, by choosing items that they were familiar with and easy to use,” said Terri Arrington, preparedness coordinator. “For example, the radio is battery operated with only a few functions. Newer emergency radios are hand cranked and can be difficult to work for those with limited physical abilities.”

Prep on Wheels, Emergency Preparedness Kit. Flashlight, AM/FM Radio, Whistle w/ Lanyard, Dust Mask, First Aid Kit, Hand Sanitizer, Pill Box am/pm, 12hr Lightstick, Water Pouches (9), Food Bar (2400 cal), Fleece Sleeping Bag, Hand Warmers, Emergency Info Magnet, Preparedness Booklet

Prep on Wheels, Emergency Preparedness Kit. Flashlight, AM/FM Radio, Whistle w/ Lanyard, Dust Mask, First Aid Kit, Hand Sanitizer, Pill Box am/pm, 12hr Lightstick, Water Pouches (9), Food Bar (2400 cal), Fleece Sleeping Bag, Hand Warmers, Emergency Info Magnet, Preparedness Booklet

In anticipation of Hurricane Joaquin and forecasted flooding and power outages, Council on Aging Meals on Wheels volunteers began distributing the kits to high-risk clients on their routes this morning. Shortly after routes began the Council received a call from client Johnny Sams who said “I’m 70 years old and this is more than anyone has ever given me and I really appreciate everything in the bag.”

“During inclement weather we worry a great deal about the safety of our clients. These kits will provide reassurance to many seniors who endure these types of storms all alone.” said Trina Stokes, Executive Director at the Council on Aging. “We rest easier knowing they have a working flashlight, an AM/FM radio to keep them updated on changing conditions, and spare food and water if they were to run out.”

Annette Buckner, Nutrition Director at the Council on Aging said “Distribution will continue through tomorrow and the remainder of the season in preparation for winter storms as well.”

For more information about Prep on Wheels and emergency preparedness, visit and click on Public Health Preparedness.


National Fall Prevention Week Resources

prevent-fallsAccording to the Center for Disease Control, “Among older adults, falls are the leading cause of both fatal and nonfatal injuries.” This Wednesday, September 23, is National Fall Prevention Awareness Day which leads us into National Fall Prevention Week. Below is a list of resources about fall statistics and prevention methods. If you have a resource on fall prevention, please share it in the comment section below!


Mayo Clinic: Fall prevention: Simple tips to prevent falls

Center for Disease Control and Prevention: Older Adult Falls: Get the Facts

National Council on Aging Fall Prevention Awareness Day



Council on Aging Welcomes New Board Members

We would like to officially welcome the new additions to our Board of Directors! Here's what they have to say about joining our team.

Leanne Christensen

Leanne Christensen

Leanne Christensen

“I am so grateful for the opportunity to work as a board member for the Council on Aging. My previous 19 years of experience as a school and community volunteer in the Seattle area, have given me a deep appreciation and a heartfelt awareness to the importance of serving others. As a volunteer driver for Meals on Wheels, I am deeply inspired by the dedication of the COA employees and volunteers; working together in support of our seniors through this compassionate, significant program. “

Patti Digh

Patti Digh

Patti Digh

“I served on the National Diversity Committee of the American Council on Aging for several years. Aging is both a privilege and a period of difficult transition, as we all know. The Council on Aging’s dedication to the individual human dignity and independence of older adults is something I feel strongly about—I want to support them in achieving their goals."

Erica Erickson

Erica Erickson

Erica Erickson

“As an elder law and estate planning attorney, I enjoy advocating for seniors, helping seniors understand the various legal documents available to them to help them achieve their estate planning goals, and helping to connect seniors and their families to resources in the community that assist them in living safely at home for as long as possible. Prior to becoming an attorney, I spent 13 years working in non-profit organizations that served individuals with mental and physical disabilities. I am excited to serve on the Board of the Council on Aging for Henderson County in order to promote independent living and quality of life for seniors in the community.”

Lisa Kauffman

Lisa Kauffman

Lisa Kauffman

“As a Geriatric Care Manager, my practice for the past 15 years has focused on the wellbeing of seniors, assisting families with planning for their love one’s ongoing care needs. As a new Board member with COA and a long-time volunteer at the Sammy Williams Center, I would like to continue to be an advocate for seniors in Henderson County. “

Help Us Help Others Beat the Heat!

For many years we have participated in a heat relief program through grants from Duke Energy Progress & Duke Energy Foundation. These grants allow our agency to purchase and distribute fans to eligible residents of Henderson County in need of relief from the heat. This year the need for fans has been greater than years before and we have run out of fans to distribute. With August and September often being the hottest months, we expect the need to increase.

Thomas who suffers from COPD received a much needed fan to beat the summer heat!

Thomas who suffers from COPD received a much needed fan to beat the summer heat!

Please consider your neighbors and help us help our community! We are now asking for donations of new, unused fans. Cash & check donations are also welcome, or you can donate online here: All donations can be dropped off at our main office at 105 King Creek Blvd, Hendersonville, NC 28792. If you have questions, feel free to call us at (828) 692-4203.

Navigating Medicare

Photo provided by  Peter Kaminski  through Creative Commons.

Photo provided by Peter Kaminski through Creative Commons.

Does sorting through Medicare lingo make you want to give up and go back to bed? You’re not the only one. Most of us need help navigating the system. John Wingerter of the Council on Aging of Buncombe County in conjunction with Seniors’ Health Insurance Information Program (SHIIP) announces the Medicare class schedule for Medicare Choices Made Easy. The information session explains how Medicare works, the enrollment process, how to avoid penalties and ways that beneficiaries can save money.

The information sessions are free and open to the public. People new to Medicare, caregivers, people leaving employer health insurance for Medicare and others who help Medicare beneficiaries with their insurance should consider attending this informative class. The information presented is unbiased as no products are sold, recommended or endorsed.

Classes are listed below. To reserve your place, register online at or call the Council on Aging at 828-277-8288. For the Pardee classes you may register by calling the Pardee Signature Care Center 828-692-4600.

June 16 6:00 – 8:00 PM
Leicester Library
1561 Alexander Road, Leicester, NC 28748

June 17 2:00 – 4:00 PM
Fairview Library
1 Taylor Road, Fairview, NC 28730

June 18 3:00 – 5:00 PM
Pardee Signature Care Center
1800 Four Seasons Blvd, Hendersonville (Blue Ridge Mall)

June 23 6:00 – 8:00 PM
Skyland/South Buncombe Library
260 Overlook Road, Asheville, NC 28803

July 23 3:00 – 5:00 PM
Pardee Signature Care Center
1800 Four Seasons Blvd, Hendersonville (Blue Ridge Mall)

July 24 2:00 – 4:00 PM
OLLI/Reuter Center – UNCA
One University Heights, Asheville, 28804

July 31 2:00 – 4:00 PM
1616 Patton Ave, Asheville 28806

August 20 3:00 – 5:00 PM
Pardee Signature Care Center
1800 Four Seasons Blvd, Hendersonville (Blue Ridge Mall)

Contact John Wingerter with the Council on Aging of Buncombe County for more information. 828-277-8288  [email protected]

Press Release: March for Meals 2015

M4M Logo RGB

Council on Aging for Henderson County joins Local Meals on Wheels Organizations Across the Country to Celebrate the 13th Annual March for Meals

Support during March will help to address senior hunger and isolation in Henderson County, NC

Hendersonville, NC, March 02, 2015 – The Council on Aging for Henderson County announced today its participation in the 2015 March for Meals – a nationwide community-by-community celebration of the local Meals on Wheels programs that keep seniors independent in their own homes. The Council on Aging for Henderson County’s March for Meals events will include daily celebrations via social media which highlight dedicated volunteers who are the backbone of their program, a “Subs for Seniors” night, Tuesday, March 9th from 4PM – 8PM, sponsored by Firehouse Subs at 825 Spartanburg Hwy, Hendersonville, and “Community Champions” week that will occur March 16 – 20. In addition, the Council is putting out new “Every Penny Counts” coin banks and are extending their locations. Stay tuned to to learn about their partners. This Friday, local author Patti Digh and her pal Cynder will be covering a Meals on Wheels route to kick off the special routes portion of the campaign.

“We are so excited about our March for Meals celebration this year! We have had such great success with our previous March for Meals campaigns and we feel confident that this year won’t disappoint! Our goal is to make more members of our community aware of the food insecurities our local seniors face on a daily basis. These adults are your neighbors, your fellow church members, and can even be your own family members. Our charge is to stand united with our Henderson County seniors and remind them that they are valued members of our community. There are so many people behind the scenes who make this program run effectively and March is just one small snapshot in time that allows us to bring their efforts to the forefront. We hope you will join us in the fight to end senior hunger in Henderson County, one meal, one dollar, or one volunteer hour at a time” said Executive Director, Trina Stokes.

March for Meals is a national campaign held annually during the month of March, initiated and sponsored by the Meals on Wheels Association of America to raise awareness of the struggles faced by our aging neighbors and to encourage action on the part of local communities. Hundreds of Senior Nutrition Programs across the United States, like the Council on Aging for Henderson County, promote March for Meals through public events, partnerships with local businesses, volunteer recruitment and fundraising initiatives.

“Our Meals on Wheels programs are on the front lines every day making sure that no senior is forgotten,” said Meals On Wheels Association of America President and CEO Ellie Hollander. “March for Meals is a time when communities can come together to stand with their local Meals on Wheels programs and ensure all seniors live nourished lives with independence and dignity.”

For more information on March for Meals, visit

About The Council on Aging for Henderson County’s Meals on Wheels Program

The COA of Henderson County’s Meals on Wheels program serves over 4,000 meals per month to over 200 recipients per day. The program is overseen by Nutrition Director Annette Buckner who collaborates with a Registered Dietician to ensure meals served meet the 1/3 daily recommend food allowance for seniors. In addition, the program utilizes more than 200 volunteers each month who in total contribute an average of 1,400 volunteer hours. At this time, the program is seeing a great need for assistance for adults under age 60 who can no longer prepare their own meals. Please help us spread the word about senior hunger so we can raise the necessary funds to serve more members of our community.

About Meals on Wheels Association of America
The Meals On Wheels Association of America empowers community programs to improve health and quality of life to ensure that no senior goes hungry. More than 5,000 local Meals on Wheels Programs leverage a dedicated army of two million volunteers who day-in and day-out create an efficient and caring way to help America’s seniors stay independent, healthy and able to live in their own homes. For more information, or to locate a local Meals on Wheels program, visit

Cynder giving a high-five!