Wednesday, December 17, 2014

The Regeneration Station to Donate Free Home Furnishings to an Asheville Family in Need

The Regeneration Station is donating a house full of furniture and décor to an Asheville family in need this holiday season.

“We know this time of year can be especially hard on families who have fallen on financial hardship, or perhaps lost their home and/or belongings in a fire or some other tragedy,” said Tyler Garrison, founder of the Regeneration Station and Junk Recyclers, of Asheville. “Our team wants to help make this Christmas season merry for one special family.”

The Regeneration Station is donating furniture to fill a two-bedroom house or apartment. It will also offer décor to make the space feel like a home. (Mattresses and linens not included.)

How it works
Friends and co-workers may nominate a family. A family can even nominate itself. Nominators and nominees may stop by the Regeneration Station at 26 Glendale Avenue to pick up and drop off an entry, they may e-mail their story to or fill out a form on the website ( 

Nominators must include the family's name, phone and e-mail address, if applicable, as well as the names and ages of people in the immediate family. Then, they must share why the family is in need and what it would mean to them to have their home furnished this holiday season.  

The deadline is December 31, 2014. The winner will be announced January 2, 2015.  The family must be willing to have its name, story and photographs used in media and social media coverage.

About the Regeneration Station
If you ask different people to describe the Regeneration Station, you will get crazy, different answers. A mega thrift store. A big box of beautiful and unique furniture. An antiques mall. A Disneyland for adults. A shopper’s fantasyland. An “experience.”  A dream come true. Words to describe the Regeneration Station are as eclectic as its offerings.

The Regeneration Station offers a wide variety of used furniture including early, primitive, mid-century modern and vintage antiques. There is furniture, antiques, collectibles, vintage clothing and accessories, and artwork. Visitors are invited to explore the many vendor/dealer booths as well as the Regeneration Station’s own inventory.

There is also upcycled treasure envisioned and created by The Regeneration Station’s team of craftspeople who believe that reclaimed wood or other materials still have beauty and value.

The Regeneration Station is located at 26 Glendale Avenue, in Asheville. Call (828) 505-1108 or visit

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Gray Line offers new "Holly Jolly Christmas Trolley Tour"

Gray Line Trolley Tours announces a new tour for the holidays - The Holly Jolly Christmas Trolley Tour.  The tour is designed to be a fun and festive celebration of the season featuring the lights and sights of the holidays, stories of local holiday traditions and singing of classic carols and songs of Christmas (songbooks provided).  The tour will travel throughout downtown, Biltmore Village and the historic neighborhoods of Montford and Grove Park.

The Holly Jolly Christmas Trolley Tour will operate Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays from December 13th - 27th, and will depart at 7PM from the Olde World Christmas Shoppe located at 5 Boston Way in Historic Biltmore Village.  The tour lasts approximately 75 minutes.  The cost is $22 for adults and $11 for children (ages 5-11).  Reservations are required and can be made online at or by calling 828-251-TOUR (8687).

Gray Line Asheville operates the familiar RED and WHITE trolleys seen throughout the city. The Hop-on/Hop-off Historic Tour, departs every 30 minutes (in-season) and provides locals and visitors with an informative and entertaining narration, as well as transportation with unlimited "hop-on/hop-off" at 10 stops along the route.  The company also offers the "Haunted History & Murder Mystery Ghost Tour," private group tours and charters for weddings and special events. Gray Line Asheville is proud to be the recipient of TripAdvisor's Certificate of Excellence with a 5-Star customer rating.

OnTrack WNC restructures to respond to needs

OnTrack Financial Education & Counseling announced a strategic restructuring which is designed to position the agency for emerging community needs.

“In the last two years, we’ve seen a gradual shift in demand and our mix of services,” said Celeste Collins, OnTrack WNC’s Executive Director. “For example, demand for foreclosure prevention counseling is going down. This is good news for homeowners and the economic recovery and for our agency, it means we have the opportunity to reallocate counseling capacity to meet different needs of consumers in the new post-recession normal.”  

OnTrack WNC used a strengths-based approach to streamline reporting, make the organization more nimble, and expedite program planning. Staff members who provide direct services will retain their primary roles as counselors, educators, and program coordinators but the separate “counseling” and “education” departments have been combined and will be led by newly appointed Associate Executive Director, Sarah Brown.

Breaking down the department “silos” will increase the opportunities for the staff to work collaboratively and share information across service types. In addition, as counselors, educators and program coordinators work with clients, they will gather information on gaps in services – both within OnTrack WNC and in the community.  This will inform enhancements to existing programs and identify areas for new programs.

“I’m excited to have Sarah in her new role because in her seven years with our agency, I’ve seen her talent for developing staff, cultivating ideas, and creating procedures to capture knowledge and standardize procedures,” said Collins.

OnTrack WNC’s focus areas for 2015 include enhancements to their Homebuyer Program, increasing participation in the Debt Management Program, and developing a Credit Builder Program. Services for specific populations, like older adults and youth will also be part of 2015 program planning.

In developing its strategic direction, OnTrack WNC explored “best practices” within the national focus on “financial capability” which encourages agencies to help consumers develop knowledge, make choices consistent with their goals, and have access to appropriate financial products.