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PSABC Tells History of Black Mountain Children’s Home

By Dasha Morgan- On Thursday, March 7th , at 5:30 PM, the Preservation Society of Asheville and Buncombe County will present a program on the history of Black Mountain Children’s Home in the dining hall at 100 Clover Lane in Black Mountain.

Black Mountain Home girls preparing and canning vegetables.

Elodie Covert, who oversees the day to day facilities and coordinates events at the Black Mountain Home, will enlighten those present on the organization’s long history and their many activities today.

The Preservation Society is pleased to have access to this historic site for their educational presentation. For this interesting presentation suggested donations of $10.00 is requested.

Elodie Covert will describe how in 1904 the Reverend R. P. Smith, who was orphaned himself at the age of 12, with the help of Mrs. E. H. Bales opened the doors of a little four-room cottage to six orphaned children in Haywood County, and the orphanage has grown considerably since then—with many name and place changes— but always with a mission to glorify God by caring for children and families.

Smith came to the mountains of Western North Carolina to serve as pastor to a church in Gastonia. In 1898, he became full-time superintendent of the Asheville Presbytery and with the Presbytery’s support started an orphanage.

photos courtesy of Black Mountain Children’s Home.

Today, the Black Mountain Home for Children, Youth & Family serves children from birth through college graduation who have been abused, abandoned, or neglected. Typically, youth come to BMH when a court has decided that it is not safe or healthy for the child to remain with their family.

Some may stay only a few weeks, while others may spend a considerable part of their growing up years at the Home. The Home has been accredited by the Council on Accreditation (COA) and is a private, 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization.

The Home accepts children placed by the North Carolina Department of Social Services but is not managed, owned, or governed by the State of North Carolina, except as laws are applicable. Today in fiscal year 2014-2015 Black Mountain Children’s Home served 119 children from 15 counties in WNC.”

The Preservation Society’s speaker Elodie Covert holds a degree in Outdoor Education from Montreat College and loves working with youth, her personal ministry. She has been there since 2006. After Black Mountain Home acquired the former Swannanoa 4-H camp in 2016, Elodie transitioned to West Campus coordinator. Her calling is to serve these youth to develop their full potential. She lives on campus with her husband and two children and “enjoys it as a family ministry” in an inspiring setting. She is a self taught historian of the BMH.

She is also working to develop on site apprenticeship programs and job training for the college age students who have aged out of foster care. The Apprenticeship Program will initially include four training tracks: culinary arts, outdoor leadership/recreation, hospitality/housekeeping, and maintenance/automotive.

Youth will participate in a year-long training program that includes hands-on experience on our campus before being paired with a local business providing a paid internship. Once youth complete the program the goal is for the sponsor business to consider offering them continuing employment at a living wage.

BMH has entered into an agreement with a nearby conference center/camp to provide apprenticeships and is working with other local businesses to firm up partnerships. Funding is in place for a training kitchen that will allow them to launch a culinary arts track, hopefully this year. Perhaps you would like to contribute to the $30,000 matching grant for Culinary Arts Training by going online to www.blackmountainhome.org to donate?
Many events are held at the campus throughout the year.

The Reverend R. P. Smith, founder of the Black Mountain Home for Children, Youth & Family, in his later years.

On March 13 at 10 AM there will be a two-hour introduction to the Home’s ministry and campus The event will begin with refreshments and a ministry overview then one can head out on foot and by bus to see the full campus.

On Thursday, April 11 a Bear Cub Classic Golf Tournament will be held with a silent auction preview, followed by supper at the new West Campus to raise funds for the Home. Then on Friday, April 12, a shotgun start at 10 a.m. at the Black Mountain Golf Course begins.

This already has many sponsors, including Grove Stone & Sand, DH Griffin Companies, Old North State Building Company, Consolidated Waste Service, Arbys, and other golf hole sponsors. Sponsorships are still available. For $1,000 – to be a Hole Sponsor – includes registration for one team, recognition in program, and signage at selected hole.

Individuals are $100 and foursomes are $400. Prizes and silent auction items will be awarded and refreshments served at the nineteenth hole following play.

On April 13th a spring open house, with live music in the main campus courtyard and demonstrations by local crafters will be held, where visitors are invited to attend.

These events are a few ways to learn about, help, and support the Black Mountain Home for Children, Youth and Families. More details can be found at www.blackmountainhome.org. Or to find out more about the upcoming presentation there and the Preservation Society of Asheville Buncombe County itself, just go to www.PSABC.org.

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