Read on to learn about the latest happenings at Mission Hospital! Can’t read? Pay us to read it aloud to you!
How will the TDA allocate its 2025 budget? Which Asheville-inspired contraceptives will find their way into YOUR life? Xpress staffers offer their satirical predictions for the year ahead.
Plus, what does Al Whitesides REALLY mean when he talks about “banking”?
Xpress readers engaged with a wide range of local issues in 2023 — from concerns about downtown Asheville to infrastructure priorities, a possible single-use plastic bag ban, education issues and more.
“Listen to your heart,” says Lisa Forehand. “Do you want to be alone or with others to cultivate a more spiritual life? Are you open to trying new practices that might bring you closer to a higher power?”
“Spirituality is being willing to show up in life with an open, curious mind and heart and grapple with the tough questions,” says Heather Hanson.
“For those seeking a more spiritual life, my advice would be to find a quiet place to pray vocally and ask God to lead them toward truth,” says Kyle S. Gillett.
“When we open ourselves to the messiness, the whole thing — the beauty and joy, the ugliness and pain — we may have the greatest chance of experiencing something we may call ‘spiritual,'” says Richard Chess.
“The spirit may be an actual entity — the ‘soul’ — or it may simply be a way for us to speak about a profound aspect of human nature and experience,” says Luke Hankins.
“There’s a misconception that spirituality is only for those who have reached a certain level of enlightenment or have been chosen,” says Kelly Palmatier. “In truth, spirituality is accessible to anyone, regardless of their background or experiences.”
“RiverLink is the only conservation organization focused exclusively on the French Broad River and its tributaries,” says Lisa Raleigh, the nonprofit’s executive director. “We operate three programs that include water resource management, land conservation and youth education.”
“Mental health challenges impact all demographics and each of these has their own cultural way of addressing them,” says Robin C. Payne, executive director of NAMI Western Carolina. “As such, we are careful not to assume we know what is best for a community. Instead we try to create opportunities for open discussions and see how we can provide the resources that are needed.”
“We provide a service that brings mobile markets with fresh fruits, vegetables, healthy proteins and whole grains directly to people’s homes,” says Sonya Jones, executive director of Caja Solidaria.
“One of the biggest misconceptions about human trafficking is that it doesn’t happen here. It absolutely does,” says Amanda Gopal, executive director of The Hundred Movement.
“Families can meet others and not feel so alone on their autism journey,” says Caroline Long Tindall, CEO of St. Gerard House. “Young adults are becoming part of their community and giving back — the community is getting to know how valuable individuals with autism are.”
“When I started this job, almost 20 years ago, very few people used the French Broad River for recreation, and therefore no one really cared when it was polluted,” says Hartwell Carson, French Broad Riverkeeper with MountainTrue. “Now lots of people use the river everyday and there is a strong desire that we do better and protect the river,
“It’s thanks to the 600-plus volunteers at Brother Wolf that we’re able to forever change so many animals’ lives,” says Leah Craig Chumbley, executive director of Brother Wolf Animal Rescue.
“Both collaborations with the Vance Birthplace and the Mountain History and Culture Group have been the purest representations of the work we want to do, existing in the intersection of art and activism,” says Aaron Snook, co-founder and curator of America Myth Center
“Asheville Humane Society relies heavily on community support,” says Mabel Lujan, the organization’s communications manager. “From donations to fostering to suggesting us as a spot to grow your family, our caring community members provide the backbone to allow us to care for as many animals as we can.
“We definitely could use additional support from major donors, as well as institutional support from funders to ensure we are showing up in the ways our community needs,” says Amy Upham, executive director of Blue Ridge Pride.
“Gaining 501(c)(3) nonprofit status has opened the market to new funding sources that we didn’t have access to before, while connecting us to the community in new ways,” says Lyric Antio, market director of the RAD Farmers Market