Asheville Citizen-Times from Asheville, North Carolina on July 4, 2013 · Page A3
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Asheville Citizen-Times from Asheville, North Carolina · Page A3

Asheville, North Carolina
Issue Date:
Thursday, July 4, 2013
Page A3
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Product: ASHBrd PubDate: 07-04-2013 Zone: BMN Edition: 1 Page: News-A User: mmudd Time: 06-28-2013 15:00 Color: Kl BLACK MOUNTAIN NEWS WWW.BLACKMOUNTAINNEWS.COM THURSDAY, JULY 4, 2013 PAGE A3 News Local ministry gives struggling families a 'one of a kind' experience 5 ji rw . i TO -.1,1 J ij,. . ''I mam By Kaitlin Mundy Special To The Black Mountain News Millie Lewis said that when the Lord gave her a vision of The Tack Room, He did not provide many details. And yet, six months after its founding, The Tack Room is providing assistance to children and families throughout the community. Lewis is the founder and director of The Tack Room, which began in Black Mountain in January of this year. The Tack Room is a closet ministry that provides clothes, toys, and other essentials for babies, children, and teenagers. Lewis partnered with the Kinship Care program through the Bair Foundation, which gives grandparents and other relatives who are caring for children the immediate resource support that they need while navigating challenging times. "It's a safe haven for the children who come," Lewis said. "We make them feel special." The coordinator of Kinship Care, Laura May, contacts Lewis to set up an appointment for a child and his or her family, and then children can come and "shop" at The Tack Room. The first children who visited The Tack Room were 48-hour-old newborn twin girls who were living with their great-grandparents. They recently returned to pick up more clothes for the now three-month old girls. "They're a part of us now," Lewis said. "Anytime they have a need, they can come." Children are given a personal, individualized "shopping" experience when visiting The Tack Room. THE TACK ROOM'S WISH LIST (Accepts new and gently used clothing) Babies - All clothing (sizes Preemie to 24 months), All baby essentials- blankets, bibs, spit cloths, wipes, bottles, bedding, bath wash, rash cream, towels, wash clothes, teethers, etc. Baby equipment- non-recalled cribs, swings, bouncy seats, high chairs, bath tubs, toys, books, etc. Children and teens - All clothing (sizes 2Tto 5T and 4 to 16, juniors small to x-large) shoes, coats, new socks and underwear, belts, bags, basic hygiene essentials, school supplies, backpacks, toys, books, etc. "It was very important to design this in a way that has a boutique feel - an old country tack room feel," Lewis said. "Kids don't have to dig through boxes when they visit." Lewis also provides food and coffee for guests. "They can sit and cry if they need to," Lewis said. "They are here because they have gone through extraordinary situations." Lewis praised the generosity of the people who had donated to the organization's cause. "My givers are incredible," Lewis said. "I always say that they are equally as important as the receivers, because without the givers, there would be no receivers." Although the organization is only six months old, Lewis said that they are quickly outgrowing their current space. Plans to become their own non-profit are in the works. As of now, The Tack Room is supported by Grace and Knowledge Church, which Lewis called a "teeny church with a huge heart." Lewis said that she and her husband, Jeff, are "horse people," which inspired the ambiance of The Tack Room. She said that one of her goals is to eventually relocate to a barn, where children can not only pick out clothes but also interact with horses. "I think it's important for any organization to have goals and reach for those goals," Lewis said. Lewis said that this ministry addresses a strong need in the community. Recent reports show that one in four children in Buncombe County are living in poverty. "We live in a blessed community," Lewis said. "There shouldn't even be one child living in poverty." Lewis said the most rewarding aspect of the experience has been the interactions with the children who come into The Tack Room. She said that one young teenage girl who received a bag held it close to her chest and said "I've just died and gone to heaven." "They are so grateful," Lewis said. "We love loading them up with stuff." Anyone who would like to make a donation can contact Millie Lewis by email at or by phone at (828) 777-6033. Lewis emphasized the organization's need for diapers. "Seeing their faces means so much," Lewis said. "Just knowing that one more child has what they need is a blessing." 'Children of the World' exhibit opens locally From Staff Reports Chifferobe Home and Garden, located at 118 Cherry Street in Black Mountain, will open a show of the photographs of world-traveler Mickey Buckwalter on Friday, July 12, from 5 - 7 p.m. Titled, "Children of the World," the show will actually hang starting July 1, and will stay up throughout the month of July. Refreshments will be served at the opening, and the public is invited free of charge. Buckwalter has been traveling on foot with a backpack for years, wandering throughout over 50 countries, getting to know people, and taking photographs, capturing the lives of the people she has met. "I learned that people everywhere want the same things: a decent home, enough food, education, and a better life for their children," she said. "I always felt safe, and I found people willing to Chifferobe Home and Garden will open a show of the photographs of world-traveler Mickey Buckwalter, "Children of the World," on Friday, July 12, from 5 - 7 p.m. PHOTO BY MICKEY BUCKWALTER help whenever I needed help." Buckwalter has exhibited her photos in local galleries and has shared her experiences through numerous slide show presentations. Come to the opening event and meet Buckwalter. Her photos are available for sale at Chifferobe. fxmpm V W ..Tfi Pi . Millie Lewis is the founder and director of The Tack Room, which is a closet ministry that provides clothes, toys, and other essentials for babies, children, and teenagers, photo by KAITLIN MUNDY BLACK MOUNTAIN 669-669-9000 Carolina Foam Fabric & Home Decor - 669-2400 Polk Motor Co. - 669-3835 Mill Pizzeria - (828) 357-8449 i gpiferrtjrrSj f J(jjl 7 pr Uffllfiffl 304 Black Mountain Ave. Behind Pizza Hut Elbow Pain We help clients to resolve chronic pain so they can exercise . 707-3798 Free Assessment in

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