Haywood Community College, the HCC Foundation, and Champion Credit Union are sponsoring Here to Help: A Benefit Show for Neighbors in Need on Saturday, February 28 from 4 until 8 p.m. This event is being held in response to critical needs of several Haywood County families identified by Mountain Projects. A donation collected at the benefit will go 100 percent to these residents. Donations are tax deductible and checks should be made payable to Mountain Projects.

According to Patsy Dowling, Executive Director of Mountain Projects, there will be an estimated increase of 30 percent in the need for housing in Haywood County. Dowling also says that the basic human needs of food, shelter, and heat have doubled over the past four months. In addition, the Haywood County Department of Social Services reports an increase in child abuse and food stamp applicants. The National Low Income Coalition estimates that 43% of the residents of Haywood County cannot afford fair market rent.

Examples of your neighbors in need include: unemployed parents with four children at home need help with utility bill; parent who lost their job in December with three children in the home needs help with utility bill; elderly woman who has an amputated leg and just found out she has cancer needs help with heating expenses; and an 87 year-old who is blind, on oxygen, and has a heart condition needs help with heating expenses.

Here to Help will be held in the HCC Auditorium. Admission is free but seating is limited with tickets available at Champion Credit Union and Old Town Bank. Hominy Valley Boys will be headlining the event with other local performers joining them. Volunteers are needed for this event. To volunteer or for more information, please call Polly Sloan at 565-4083 or Brenda Fannon at 627-4522.