How one nonprofit is connecting cultures
Lori Garcia-McCammon, Director of True Ridge, co-founded the organization in 2017 to help support the under-resourced Latinx community of Henderson County. The mission of True Ridge is guided by the three principal values of community, culture, and connection. The volunteer group provides residents of Henderson County who are in crisis with educational, social, legal, and mental-health services both directly and through a diverse network of nonprofit partners.
Garcia-McCammon emphasizes, “We mostly serve the Latinx community, but don’t turn away anyone. If we don’t have the services you need we will refer you to an organization that does. Most of our fundraising events had to be cancelled because of COVID-19, but in October we’ll participate in the downtown Hendersonville bear auction. Our bear was designed with the flags of all the different countries that people we have served are from, and there are 22 different flags even one from Tanzania.”
Due to COVID-19, much of the organization’s work is now focused on providing assistance with food security, rent, protection from domestic violence, and help with court proceedings and legal advocacy. True Ride volunteers are also busy making and distributing personal protection masks.
Garcia-McCammon explains, “In 2018 a great friend, Brenda Elliot, said, ‘I don’t have any money to give to True Ridge, but I can teach people how to sew. True Ridge started offering a weekly program to the community and to clients to learn a skill and craft that they could then use to land a job, offer sewing services, or as a fun hobby. Three people from the class have made masks, plus friends and volunteers in the community. On Sunday [June 7] we’ll have 121 masks to distribute for kids. That’s a big deal, because most masks are made for adults and won’t fit a child.”
True Ridge is also receiving donations of masks from nonprofit partners and other supporters. “Around 500 have been donated,” says Garcia-McCammon. “Dogwood Foundation in Asheville just gave us around 200 masks to distribute. We ask people, ‘How many do you need for your family? We can give them to you!’
“We have loved every moment of the journey and are so grateful to all of our volunteers and community partners.”
Visit True Ridge at trueridge.org to learn more. For support services and referrals, call 828-719-2751 or 828-205-1170. Those wishing to volunteer can fill out an application online, call (828) 205-1170, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.