COVID-19 Arrival Checklist

Hinton Center Summer Missions COVID-19 Arrival Procedures Checklist

Please read and fill out this form at at least SEVEN (7) DAYS BEFORE ARRIVAL. You need your group leader's email address to fill out the form.

As many of us have experienced, COVID-19 has caused countless disruptions to our plans and daily habits. Here at the Hinton Center, we are working hard to ensure the safety of our guests, neighbors (homeowners) and staff. This means this summer’s Hinton Center experience will be different from past years. We are still very excited for you to join us, and we have a few notes to prepare you for your time at the Hinton Center relative to COVID-19.

Hinton Center is taking the threat of infection extremely seriously because if we are careless, we could cause the death of a neighbor/homeowner, most of whom are members of vulnerable populations.

Our safe and healthy home repair program provides an essential service to those whose homes are unsafe, unhealthy, and/or are in danger of becoming unhealthy or unsafe. Thus, we are continuing to go to worksites as we are able. We have implemented sanitizing and distancing practices while at worksites to reduce the homeowner’s and our own exposure as much as possible. Our plans are to work outside of homes, focus on firewood and garden ministry, and work on Hinton Center campus.


We adopted many practices to ensure our duty as responsible neighbors is fulfilled, including the following:

  • Thoroughly washing hands with soap for the prescribed 20+ seconds when entering the dining room before meals, after using the bathroom, and liberally throughout the day
  • Sneezing and coughing into the crook of our elbows or into our shirts and not into our hands
  • Updating each other on any symptoms we develop, no matter how minor or seemingly unrelated the symptom may be
  • Following general healthy practices to support our immune systems such as getting plenty of rest and physical activity, implementing stress management techniques, drinking plenty of fluids, and eating nutritious food
  • Wearing masks when needed
  • Respecting the comfort level of others in the community regarding personal space
  • Remaining flexible and open to new procedures as decided by the community
  • Following additional guidelines set forth in the “Welcome” sheet

How Hinton helped Philip


December 13, 2019

Any chance he gets, Philip tells his friends and neighbors about Hinton Rural Life Center’s home repair ministry. Last summer alone, Hinton hosted 650 home repair participants from churches across the Southeast and beyond. Mission teams took part in almost 250 home repair projects spread across 35 work sites in surrounding communities. For many in need, this outreach sounds almost too good to be true.

“I tell people about Hinton and they say, ‘Are you kidding?’” Philip said. “Around here in Clay County, there are a lot of people that don’t have that much money, and they need help.”

Hinton’s recent Quality of Life study found that more than 23.5 percent of the residential population in Clay County lives in poverty. For many of our neighbors, much-needed home repairs become a kind of “luxury” they cannot afford. “There are a lot of people in this area in this kind of shape that don’t have the money to do anything to their house,” Philip said. “They need to know about the Hinton Center because they do so much good work, it is unreal.”

Philip learned about Hinton’s work when his own family became part of the home repair ministry. “I’m disabled, and my front and back decks were getting rotten. Hinton came out and fixed my deck and put new handrails up to where I could get a hold of it really well,” Philip said. “My son, he was also disabled and in a hospital bed, and they even extended the (wheelchair) ramp so the ambulance would have no trouble getting in and out. The crews that worked on it knew exactly how to do everything and it looks great.”

Hinton Center would not be able to help and walk alongside our neighbors in need without your generous donations. As we enter this season of giving, we ask for your financial support to help us continue to be an instrument God uses to reach out to the community, through our Firewood, Garden, and Safe & Healthy Home Repair ministries.

“The teams talk to you like they’ve known you for years,” Philip said. “They are so nice and so professional. They know exactly what to do and they do a great, great job. We appreciate it so much.”

Cultivating Hope

Through your support, we are able to achieve our mission: Inspired by Jesus Christ, Hinton Rural Life Center’s purpose is to engage individuals, congregations and communities in transformation through retreat ministry and missional outreach. Thank you for being a faithful partner in ministry with Hinton. We invite you and your family, faith community, or organization to join us soon to retreat, reflect and renew.

Leadership Chatuge graduates 2nd class


Leadership Chatuge graduates second class

If Leadership Chatuge’s second commencement ceremony made one thing clear, it’s that the class teaches skills that transcend life circumstances.

That fact became evident simply by listening to commencement speakers Cameron Gray and Camden Johnson — two of 15 area residents who graduated from the 12-week leadership program on November 19 at Hinton Rural Life Center in Hayesville.

Gray, a freshman at Hayesville High School, was the only teenager in class, but he didn’t let his fish-out-of-water status hold him back.

“It was a bit awkward at times and intimidating, but I was able to expand my social network,” Gray said. “One of the main things I learned was what this community has to offer. It has so many more non-profits and governmental organizations that I had no idea existed.”

Johnson, on the other hand, is a mother who was looking for a job that would provide better benefits and allow her to spend more time with her son.

“I’ve always worked these seemingly dead-end jobs,” Johnson said. “I was tired of late-night hours, not getting to see my kid, and I needed to find a job that was 9 to 5 so I could be home with him.”

Johnson gained new confidence and perspective into her own leadership style and strengths with the help of an assessment test that she took during the class.

“This class has brought out who I am,” she said. “When I went in for that (job interview), I became me. I got the job, great benefits, 9 to 5, 40 hours a week.”

Leadership Chatuge is the latest outreach of Hinton Center, funded by a generous grant from The Duke Endowment. The program was founded under the premise that rural communities thrive when they have strong local leadership, and it aims to develop leaders and emerging leaders who already live and work in our communities.

Session II of Leadership Chatuge class was comprised of individuals from Clay, Cherokee and Towns (Ga.) counties — a group offering diversity in many categories, including professions, gender, race, and age.

Patrick Woodie, president of the NC Rural Center, served as keynote speaker for the commencement ceremony. Woodie has emphasized a new era of community engagement while remaining focused on its mission of promoting sound economic strategies in rural North Carolina.

Hinton Center CEO Dr. Jacqueline Gottlieb said the idea for Leadership Chatuge was rooted in her own positive experience with Leadership North Carolina. However, because larger leadership courses typically also include larger financial, travel, and time commitments, Gottlieb wanted to create a locally-based program that was accessible to a wider variety of community members.

Leadership Chatuge’s graduates received a framed certificate of their achievement, as well as a locally-crafted mug featuring the organization’s logo. The concept behind the mug was to provide graduates with a tangible reminder about the importance of conversations.

The next leadership Chatuge class will begin in March. Applications will become available in January.

Support Christmas Care of Clay County in 2019


Support Christmas Care of Clay County in 2019

You are invited to partner with us as we help area children with needed clothing such as jackets and sweaters, pants and shirts, and shoes and socks. Thanks to your generosity, 332 children from 125 families received clothes last Christmas. Our team is hoping that you will once again share in this cooperative, community effort.

We would probably all agree that Christmas can be a stressful time of year. It can be a particularly difficult time for many of our neighbors, and Christmas Care helps make a difference by fostering hope. As you know these children didn’t choose their circumstances, yet their need exists.

We also know the importance of treating our neighbors with dignity. We are excited that for the fourth year, we are offering the parents/guardians an opportunity to shop for clothing gifts for their children. Please know that we work diligently with Walmart to have a system in place with specific timeslots for shopping and a special checkout procedure. Nearly half of our families chose to shop at Walmart the past three years and what a fun time we had! We feel this allowed Christmas Care to be good stewards of the generosity of folks like you, while making it a hands-on experience for our neighbors.

While we are thrilled with continuing this possibility, we know that transportation and time can be stumbling blocks for some of our families, so we are still offering the option of providing the clothing gifts for children. The family will indicate whether they want to shop or if they want to come and pick up gifts. They will also indicate if they would like the gifts to be wrapped or unwrapped.   

So, how can you help? By sponsoring a child or children and committing to shopping and providing the clothing items, or by giving a monetary donation to be used for our shopping days or so that team members can purchase necessary clothing items (please see reverse for important updates).

We hope you will respond as soon as possible with a monetary donation or with a commitment to sponsorship.  Please call or email Dawn Livingston at or (828) 389-8336.  You may mail monetary gifts to Hinton Rural Life Center, Attn:  Christmas Care, PO Box 27, Hayesville, NC 28904. Please note that because of IRS regulations and bank requirements, checks will need to be made payable to “Hinton Center Christmas Care” or “Hinton Center” with Christmas Care in the memo. We will not be able to deposit checks payable to “Christmas Care (of Clay County).” All donations designated for Christmas Care will continue to be used for that purpose; this is simply a regulation we need to follow. Your donations are tax deductible.

Another great opportunity is that we’re again offering a free breakfast for all Christmas Care recipients. Would you be willing to volunteer to help serve and meet some of our neighbors? The breakfast will be on Monday, December 16 from 8:00 – 10:00 am at Hinton Center. If you would like to come help please call or email Dawn.

We thank you in advance for your partnership and commitment and look forward to serving alongside you as we reach out to the children in our community.

Christmas Care of Clay County

~ Support Christmas Care in 2019 ~

  • Give a tax deductible monetary donation directly to Christmas Care. Please make checks payable to Hinton Center Christmas Care or Hinton Center and note Christmas Care in the memo. Mail to:

Hinton Rural Life Center

Attn: Christmas Care

PO Box 27

Hayesville, NC  28904

  • Sponsor and shop for a child or children.
  • $75.00 maximum per child (If siblings are sponsored by two different people, this will help to keep the gifts as equitable as possible.)
  • Gifts of clothing should be the primary gifts. If you choose to include a toy or an additional item for a child, please limit it to one toy or item.
  • If you are interested in providing a family with food, please ask ahead of time. Some families may not be in need of food.
  • Remember, the family information will specify whether the family wants items wrapped.
  • Please complete all shopping by early December and return gifts to Hinton Rural Life Center (2330 Hinton Center Road, Hayesville). Gifts may be dropped off on Monday, December 2 thru Wednesday, December 4 from 10:00 am – 4:00 pm, and Thursday, December 5 from 10:00 am – 6:00 pm. **If you need to make other arrangements, please call Dawn.
  • Come volunteer at the breakfast on Monday, December 16 from 8:00 – 10:00 am at the Hinton Center. If you would like to come help please call or email Dawn.

Call or email Dawn Livingston at Hinton Rural Life Center with questions. (828-389-8336 or

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