Francois Manavit, Buncombe County:
I want to thank you for your efforts to bring communities together. The [Blue Ridge Web Market] mailing list is working pretty good with about five names a month. I think you are doing a great job, and I am please with all the new additions since five years. .
Barbara Fox, Graham County:
I am 75 years old and never thought I would get on the 'net.' I have found it to be very interesting and fulfilling. I do the church bulletin at my little church and every week I find something on one of my sites or from one of my Internet friends that is appropriate for a food for thought or a blessing for myself and others.
Also many of my children and grandchildren write me and just tell me they are thinking of me and how much they love me. Although I do not live close to most of them, I do try to keep in touch with them, and since I am on a fixed income, this is a perfect way to keep in touch. .
Jeff Haslam & Kim Henry, Polk County:
It's a great service MAIN is providing to the community, and we thank you. I'm sure everyone gets frustrated with any ISP, but every time I get irritated when I can't get online, I remember that there are lots of people who wouldn't be able to get online at all if there wasn't a provider like MAIN. Keep up the good work! .
Katrherine Lyda, Buncombe County:
Computers have given me a new hope for learning at my old age, and I thank you for providing access to the skill of computing at Givens Estates. My family is so much closer, and we can get information very quickly when we have emergencies to all our scattered families over the world.
J. Dale Pounds, Jackson County:
I am the activities director at the Golden Age Senior Center in Sylva. The center has definitely benefited by MAIN's services. We offer computer classes at the Golden Age to seniors (50 years old and up) free of charge. The classes are really popular and most of our seniors who were once terrified of computers and the Internet are having the most fun and are having a great learning experience. It is a joy to see them having so much fun and expressing their enjoyment. You have opened up many avenues for them! Thank you MAIN! You make their kids and grandkids mighty proud!
John L.Cutrell, Madison County:
Being disabled and living in a remote area in which I can only receive one television channel at best means access to the Internet via the reliable efforts of MAIN and it's staff has afforded me an opening to the world of news and information I would not otherwise have. Indeed, each and every individual I have met or needed assistance from on the MAIN staff has been extremely kind, patient, and 100% professional in their endeavor to provide the service all of us need here in Western North Carolina.
Everyone who benefits in any way from MAIN can be very grateful for the improvement it has made in their lives! Thank you MAIN!
Carol Hubbard, Buncombe County:
I've been on-line with MAIN for over three years now, and have reaped many rewards. Firstly, as a computer neophyte, MAIN's help desk has provided invaluable service (at no cost) to work out the bugs in my connections, and has always responded patiently, with great courtesy, to my somewhat desperate pleas for assistance. Having access to the Web has been a very valuable tool as I'm very much in transition vocationally.
I'm disabled, and despite years of mostly accommodating my own disabilities in the professional working world, I got "shut out" of the "working world" almost four years ago and have been busily about creating new ways to continue a life of service, and return to work.
As a result of continuing the quest to find my way in the world, I've participated with other volunteers in writing two major grants; email and the web have been absolutely key in networking and researching on behalf of my passions: mentoring, and advocacy on behalf of the disabled.
It was an e-mail query to a MAIN linked disability program site hosted by Charlotte's Web, MAIN's counterpart in Charlotte, that ultimately led to my incorporating a new disability-specific nonprofit here in Asheville -- recruiting a fine, committed group of volunteers to serve as the Board, and writing a major grant to fund additional services to serve disabled individuals across the lines of various types of disabilities. But for MAIN, I doubt I'd have made the connections to uncover the funding opportunity. Email was also key in coordinating this project with a consultant in Georgia!!!!
I also want to note Wally Bowen and MAIN's significant contributions to the disabled via providing low-cost access to the Internet and filtering re-conditioned and donated computers to the disabled to allow participation in the world of electronic communication.
The Internet is a great "leveler" on behalf of the disabled, and offers vast opportunities for participation in the world, networking, sharing information and support, etc., ad infinitum! Keep up the good work!
Wayne Smith, CyberPals president, Haywood County:
CyberPals is a support group under the umbrella of Pathways, CyberPals membership is made up of disabled folks who communicate through donated or self-owned computers. Pathways and MAIN formed a partnership that would bring the CyberPals program into focus; this partnership was certainly good for CyberPals because of MAIN's affordable access.... The partnership between MAIN and CyberPals has been a godsend that has made a difference in a lot of lives.
Connie Brown, Asheville Quilt Guild:
The Asheville Quilt Guild is a nonprofit organization that has benefited from having a web site at MAIN. Our web site has received many different inquires. Most have been quilt related, but a few have inquired about our community. On our site, we list member information, the purpose of the Asheville Quilt Guild, upcoming meetings, and information about the Asheville Quilt Show.
Members, who have misplaced guild mailings have checked times and locations of upcoming meetings and events. Visitors to the area have also attended some of our meetings after having seen the web site. Several people who have moved to the Asheville area have found the Asheville Quilt Guild and made contact with us or joined us before they have completed their move here.
Several quilters and other guilds have complimented us on our site and inquired about its designer. Information about the Asheville Quilt Show that will be held August 6-8, 1999 is available on the web site. Many tourists in the area visit the "show". Many have been coming to this event for numerous years. This year, it is of utmost importance for us to get out information about the location.
The Asheville Quilt Show will be held at the North Carolina Arboretum, the first time it will be held there and the first move in 8 years. We hope that many tourists will see and take note of the location through our web site. We have also listed this information on MAIN's community calendar.
Quilters throughout the world can also get information on how to enter their quilts into the competition. Many who visit our web site are quilters and ask for tips and how-to's for projects they are working on. We also get inquires about purchasing quilts and quilt related products. This site helps us to fulfill our mission of promoting and perpetuating the art of quilting.
Anne Whitefield, Madison County:
When I moved into the "outback," way up a 4-wheel-drive road, I thought all I needed was the woods, my partner, and good books. I wrote letters to family and friends. Then, MAIN gave Madison County direct dial-up and email opened up.
Correspondence turned into dialogue with virtually instant feedback. I learned to think anew in the company of interesting people, subscribed to a discussion group, linked to Germany, Philippines, Australia, Germany, Iran, Denmark, Hong Kong and all over the the USA.
In addition, I'm in the process of exploring what it means to have all the information in the public domain potentially accessible. I think this World Wide Web may be the 'noosphere' which Teillard de Chardin spoke of back in the 1920s -- an evolutionary step on the order of the development of a biosphere.
MAIN also opens the exciting possibility of responsibility for circulating local news. This solution to the grip of the commercial media also has wide reaching implications. Because MAIN relies on volunteer help and encourages sharing to bridge the "digital divide," I have come alive again after giving up teaching kindergartners. I volunteer for MAIN and my best image of a better world, and that's healthy.