Pastoral Care and Counseling Center
Chances are most people who attend MerleFest have at some point during the festival misplaced something—keys, cell phone, camera, musical instrument. Chances are also excellent that those items ended up at the MerleFest Lost and Found tent where the Pastoral Care and Counseling volunteers assisted the rightful owners in retrieving their items. Believe it or not, they even had a set of false teeth turned in one year! The owner even claimed them!
The Board of Directors for the Pastoral Care and Counseling Center provides staffing for Lost and Found and overnight storage of chairs and other items that festival attendees do not want to carry back and forth every day. This service is free to festivalgoers, and MerleFest compensates the group for their work. The group uses the funds to underwrite the cost of counseling services for people from the Wilkes area, including those who are uninsured or underinsured.
"We absolutely believe that our counseling services benefit members of the Wilkes community and their families by increasing rational skills, improving job and academic functioning, and helping to resolve depression and anxiety," says Bryan Hatcher, Executive Director of the Board. "The funds earned through staffing the Lost and Found booth at MerleFest enhance our ability to provide these services to those who might not otherwise be able to afford them."
The Pastoral Care and Counseling Center also appreciates the opportunity to help the people of Northwest North Carolina through their efforts at the festival. "By supporting MerleFest we are enhancing Wilkes Community College's capacity to provide quality education to the people of the Wilkes community."
So next time you misplace your camera, cell phone, or false teeth at MerleFest, know that some honest person will probably make the effort to take it to the Lost and Found tent and that the Pastoral Care and Counseling folks will be there to help you. Just remember if you are jamming late into the night that they close up one hour after the main stage performance. So don't leave your car keys, hotel keys, or anything else there that you might need before the next morning.
Thanks, Pastoral Care and Counseling, for the great services you provide.