Dear Friend:


Thank you for helping to make 2013 a memorable year for Orange County Voice and the rural community.  Throughout the year, a large assortment of volunteers have contributed to our work and taken us in new directions.  With the year quickly drawing to a close, we'd like to both acknowledge the hard work of these volunteers and offer a few suggestions about how you can help everyone in Orange County enjoy the magic of this holiday season.  First a recap:   


During the past year, our work has become more collaborative and proactive.

We joined with the Carolina Tarwheels and Union Grove Methodist Church, and launched the Rural Road Safety Coalition, an effort to encourage motorists and cyclists alike to share the road safely.  With the support of county officials, and in coordination with our Rural Heritage project, we helped more of our Heritage Farms earn recognition, honoring their contributions to our state's rich cultural and agricultural heritage.  On the environmental front, we partnered with the Schley Grange in hosting our first educational forum, one focused on hydraulic fracturing or Fracking, with Duke University's Rob Jackson leading the discussion.  Much more is in the works for 2014, so watch our newsletters and updates for announcements.      


These efforts were in addition to our steadfast advocacy for rural communities. This past year, we kept a close eye on developments in the areas of public transportation, animal control, and recycling fees and taxes.  We continue to watch issues related to both zoning and development, spending on county offices, and a possible bond referendum and/or tax increases.  Our goal, as always, is to find win-win solutions which consider the needs and priorities of rural communities as well as those of our urban neighbors. 
Our work now extends into Chatham and Randolph counties, where we are helping to protect rural communities from environmental burdens such as landfills and wastewater runoff.  

OCV is especially excited about progress we are making in the creation of a network composed of leaders representing civic, faith and community groups from throughout Orange County.  By formalizing this network, we hope to make it easier for community groups to collaborate and cooperate.  To learn more, please contact Bonnie


Holiday Events in Orange County 


We hope your holiday plans will include time for some of these enjoyable community traditions:

  • Hayrides with Santa, December 7-8 and 14-15, at the Maple View Agricultural Education Center.  For more, visit Maple View
  • Hillsborough Holiday Parade, Saturday, December 7, from 10am-Noon, on Churton Street.
  • Afternoon Tea and the Twelve Days of Christmas at the Carolina Inn. Click here for details.
  • Hillsborough Candlelight Home Tour, Sunday, December 8, from Noon-6pm.  For more, click here.   
  • Chapel Hill Holiday Parade, Saturday, December 14, from 10am-Noon, on Franklin Street.  For more, click here.
  • If you're looking for gift ideas, try the In-Between Hour from Orange County author Barbara Claypole-White, inspired in part by Pickard Mountain and  Occoneechee folklore.  Orange County Library is hosting a tea and book reading on January 5, at 4:00pm. 
A Time of Giving in Rural Orange County

toys for tots


Please consider the needs of the less fortunate during this holiday time.  Orange County Social Services is working to bring holiday wishes to 5,000 Orange County children.  To learn how you can help with toys, donations, and other assistance, please click here.


Bob Nutter and Allison Nichols-Clapper of Maple View Farm are raising funds for Sam's Wish, an organization that supports families who have children in hospice care. To learn more, contact Allison or stop by the Maple View Country Store.


Orange Congregations in Mission (OCIM) is asking everyone to help with the fundraising challenge for their Samaritan Relief Ministry, which serves over 5,000 neighbors in Hillsborough and rural Orange County.  With our help, OCIM can raise $20,000 by December 31, and secure a matching grant from Formalwear Outlets.  For more, click here.  


A Year's End Thank You 


After such a wonderful year, it's difficult to ask for more.  OCV continues to function as a volunteer organization, and your generosity funds our communications, programs, and services.  Please consider a small, tax-deductible donation as a sign of support for our work.  To donate, click here.  


Needless to say, there are countless ways you can show your support for OCV.  We welcome your help with our many initiatives and value your comments.  To get in touch with us or let us know how we're doing, please contact Bonnie.


Lastly, we'd like to extend a big and heartfelt thank you to our community - the citizens, volunteers, organizations, and public officials who work every single day to make Orange County a better place in which to live.  These friends and neighbors inspire OCV's work and encourage us to continue finding new ways to serve and help.  


Our best wishes to you and your family for the holiday season and the coming year.




Board of Directors, Orange County Voice

Bonnie Hauser (email me)

Alex Castro (email me)

Nick Davis (email me)

Tish Galu (email me)

Mike Hughes (email me)

Bob Nutter (email me)              

Norma White (email me)


Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.  - Margaret Mead 
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