Volunteering With WNCW Radio in Spindale

Lauren Wasmund volunteering at public radio station WNCW 88.7 FM in Spindale, NC.

One of my favorite sayings is “blessed to be a blessing,”. I feel grateful to have the ability to give back to the community that gives so much to me. While I only started my journey with 828 Real Estate about a month ago, our team has encouraged me to continue volunteering with WNCW 88.7 Radio in Spindale.

Why I Support Public Radio

Growing up, WNCW was the station that played throughout my grandma’s house every weekend. Saturday started off with Going Across the Mountain, an all-day bluegrass show. Sunday was full of gospel, Celtic and old time music. Music is a key part of Appalachian culture. It’s the music from the hearts and souls from those who love this region.

As a lover of public radio and a long time fan of WNCW, I took up the chance to intern with them in the summer of 2019. I lived on a nearby farm and exchanged farm work for a place to stay. I’d wake up at 4 a.m and climb in my car, no matter how sleepy I was, and drive 30 minutes to the station to host and produce NPR Morning Edition. Despite my long travels and hard work, it was so worth it.

The Importance of Local Media in Rural Communities

During my high school years, I would wake up early to get my brother on the school bus and drive 30 minutes to school. My rural commute left me stuck behind a tractor or two. Sometimes I would catch the sweet smell of local chicken farms. Even though the drive was long and sometimes smelly, the stories and voices on my radio from around the world made my drives an adventure.

I often was late for my first class in high school. I would wait until the absolute last second to leave my car before the bell rang. I just had to hear the last bit of whatever segment was playing.

I remember I learned a lot of things that I would use in my AP Biology class. I would share various scientific findings I heard on public radio during the Ebola outbreak.

My time listening to the radio showed me why it’s so valuable to support listener-powered broadcasts. That 30 minute drive turned into a window to the world outside of my small little town. Having the opportunity to become a local MC and share stories and culture with others just like me in my community made it all worthwhile.

How You Can Support Listener-Powered Radio

It’s more important than ever to support local media. Studies show that community radio is still relevant in the digital era. As people lose faith in mainstream media and online content, local radio stations serve as a pillar of trust in our community. WNCW is a grassroots radio station, so listener support continues their operations.

One of the best ways you can support local non-profit radio stations like WNCW-FM is to volunteer or donate to their causes. WNCW-FM receives support throughout the High Country of North Carolina through membership donations, music event underwriting, vehicle donations, and volunteer support. Better yet, you can tune in and listen! You might find that your morning commute will become more informative and enlightening.

If you’d like to volunteer with public radio, the station always needs phone volunteers, but there are other fun opportunities you can participate in year round. You can find more information on how to support WNCW on their website.

At 828 Real Estate our team of real estate agents and brokers are committed to helping others and the community. Many of us have non-profits and other organizations that we support, not only monetarily, but with our time. We encourage you to learn more about the causes we support throughout the High Country of North Carolina and find ways that you can give back to our community too!

About the Author

Shalamar Blevins grew up in Ashe County, right next to the North Fork of the New River. Shalamar loves the outdoors after spending most of her life kayaking and hiking in her own front yard. 

Throughout her life, Shalamar tried to learn every art form she could get her hands on, from ceramics to African Batiking! Being creative and adding a splash of lively color is Shalamar’s superpower. After studying the classic mediums from local masters such as Stephen Shoemaker and Lenore DePree, Shalamar attended the North Carolina School of the Arts in Winston- Salem before attending UNC-Asheville. After graduating in 2011, Shalamar spent time traveling through Europe and Asia before moving back to the North Carolina High Country to start her own studio and to work for Florence Thomas Art School.

To this day Shalamar still loves to travel and hosts small art classes on location and at festivals. She joined the 828 Real Estate gang in the fall of 2021. Since then, she has been working diligently to provide their agents and clients with the latest marketing tools, while celebrating the adventures that await in the 828! Shalamar got married to wonderful fellow Ashe County native, Micheal the summer of 2021. Micheal is a 13 year US Army Veteran, recently graduated from Nursing school and just started a career at Watauga Medical. They have 2 fur babies, an Australian Shepherd named Quill and Chocolate Lab named Brody. These boys keep Mike and Shalamar on their toes!

 When Mike and Shalamar aren’t working on their garden and home improvement ventures, they love spending time with their big family and friends while exploring the local music and art scene of NC High Country!