Givens’ first residents, Naomi and Sallie Kale, were twins who moved to Givens in May, 1979. The Kale sisters had worked in the mills of Gastonia, NC, all their lives. They dutifully cared for their parents and grandparents and worked through vacations to earn enough to tithe to their church. Despite years of hard work, living options in their local area were out-of-reach financially, and they needed some support. Naomi and Sallie relocated to Asheville, where their Givens community welcomed them.
Naomi and Sallie were humble residents of Givens yet actively involved. Living at Givens enabled them to take a vacation for the first time in their lives. The Givens Estates’ Joy Fund helped give the sisters a trip to the Carolina coast in the 1980s. The sisters’ enthusiastic and supportive neighbors, Ossie and Bob Fredericks, and Jane Golden, Director of Resident Services, initiated the trip and helped them buy their first-ever bathing suits. Broad smiles broke out onto the sisters’ faces as they first ventured onto the beach and splashed in the saltwater. The experience lived up to the fund’s name that made the trip possible as that moment was pure joy. That meaningful event embodied the spirit of improving lives. The Kale sisters lived in the supportive embrace of the Givens community for the next 20 years. The memories of their smiles and warmth continue to inspire the Givens mission.