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A few weeks ago I was asked if I would join other nonprofit organizations and sign the following letter on behalf of United Way of Asheville and Buncombe County. The letter, crafted by Lael Gray of the Asheville Jewish Community Center, spoke beautifully to our collective resolve against divisiveness and offered a message of light and love in troubling times.
Over the last few weeks, and years, we’ve watched over and over again, footage of people running in fear, writhing in pain, and dying at the hands of another. The locations and details change, but the agony is the same for all involved and those that love them.
"A man has made at least a start on discovering the meaning of human life when he plants shade trees under which he knows full well he will never sit."
This quote embodies the kind of life Barbra and Keith Love choose to live and we are proud to announce them as the 2015 Alexis de Tocqueville Community Service Award recipients.
When we think about our rock stars, the people and companies that go above and beyond, time after time, year after year, it is impossible to create a list that doesn't have the Dixon Hughes Goodman (DHG) team right at the top. So when our staff had an opportunity to make a nomination for the Spirit of North Carolina award, we knew it had to be our friends at DHG.
This year, DHG (Asheville and Charlotte), were among 33 awardees. This is the second time they have won this award. Here are just a few highlights of their contributions to our community:
Helen called 2-1-1 wanting to make sure that someone knew that she was wheelchair bound, living alone and in a floodplain. She wanted to know who could help her if flooding began.
Carlos called looking for help at his mother's house. Every time it rained, raw sewage spilled into her yard. He didn't know who to call for help.
Lena was running out of food and was afraid that if the bridge went out she'd be stuck without anything for her children. She wanted to know if there was a food pantry nearby.
If you've come to our past few events, you know we've been collecting items to stock student resource pantries at local middle schools. We thought we'd give you a better idea of how they work and how you can continue to support schools in your neighborhoods. Given the proper resources and opportunities to be successful, all students can experience the power and freedom that results from a sound education.
NC 2-1-1 Asheville Center provides information and referrals to nonprofit and governmental health and human service organizations in Buncombe, Henderson, Madison, McDowell, Polk, Rutherford and Transylvania counties. Ten years ago, the Asheville center was the first North Carolina agency (and only fifteenth in the nation) to receive accreditation from the Alliance of Information and Referral Systems (AIRS), signifying commitment to the highest standards and quality of service. Last year, the center was awarded its third consecutive five-year accreditation.