John and Carol
Through 2-1-1, Hands On Asheville-Buncombe and our special focus on Education, we see just how critical the needs are and how we can advance the common good by focusing on the building blocks of a good quality of life in our community. Here are just a couple of the stories we've heard:
Annalise called 2-1-1 looking for a phone number to a program that helps people with vision care. It had been several years since she had had an eye exam, and she could no longer see well through her old glasses. The referral specialist, Keith, knew that the program she sought and several others that help people pay for vision screenings and glasses had run out of money, however he had one more vision assistance program for Annalise to try and offered to ask them to give Annalise a phone call and send her an application. A few days later, Annalise told Keith she had received an eye exam and new glasses because of the program and was so relieved to be able to see again.
Pamela was concerned about education in her community. She wanted to make sure her nieces and nephew have the resources they need to develop a love of learning that will carry them through high school graduation and beyond. She attended a United Way Community Conversation on Education, and, after sharing her vision for education with the group, Pamela realized she could play a role in making it a reality. She inquired at her local elementary school and began volunteering in the library on Tuesday afternoons. The students are captivated by her storytelling and listening to her read. As school staff explained, the entire school community is impacted by Pamela’s influence. “She is masterfully teaching, even when she isn’t saying a word.”
We all have a stake in our neighbors' success, and what happens to them matters to us. To have strong and productive communities, to develop a skilled workforce, to compete in the global economy, to curb criminal behavior and so many other issues that impact all of us - we need to make sure children succeed in school so they can go on to earn a solid income and provide quality healthcare for themselves and their families.