The Asheville Chamber of Commerce has been an incredible force in this community for 125 years and for much of their history they have supported the work of so many other nonprofits, including United Way of Asheville and Buncombe County.
So it makes sense that they’d find a way to share the love as they celebrate this milestone. They will award 12, $10,000 grants to local nonprofit organizations at their Celebration event on Sept 28.
(Vote Daily through July 31)
After completing an application, 24 finalists were selected. Between June 15 and July 31, the public will have the chance to vote, once a day, for as many of the nonprofits as they’d like.
Since each nonprofit has wildly different resources available to them to support the promotion of this voting opportunity, the Chamber will weigh the votes before selecting the final 12 grantees.
United Way of Asheville and Buncombe County is honored to be among each and every one of the fine organizations vying for the grants and wholly encourage our supporters to vote for us AND for many of the others that we work so closely with.
How Will United Way Use These Funds?
If we should be awarded the $10,000, we will use those funds to support the weekly Community Nights (featuring Homework Diners) at 7 local schools starting up again this fall. This includes providing compensation for educators that attend the events to give students one on one support, as well as allowing us to serve a healthy meal to every person attending (students can bring their WHOLE family to these events).
If you’ve followed us for any length of time you know that these events are an integral part of the work of Community Schools and offer an important opportunity to support students and build community relationships between families, school staff and educators, and community partners.
In fact, pre-pandemic we saw real gains in the academic performance of students that attended three or more sessions in a school year. This past year was really about getting back in the swing of things after not being able to hold these events for a few years.
But even still, we were able to hold 103 Community Nights this past school year and served over 2,352 meals to over 1,109 students, families, and community members!
Sites include Asheville, Enka, Erwin, Owen, Reynolds, and N. Buncombe Middle Schools, as well as Asheville High/SILSA. But we know that at least 48 school communities were represented at these events. We also know that 31 youths saw improved attendance, 10 had improved behavior, and 83 improved grades.
How can you help?
Well, a good start is to send a big old Happy Anniversary to the Chamber for one! But if you would like to vote (and vote often), public voting will open on June 15 and run through July 31. You can cast your votes daily at ashevillechamber.org/125years and you can also purchase tickets to their event in September.
Thanks for your support and be sure to spread the word to your friends!
(Vote Daily through July 31)