Closing Our Centennial Year With You, Our Neighbors
Across the street from our home office at 50 S. French Broad Avenue, is Aston Park; a small public park with sweet views of our beautiful mountains and the gorgeous mural that Jenny Pickens is painting on the side of our building. It is also where we chose to celebrate with you, our supporters, partners, and neighbors.
"I am having so much fun watching my grandchildren run around and dance. Thank you for including us."
"This brings me back... I haven't had an ice like this since I was a small boy."
"You even put flowers out for us, this is beautiful."
These were just a few of the sweet moments overheard as we celebrated the close of our Centennial year and officially began our Next 100 years in our community.
But it was more than just a celebration of community, many attendees showed up ready to work, helping to put together 450 Summer Activity Kits that were distributed to youth throughout our community by our partners:
- YTL Training Programs
- Getting Back to the Basics/Project Lighten Up
- Umoja Health Wellness and Justice Collective
- My Daddy Taught Me That
- Big Brothers Big Sisters
- Christine Avery Learning Center
- In Real Life
- Delta House
This event was also a chance for us to celebrate a big win and thank all of our friends for helping us to exceed an ambitious fundraising goal of $2.3M. With your help, we raised $2,565,892 that will allow us to:
ACCELERATE our impact on youth and families through United for Youth and Community Schools
CO-CREATE solutions to poverty and injustice by working directly with those most impacted, and
SUSTAIN our efforts for future generations by growing the David Bailey Legacy Endowment.
A united and resilient community where everyone belongs and everyone thrives. That's what we are working toward and it was the source of inspiration that muralist Jenny Pickens is using as she decorates the side of our building. The images below are just a few of the sketches of what you will begin to see added to the work that has already begun. Be sure to swing by and see the mural as it goes up.
We are living in challenging times with great division — politically, culturally, and economically. In media and social media: conflict, calling out, and canceling people who disagree are everywhere.
In these times, the act of creating and being in community is itself, an act of courage. This climate makes building relationships and trust, co-creating, and calling in our neighbors who disagree with us a lot harder to do. It takes courage, humility, empathy, and grace.
We know the only way through these hard times is together. And that’s what United Way will always be about; working to overcome the tough challenges, together. Jenny's mural is rooted in her belief in the importance of community in action. And it will serve as a touchstone for all that see it, including our own team.
So let’s be courageous, humble and empathetic, and gracious together. Here are just two upcoming ways to do that:
- United Way's annual School Supply Drive is in full swing! Head over to our School Supply Drive landing page to support students and families as they head back to class.
- Let's celebrate our students, families, teachers, and administrators as they return to school with an old fashion Block Party. The event is free to all. Register your attendance HERE.
A final shout-out to these amazing organizations for their year-long sponsorship of our Centennial anniversary. Thank you for your support and all you do for this community.