Part of United Way of Asheville and Buncombe County's (UWABC) mission is to co-create opportunities for every person in our community to live free from poverty and injustice. What does this mission look like in practice? Like all community work, the answer is mired in the messy middle of meeting folks where they are, listening to their expertise and experiences, and collaboratively working together to solve problems.
Showing up collaboratively can look like seven community school coordinators working to address the invisible issues that undermine academic success; hunger, homelessness, violence, poor health, inequity, and other social problems. It can look like listening to community feedback and transforming the way we invest our dollars and resources in direct response to community voices. For us at Hands On Asheville-Buncombe, it means building on UWABC's rich history as a convener and bringing together the necessary people and resources needed to tackle crucial community issues through volunteerism.
A recent example of how we filled that convener role was our collaboration with Bounty & Soul and Northwestern Mutual. As a part of our 100 Acts of Service Campaign, a volunteer group from Northwestern Mutual spent a sunny March day collaborating with and supporting the food insecurity work of Bounty & Soul.