Days of Impact 2019
Every year, volunteers roll up their sleeves and dig in to tackle impactful projects that support local community nonprofits and schools addressing critical needs. This year's Days of Impact showed us once again how powerful a group of committed citizens, dedicating a few hours of their time, can be. More than 460 volunteers from 38 local businesses and organizations shared their time and talents this year, helping to address critical community needs at 25 nonprofits throughout Buncombe County.
Jacob Holm Industries: Making an Impact in the Candler Community
Long-time community partner Jacob Holm Industries showed up to Days of Impact, 15 volunteers strong, to dedicate their time toward needed improvements at Enka Middle School. Last year, employees gave their time during Days of Impact to install a basketball goal, weed and mulch the front lawn around the recently restored 1953 jet (an homage to the school mascot), and plant flowers in the courtyard to help beautify the school grounds.
“Jacob Holm has been a tremendous partner with us for years,” shares Ginny Eudy Spencer, United Way Community School Coordinator at Enka Middle. “We can always count on them to come with tons of volunteers, expertise, and enthusiasm for our projects. They jump right in and just get it right away and are willing to take ownership and responsibility of it which is so helpful. They’re a local company too, just down the road, and have just been a huge supporter of the Enka and Candler community.”
Transforming a Room into a Space for Emotional Support
This year, Jacob Holm employees tackled an important project, which was the restoration transformation of a former In-School Suspension room into a space that will be used by hundreds a month for mental health support groups, ESL (English as a Second Language) classes, and Restorative Practices training amongst other things.
“We just keep growing these kinds of support groups because we’re such a high needs school in a high need area, that we’ve found the groups are a great way to get that additional mental health support and peer support,” shares Eudy. “The more space we have and the more comfortable those spaces are, the more effective those groups can be.”
Anything to Encourage the Children
In fact, the school is making strides in creating necessary support systems for mental and emotional health, with United Way facilitation alongside community partners as well as Restorative Practices trainings. Three teachers, two assistant principals, one counselor, and the school resource officer all attended the most recent Restorative Practices Training held at United Way. “One of our assistant principles is a Restorative Practices trainer, so he’s really focusing on that this year with the students and we’re really focusing on how we can build that community with our staff,” shares Eudy. “The whole goal of supporting a student’s social-emotional self is so that they can be present in the classroom and actually access curriculum.”
Ashley Lunsford of Jacob Holm grew up in Candler, attending Candler Elementary, Enka Middle, and Enka High. Her father also graduated from Enka back when the middle school was the high school. “Being in middle school is like being the middle child in the family. It’s just easy to feel overlooked, so really, anything that can be done to encourage children and help them through these years, feels so important,” she shares as she removes an old bulletin board from the wall.
* Special thanks to Mission Health for their support as a sponsor, without whom Days of Impact would not be possible.
Take Action. Get Involved:
This year’s Days of Impact may be complete, yet there are ongoing ways to dig in and support the community in ways that align with your interest and skill-set.
Take a look at hundreds of local community projects through our volunteer center Hands On Asheville-Buncombe and filter to find one that’s right for you and perhaps a friend or your family to lend a hand and get involved.