This week has been incredibly difficult for our whole community, and particularly for children.
The murders and critical wounding of the members a local family as a result of family violence have shaken us all to the core. This horrific act impacts all who know and love the Smith family. In homes and classrooms across our city, children and adults alike are broken hearted and asking each other “Why?”
Earlier this week teachers across our region were met by children, terrified by the recent and ongoing actions of Immigrations and Customs Enforcement. They too, are fielding questions: "Will my parents be home when I get there?" "What do I tell my younger sibling about what's happening?" "Will you adopt me if my parents get deported?"
As you know, our work at United Way of Asheville and Buncombe County is rooted in a belief that the fabric of our community is better, stronger, when everyone has a chance to succeed and when we all work together to accomplish what none of us can do alone.
It is because of this commitment that some of our co-workers walk into four local schools, every day of the week, to build the relationships and resources needed to help students, families and communities succeed.
It is because of this commitment that some of our other co-workers answer calls 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to connect people to the resources they need to live a healthy, whole and safe life.
It is because of this commitment that we fund a host of programs including those that protect people’s legal rights, help people live lives free of violence, and help them attain the education, financial stability and health they need to thrive.
And it is because of this commitment that we mobilize volunteers to take action to build a loving and caring community for all.
We have a lot of work and healing ahead of us as a community. We promise to do our part to help in that healing.
In the meantime please remember that if you or someone you love is unsure of where to turn for any kind of help, make sure they know they can dial 2-1-1 -- in any language, any time of the day or night, we’ll be there to connect them to the best resource to help.