Let's Support 2,500 Students as they Backpack to the Future

United Way of Asheville and Buncombe County School Supply Drive 2019

608 students were identified as homeless in Buncombe County Public Schools during the 2018 school year. More than 14,500 students qualified for free and reduced lunch, totaling more than half of our students. Of low wealth students, 17% don’t graduate from high school. The racial, academic, and opportunity gap in our community is at an unprecedented level.  It’s facts and numbers such as these that help us understand the need in our community--from housing to food security to the bare necessities needed for a healthy, functioning life. On top of a staggering homeless rate in our community, 11.5% of Buncombe County residents live in poverty according to the United States Census Bureau.

12,000+ Students Supported in Buncombe County (and counting…)

For these reasons, United Way of Asheville and Buncombe County holds an annual School Supply Drive, supporting students and families, providing them with the tools they need to succeed. Since 2007, with the help and support of local businesses and community members, our School Supply Drive has allowed more than 12,100 students to walk into their first day of school fully prepared. Because of our ability to buy supplies in bulk, that translates to over $725,000 in school supplies donated. This is only possible through the community as well as generous donations from partners, including sponsorship support from our local Bank of America.
“I am always championing giving back to your community because we are all part of it,” shares Bank of America Market Manager David Dowd. “By being present and showing support, encouraging others, whatever it may be. There are many ways to give. Of course, there is funding and support with dollars, yet there’s such an impact made with people-power and getting people together, tangibly volunteering at a soup kitchen, stuffing backpacks of school supplies, or serving food at a Homework Diner. I think you’re showing that support and helping that person, but you’re also providing a role model and helping better yourself in the process.”
Last year, 2,401 students were able to return to school with the supplies they need. This year we’re calling on the community to come together and help Asheville and Buncombe County students Backpack to the Future, raising the bar to support 2,500 students.

We’re offering several ways for the community to get involved!

**Just visit handsonasheville.org/schoolsupplydrive and find all of the links to the options below:

  • Purchase supplies using our online store and let us pack, sort and deliver for you!
  • Make a monetary donation and your funds will be used to purchase items from the list of needed supplies.
  • Host a drive in your workplace, faith community or neighborhood to encourage others to purchase items.
  • Join us during the annual Fill the Bus event, taking place at two Walmart locations (Bleachery Rd. and Hendersonville Rd.) Thursday, August 1, 2019, from 4:00-7:00 p.m., Saturday, August 3, 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. with the goal of filling entire school buses at each location with donated school supplies to support local students. 
  • Drop off supplies at Asheville Pizza and Brewing Company (Merrimon Ave Location) and get a free ticket to see a screening of Back to the Future on August 8, 2019. 

Thank you in advance for your support in helping students in our community Backpack to the Future!